A cheaper version of Whole Foods exists, and you'll want one in your town

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the fact that if I could simply live off of Whole Foods’ products for the rest of my life, I would. But, there's one issue, one painfully common issue among college kids, forcing us to eat more fast food and less Whole Foods—the prices.

It becomes a question of whether or not I’m going to get my textbooks for the term or have delicious, healthy Whole Foods snackage in my fridge (TBH, in some cases I’ve definitely chosen the food). Well, now the struggle is over. Whole Foods has heard our prayers, and is bringing us a new store. Whole Foods 365 still has those high quality options, but not for the insane prices. 

They’re a one-stop shop

Instagram post by Whole Foods Market NYC

Just like your typical Whole Foods Market, these new stores have everything you could ever want, featuring items from their Whole Foods 365 brand, but for a better price. Sounds like my kind of store.

But, there have got to be some major differences besides the lower prices, right? Well, the meats and cheeses are pre-packaged instead of fresh cut, but they’re still Whole Foods quality with dozens of options of each. There are also slightly fewer options in general, but still enough to make decisions impossible because everything looks so delish.

RELATED: Best snacks at Whole Foods

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The 11 best healthy packaged snacks at Whole Foods
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The 11 best healthy packaged snacks at Whole Foods

EPIC Bites

“Sometimes you just need some jerky,” Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D., M.P.H., C.D.N., founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition, tell SELF. When that meaty feeling strikes, she turns to these bites. She specifically loves this brand because of their emphasis on using whole, real ingredients. And the fact that the bites come in a re-sealable bag, so you don’t have to eat them all in one go.

EPIC

Biena Foods Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

Edwina Clark, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly, tells SELF, “These high-protein, high-fiber crunchy chickpeas are a great alternative to other not-so-healthy crunchy snacks like chips.” And, thanks to all those nutrients, they keep her full, satisfied, and energized for hours. “I also love that they’re nonperishable,” she says, “so you can keep them in your purse or gym bag when you need a quick bite.”

Courtesy of Biena Chickpea Snacks

Perfect Bar 

When you want a snack but can’t stomach a whole granola bar, Zeitlin says these mini bites are just what you need. “With 5 grams of protein, 100 calories, and only 5 grams of sugar, they make for a great post-workout snack,” she tells SELF.

Courtesy of Perfect Bar

Halo Top Ice Cream

While ice cream’s not exactly known as a midday snack (though, why not?), Zeitlin says Halo Top is a great way to indulge, because the ice cream is packed with protein and low in sugar and calories. “I am a mint chip kind of girl, but you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors,” she says.

Courtesy of Halo Top

Mary’s Gone Crackers

If you’re going to pick a cracker, this is your best bet. Clark says they’re made with whole grains and packed with fiber and healthy fats—not what you’d expect from your standard cracker. She likes to pair them with hummus or another protein-rich dip for a well-rounded snack.

Courtesy of Mary's Gone Crackers

Siggi's Skyr

Cara Harbstreet, M.S., R.D., L.D., of Street Smart Nutrition, loves skyr—an Icelandic cultured dairy product similar to Greek yogurt. Especially Siggi's. “This packaged snack is almost filling enough to become a small meal,” she tells SELF. She says you can easily pair it with a whole grain English muffin, mini bagel, or fresh fruit for a complete breakfast, or eat it by itself for a nourishing bite in-between meals. “I always have at least a few containers of each flavor in my fridge for times when I need a quick snack—especially post workout.”

Courtesy of Siggi's

RX Bars

“I am not usually a huge fan of bars,” Clark explains, “but these ones offer more than 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and they’re made with entirely whole foods, rather than highly processed ingredients.” It’s true: The few ingredients are always prominently displayed on the label, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Of all of their flavors, she likes Chocolate Sea Salt the most.

Courtesy of RX Bar

Justin's

Justin’s is one nut butter brand that only uses whole, recognizable ingredients, which might be why it’s such a fan favorite. The squeeze packs make an easy, spoon-free source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Harbstreet likes to pair the Maple Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut nut butter flavors with apple or banana slices.

Courtesy of Justin's

Terra Chips

Harbstreet likes these because they’ve got a crunch similar to that of kettle chips, but have a shorter ingredient list and not as much salt. “The single serving bags also make it easy to enjoy a moderate portion,” she explains. “I’ll toss a bag into my lunchbox or enjoy one while road tripping.”

Courtesy of Terra

365 Everyday Value Toasted Coconut Chips

Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics swears by these chips, which are made with just three ingredients: coconut, cane sugar, and sea salt. “[They] offer a touch of sweet and salty, which is often just enough to satisfy my snack cravings.”

Courtesy of Whole Foods

Everyday Value 365 Lentil Crisps

“Made from ground lentils and seasoned with a blend of spices, these are a great alternative to potato chips, because they’re full of protein,” says Rumsey. Plus, they’ve got an earthy bean flavor that pairs excellently with both guacamole and salsa.

Courtesy of Whole Foods

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These stores also have a pizza by the slice station (aka the key to my heart and stomach). So, the moral of the story is that Whole Foods 365 is where you can get everything you need for economical prices, held to the same standard as the OG Whole Foods Market. That’s a win-win. 

It’s a store basically made for millennials

Instagram post by Brian Giambalvo

The prices aren’t the whole reason this store has. Whole Foods 365 also features high tech registers and ordering stations—talk about efficiency. There are also stations where you can order prepared foods and make alcohol selections off of iPads. They even make recommendations. Oh, and did I mention there’s an app that helps you build rewards points and get free stuff? Because they have that, too. 

So Far It's Only an East Coast Thing

Besides the previous six locations across the country (in Akron, OH; Cedar Park, TX; Lake Oswego, OR; Concord, CA; Silver Lake, CA; and Santa Monica Pico,CA), Whole Foods 365 just made its way to Brooklyn, New York. And, they just broke-ground for a new location in Weehawken, NJ. So, it’s no surprise that these stores are about to take the nation by storm.

RELATED: Best things to buy

11 PHOTOS
Best things to buy at Whole Foods
See Gallery
Best things to buy at Whole Foods

Freshly baked bread 

Photo: Getty

365 Everyday Value Greek Yogurt

Photo: Getty

Speciality cheeses

Photo: Getty

Oats, grains and beans in the DIY bulk section

Photo: Getty

Frozen foods, i.e. pizza and turkey burgers 

Photo: Getty

Alternative milk products

Photo credit: Getty

Frozen berries

Photo: Shutterstock

Raisins and dry fruit in the DIY bulk section

Photo: Getty

Spices in the DIY bulk section 

Photo: Getty

365 Everyday Value Olive Oil

Photo: Getty

Freshly baked goods from the bakery section 

Photo: Shutterstock

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If you’re convinced that this is going to be your next grocery store favorite, hit up one of their locations and see for yourself why these are the new, improved, and yes, cheaper Whole Foods Markets. 

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