Based on a survey of more than 60,000 subscribers, Consumer Reports says that the four stores with the best overall prices on organic foods are:
Trader Joe’s. This California-based grocery chain has about 400 stores scattered across 40 states and the District of Columbia. According to the store’s website, it specializes in “innovative, great-tasting, hard-to-find foods” – including many organic foods – at bargain prices. Most of the products sold in the store are Trader Joe’s own house brand, which appears under diverse names such as “Trader Jose’s” or “Trader Ming’s” for different types of ethnic foods. All Trader Joe’s brand products are guaranteed to be free of GMOs and various artificial ingredients. However, only some of them are organic, so shoppers should check packages to make sure they carry the USDA Organic label. Costco. This chain operates on the warehouse club model: shoppers pay a membership fee to join, and in return, they get access to a wide assortment of bargain-priced products. Some of the best values in the store are from Costco’s house brand, Kirkland Signature. Consumer Reports says that many Kirkland Signature products, including the store’s organic chicken stock, are just as good as top name brands, but are available at a fraction of the cost. The editors also cite Kirkland Signature organic milk and eggs as particular bargains. Wegmans. This small, regional chain has fewer than 100 stores, more than half of them in New York State. Its motto is “Eat Well, Live Well,” so the store focuses on offering fresh, high-quality foods, including organic foods. Its Wegmans Organic line includes a wide range of produce, meat, dairy, and bulk foods such as grains, nuts, and coffee. The store even runs its own organic farm to provide local, organic produce in its New York stores. Sprouts Farmers Markets. This chain has 200-plus stores, mostly in the Southwest. Its focus, according to its website, is “offering fresh, natural, and organic foods at great prices.” Consumer reviews on the Web praise the store’s deals on produce, meats, and bulk-bin items such as nuts and spices.