if the name fits – whole paycheck

If the Name “Whole Paycheck” fits… | Accidental Hedonist

I first heard the name “Whole Paycheck” from Moose.. and like most local/cultural nicknames, I had no idea what he was talking about. Then again, if I hadn’t pestered people to stop trying to be cute and clever, I’d still think that the bars in Dupont were named Homega, Sadlands and the Firetrap.

However if you’re a foodie (or a yuppie) no one can deny the appeal of Whole Foods, I just wish it appealed more to the casual shopper too. Where one of the DC WFs is located, there is no other easy option for car-less grocery shoppers to go. And as the Hedonist’s article points out, the cost of goods isn’t that much higher if you have a standard list, but Whole Foods entire layout is designed to nab the impulse shopper. Now put it in an area where people are paying $400-800k for apartments and it seems perfectly suited to grifting the rubes.

If I’m ever meeting people on P St in Logan and I get there early, I can easily kill the time wandering the aisles of Whole Foods, looking at products I didn’t even know existed or items that certainly appear to be better or at least more closely politically aligned than I might find in the Safeway (which have their own nicknames in DC too), Giant or Shoppers Food Warehouse (which went from customer self-bagging to them bagging your purchase for you at some point since I last went). Their produce looks fresher, when in fact it’s just impeccably laid out, the butchers are friendly, asking if they can help you when you’re not even browsing their wares, they have actual wine experts, and the in-store hot/cold bar has selections to tempt even the most picky eater. But ignoring all that, I may have to do a DC comparison myself of the local stores, counting on-sale-this-week items at their regular price. My personal fave is still Harris Teeter (no nickname yet so far as I know), but that’s mainly due to being open 24 hours so I can rent a zipcar at the cheap times, and their store layout feels bigger to me – and I admit, I’m totally sold on the self-checkout. I think anyone that’s worked behind the register feels they can scan and bag much faster than anyone they go to now.

Still, if I can resist the pre-prepared meats and seafoods, not load up on overly pricy cheeses, back away from the wine section and stay the HELL away from the bakery section… I bet it wouldn’t be that bad. Then again, most of the brands I clip coupons for aren’t carried at Whole Foods, so that puts it out of the running more often than not anyway. 😉

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