I recently had the misfortune of discovering the most expensive item in the ready-made hot foods section of Whole Foods. Knowing everything is priced by the pound, I thought I was being smart and conscientious when I filled up the smallest container with mashed potatoes. “They surely couldn’t charge more than $5 for a small box of potatoes, right?” I told myself.
I proudly walked the items up to the cash register, and the cashier weighed my tiny box. My stomach flopped when “$14” appeared on the screen. “Excuse me, sir. Did you accidentally rest your hand on the scale? I couldn’t possibly have just scooped $14 worth of potatoes into that container,” I said, trying to ease my discomfort. He chuckled and shook his head, “There’s no mistake. The hot bar is the ‘Whole’ in ‘Whole Paycheck,’ hon.” There was no chance I could abandon the container either. Once scooped, must purchase. I simultaneously felt robbed and like a complete idiot.
FYI, everyone, the hot bar is $8.99 a pound. Let it be known that the smallest container fills approximately 1.6 pounds worth of mashed potatoes. Also worth noting, the mashed potatoes from the hot bar are the same price in the hot deli: $8.99. I’m never, ever, ever going back to the Whole Foods hot bar . . . that is, until the 365 by Whole Foods store opens in my neighborhood and the hot bar is priced by the container size, not by weight. The same container at a 365 store would cost me $5.50, a MUCH more reasonable price for mashed potatoes.