Everyone who can say "quinoa" knows that shopping at Whole Foods costs more than shopping at Trader Joe's -- even if you're not buying $6 "asparagus water" or getting hosed for prepared foods.
But exactly how much more can you expect to throw down for comparable -- if not the same -- items at Whole Foods than at TJ's? Well, quite a bit, according to a SFGate staff writer, who courageously performed a cost comparison with popular products from stores in the Bay Area. In a surprise to nobody, the writer found that 30 basic items -- ranging from macaroni & cheese to organic applesauce -- will set you back about 20% more at Whole Foods than Trade Joe's -- $133.18 versus $109.27, respectively. Now that's a difference you can shake a paper bag at.
This is far from the first price comparison to make such a predictable discovery, according to a report by Time. For example, Cheapism found that 14 out of 20 store-brand items were cheaper at Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's apparently trades big stores full of lots of brands for smaller, barebones outposts with fewer offerings in order to undercut its competitors' prices, according to the report.