Why The Bulk Nuts At Whole Foods Might Not Be Worth It

When it comes to buying on a budget, savvy grocery shoppers know that the bulk aisle is the way to go. Goods like dried pasta, oats, grains, legumes, and spices are not only fresher, but their lack of packaging usually makes for cheaper (and more environmentally friendly) options when broken down pound for pound. Whole Foods customers may find this tip particularly useful, as the organic market's packaged products may get you wondering, "How affordable is Whole Foods, really?"

While it is true that most bulk items are, in fact, less costly, if you sit down and do the math you may be surprised to find that one category of items in the bulk aisle actually may not be giving you a better deal than the alternatives within the store. But not to worry, Whole Foods employees have shared a special hack for buying nuts that good deal hunters would probably love to know, per Reader's Digest.

The hack Whole Foods didn't expect us to find out

Reader's Digest shared tips that Whole Foods employees had for shoppers, including the most cost-effective way to buy nuts at the store. Surprisingly, hitting up the grocer's bulk aisle is not the way to do it. The more economical alternative is revealed to be at the store's salad bar, where shoppers can find nuts among other salad toppings. By filling an empty salad container with the combination of nuts you desire, you will find that the price per pound at checkout is less expensive than the price per pound when the nuts are sourced from the bulk bins. To break it down in numbers, a salad bar container costs $9.99 per pound no matter what is in your container (via TripAdvisor), whereas whole almonds bought in bulk come in at $10.99/lb (via Food52). 

This isn't to say that the bulk aisle should be totally overlooked. Employees shared with Reader's Digest that the oats, grains, and beans found in the bins actually do provide the best deal for shoppers. However, when passing by the salad bar, feel free to go nuts.