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Aisle Be Darned

Aisle Be Darned

What's the big fuss about eating organic? All you have to do is head over to Whole Foods and fill up your basket, right? Well, if you're one of those customers who refers to the organic grocery store by its nickname "Whole Paycheck," you probably know that stocking up on organic fruits, hormone free meat and high-end cheese can get pretty pricey.

The store, a green industry leader, has taken note of its reputation for having high price tags and executives are trying to convince customers that it can indeed be an economical place to shop. "It's becoming clear that this worsening economic environment is having an impact on consumers at all economic levels," industry analyst Mitchell P. Corwin told the New York Times. "The Whole Paycheck image can really hurt you."

In order to combat their pricey image, many stores are offering "value tours," during which employees point out low-cost items such as $1.50 tofu and burger patties on sale for a dollar each. In general, if you're looking to salvage at least a fraction of your paycheck, stick to the center of the store where prices for items such as organic cereal often beat those of competitors, and steer clear of the perimeter where you'll encounter goat cheese for $39.99 a pound.

How do you budget for organic groceries in your home? Have you made significant changes due to the economy? As for us, we're off to the greenmarket...and then Trader Joes...[NYT]

Posted: 8/5/08