You Should Never Buy From Whole Foods' Hot Bar. Here's Why

It's no secret that Whole Foods is mainly famous for two things: healthy food and soaring prices. Known as one of the healthiest grocery stores in the country, according to Women's Health, the retailer caters to the many who are looking to purchase natural and organic foods. However, it is not uncommon to experience buyer's remorse shortly after visiting the store — especially if you've purchased a few items at the hot bar.

While it may seem like a great idea to stop by and pick-up a fresh gourmet side or two for lunch or dinner, upon closer examination of the receipt you'll find that to be the only warning sign you'll need to rethink your future visits to the hot bar. Sure, it's convenient to buy prepared ready-to-eat foods, but it can be utterly devastating to come to the realization that it's a total rip-off. Just as PopSugar writer Anna Monette Roberts found out the hard way when she paid a whopping $14 for a 1.6-pound container of mashed potatoes.

Whole Foods' hot bar prices are exponentially higher than if you were to make the dish at home

After paying that alarming amount for about one-and-a-half pounds of buttery spuds that could have easily been made at home for a much more affordable price, Roberts questioned the Whole Foods cashier as she was convinced surely there was a mistake. Much to her surprise, there wasn't! 

The cashier shook his head as he chuckled mentioning, "There's no mistake. The hot bar is the 'Whole' in 'Whole Paycheck,' hon." Yikes. That must've hurt, especially after realizing there's no getting out of the purchase. Once you scoop it, you must buy it. It's worth keeping in mind that whether you're purchasing meat, greens, or grains, be warned the prices start at $8.99 a pound.

Still love the Whole Foods hot bar? Follow these tips

Sometimes there's no quitting the hot bar and we understand, but here are a few money-saving tips, courtesy of PopSugar, to consider next time you scoop at the hot bar.

First, avoid all bone-in meats. Remember, you're paying for the weight of something you won't even get to eat! Second, always go for the greens. Fill your container to the brim with arugula, a spring mix, or romaine lettuce, as it'll probably weigh less than mostly any other thing at the hot bar. 

Third, and we cannot stress this enough, skip any sides you can easily cook or throw together at home. This includes sides like rice, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies. It's just not worth the price. Finally, avoid using the largest containers as they can almost guarantee a high bill by scooping more than intended. After all, you don't want to throw away your hard-earned money on sides that start at about $8.99 a pound and quickly rack up an expensive bill.

A word to the wise, steer clear of the Whole Foods hot bar, but if you simply cannot abandon it, be sure to always consider the golden rule when it comes to scooping at the hot bar: the lighter the food, the cheaper the price.