Whole Foods and Trader Joes are wonderful until they are the only options in your neighborhood. It is completely possible to walk into Whole Foods and spend a couple hundred dollars more to fill the same grocery list you could knock out for fifty bucks elsewhere. The same goes for the swank stores of Manhattan like Dean and Deluca and Westside Market. If your neighborhood has a normal grocery store, you can expect inflated prices and substandard produce. Shelves will be inexplicably empty. Don't worry, if they are fresh out of greek yogurt or your favorite brand of peanut butter, you can head over to the bodega and pay whatever price the cashier feels like making up. I have friends who will rent ZipCars and head to Jersey for food rather than endure the high-end Hell that is grocery shopping in New York City. No amount of artisanal cheese is worth bankruptcy or the legendary lines at the Union Square Trader Joes. Remember that when you consider taking your cloth shopping bag for one more round at Whole Foods.