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Here’s what Chicago Now has to say about Mariano’s vs Whole Foods:

I’ve been wondering what grocery store is the best for quality and price so I did a mini comparison.  I picked Whole Foods and Mariano’s mostly because they both are pretty well-rounded stores.  I found that Mariano’s is slightly less expensive but it depends on what you buy of course.  There seems to be more conventional items at Mariano’s just in case you don’t want to go organic with everything.  Although I love Whole Foods, I shop at Mariano’s because it has everything I need in one store and the prices are affordable.  Here’s a few items that I compared:

Whole Foods                                           Mariano’s

asparagus $3.99                                         $3.73

avocado $2                                                  $1.99

organic strawberries $4.99                      $3.50

organic milk $4.19                                     $3.99

32 oz organic yogurt $4.49                       $3.59

Grass fed beef 1 pound $6.99                   $8.68

whole wheat bread house brand$3.99     $2.49

banana $0.59                                                $0.39

The bottom line is the fresh food that you have to prepare yourself is going to be the best price and best for your health.  If you have the time to go to a couple of different stores or farmer’s market to get what you want, then that’s ideal.  But if you are like me and want to do your shopping at one place, I personally like Mariano’s the best.  Although I do hit Whole Foods for the grind-it-yourself peanut butter; I think it’s the best texture and taste and you don’t have to refrigerate it.  I’m sure there are stores that are a good deal for certain items so if you have a suggestion, please post!

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Tim Padavic