12 Pantry Staples You Should Grab From Whole Foods

When it comes to grocery shopping, there are some stores that have certain products you know you love. For example, you may know that you need to take a trip to Costo to buy a rotisserie chicken, or you may choose to do your shopping at Publix so you can grab a pub-sub on your way out. But when it comes to many of the pantry staples you use on a weekly basis — we're talking essentials like peanut butter and rice — you may assume it doesn't matter where you go grocery shopping.

However, that's not always the case. Some grocery stores will offer a better deal on your favorite products, and others may stock higher-quality essentials than what you can find at other chains. That's why we've put together this list of some of the best pantry staples to buy when you find yourself at Whole Foods Market. The massive grocery chain is known for its often pricey products, but sometimes, you can get an especially good deal (and sometimes, it's well worth the extra money to get a better food product).

These may or may not be your favorite foods to stock up on when you go to Whole Foods Market, but hopefully, this list can get you thinking a bit more about where you shop and what you buy so you can be a bit more thoughtful about your grocery shopping habits. These are the pantry staples you should grab from Whole Foods Market.

Sparkling beverages

These days, most grocery chains you go to will have their own line of off-brand sparkling water. Some of these store brands are actually better than the more recognizable name brands, while others miss the mark completely. We're happy to report, though, that Whole Foods Market's 365 sparkling water is one of the better options on the market. Although some sparkling water brands go flat only a few minutes after you open the can, that's not the case with the ones you'll find at Whole Foods Market — they're very carbonated and stay bubbly for a long time after you open them. We also love that they carry flavors you won't find at many other stores. For example, sparkling ginger water is one of our all-time favorites.

Not a big sparkling water person? Whole Foods Market also carries its own line of Italian sodas, which, if you ask us, are better than pretty much any name-brand soda out there. Choose from flavors like melon peach, berry blend, and blood orange. They're delicious on their own, or you can mix them with some plain sparkling water to keep the flavor on the lighter, spritzer side.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of those products that can be really unpleasant when you buy the wrong brand. The best olive oils have a distinct spiciness to them — they're not hot, per se, but they do leave a slight burning sensation on your tongue. They're also quite bitter. After all, olive oil is famous for its striking flavor, not its neutrality. But all too often when you buy olive oil at the grocery store, you'll be met with incredibly mild-tasting, uninteresting oil that you barely want to put in a salad. This is especially true when you decide to opt for cheaper store-brand olive oils.

If you're looking for a better option that won't break the bank, you may want to head to Whole Foods Market. Compared to many other olive oil brands, Whole Foods Market's olive oil tends to be relatively affordable. However, that doesn't mean you're getting low-quality. It may not be the best, freshest olive oil you've ever tasted in your life, but it does have a lovely fruity quality to it that makes it especially perfect for pairing with freshly baked bread. So, if you're looking for a way to cut costs at the grocery store without having to sacrifice too much when it comes to quality, switching to olive oil from Whole Foods Market is a good move.

365 Cereals

One thing we love about Whole Foods Market is that it often offers store-brand products that are better than the originals they're trying to riff on, what's certainly the case when it comes to the store's cereals. Although Whole Foods Market sells a wide array of cereal brands, all of our favorites are actually from Whole Foods' 365 brand. Sometimes, these cereals are cheaper than the name-brand options — other times, they're not. But in most cases, we think the quality is worth the slightly increased price you'll pay at the checkout.

Some of our favorite cereal flavors from Whole Foods Market's store brand include the Cocoa Rice Krispies, which is the Cocoa Puffs/Rice Krispies crossover of our dreams, as well as the Peanut Butter and Cocoa Balls, which offers a distinctly Reese's-like flavor profile to a Cocoa Puffs-inspired cereal. For adults, the Fruit and Nut Muesli is a particularly good choice, as it offers more flavor and crunch than most name-brand mueslis on the market. And don't forget the Marshmallow Galaxy flavor, which is a glorified and much-improved version of Lucky Charms.

365 Peanut Butter

When it comes to shopping for peanut butter, it may seem like you only have two options. First, you could opt for the cheaper, super recognizable name-brand peanut butter out there, only to glance at the ingredients when you get home to realize there's a lot more in the jar than just the peanuts themselves. With tons of added sugar and salt (in addition to ingredients that you can't even pronounce), it's clear that these peanut butter brands are not offering the best product available on store shelves. Alternatively, you could spring for the expensive "natural" peanut butter that you have to stir for about five minutes until it no longer has the texture of an oily soup. Either way, you're probably not getting what you want.

That's why you should consider buying your peanut butter at Whole Foods Market instead. The store's 365 brand offers some of the best peanut butter on the market, which tends to be less expensive than most natural peanut butter brands. Most of the varieties come with no added sugar, and some don't come with any added salt, either, so you can feel good about what you're putting on your sandwich.

Bulk nuts

When you're trying to get a good deal on pantry staples, one of your best bets is to buy in bulk. We love this method because you get to choose exactly how much of an ingredient you need for a dish — there's no reason to buy a huge bag of green lentils, for example, if you're just going to use them in a single recipe. This is even more true when it comes to nuts. Because nuts can be so pricey, you want to make sure you're only getting what you need. That's why we love heading to the bulk section when we're at Whole Foods Market.

There are a few advantages to buying nuts in bulk from Whole Foods Market. First of all, it tends to be cheaper than buying pre-packaged nuts, which is reason enough to head to the bulk aisle. But it's also a great option because it cuts down on waste since you can reuse the same packaging again and again. It'll also give you the opportunity to try out different flavor combinations. By purchasing small quantities of different nuts and other ingredients, you can make your own trail mixes or granola combinations without buying several different packages of ingredients. It's a great option to explore if you're trying to find ways to make your grocery shopping experience more efficient.

365 Pasta Sauce

These days, when grocery store prices appear to be skyrocketing, buying something as simple as a jar of pasta sauce can feel like it's going to break your budget. A jar of the ultra-popular Rao's pasta sauce, for example, could set you back as much as $8 in some parts of the country. When you're spending that much on just the sauce alone, you may feel like it's a better price just to order takeout instead of making pasta at home.

Therefore, you may be looking for a cheaper option that still tastes just as good as the brands you already know you love. Well, we're here to report that Whole Foods Market actually has an amazing selection of pasta sauces. If you want to keep things simple, you can opt for an easy Tomato Basil or Italian herb sauce, which works well with just about any ingredient you want to add to your pasta. Want a bit more flavor in your pasta dish? Turn to the Roasted Garlic flavor, or try the Creamy Vodka sauce for an easy version of a classic. We happen to think that the Spicy Arrabbiata and Portobello pasta sauces are the best of the bunch, but it's up to you to try them for yourself to decide which ones you like best.

365 Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

Vegetable broth is one of those ingredients you should always keep stocked in your pantry. It's something that's necessary for so many different recipes, from soups to sauces, and it's so much easier than making a broth from scratch every time you need one. However, if you look at the nutritional info on a lot of cartons of vegetable broth, you'll likely notice how much sodium each serving contains. Spoiler alert: It's a lot. For some people, a little extra salt every once in a while may not be a problem. However, for others, it's an issue that requires more careful attention.

That's why low-sodium vegetable broth is a better choice for some home cooks, whether you're limiting your salt intake for health or flavor. But if you've ever tasted low-sodium vegetable broth before, you may have found yourself feeling disappointed. After all, a lot of these broths are objectively lacking in flavor. If you're looking for a lower sodium content in your broth and you actually want it to taste good, you may want to try Whole Foods Market's 365 version. This is one of the most flavorful low-sodium broths we've ever tasted, and it's become a staple in our pantries.

365 Whole Peeled Tomatoes

During the height of summer, you probably want to eat your tomatoes fresh — there's nothing better than a vine-ripened tomato in the middle of the August heat. However, for much of the rest of the year, the fresh tomatoes you'll find will be less than pleasant tasting, and they're often pretty expensive. That doesn't mean you have to nix all the tomatoes from your diet, though. If you want to eat tomatoes out of season, your best bet is to opt for canned tomatoes. They often taste better than fresh tomatoes do in the middle of winter, and because they're canned, they don't spoil, so you can use them whenever you need them.

There are a wide variety of different types of canned tomatoes to choose from, from diced to paste. However, we think that whole peeled tomatoes, like those from Whole Foods' 365 brand, tend to be the most versatile. Since you're actually working with whole tomatoes, you can choose whether you want to leave them intact or chop them into smaller pieces, and you don't even have to worry about removing the skin. This gives you more control than most other types of canned tomatoes. Since Whole Foods Market's whole canned tomatoes are picked and packed the same day, you know you're getting a fresh flavor, too.

365 Brown Rice

You may already know that brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, but that doesn't mean you necessarily prefer the brown variety. While white rice tends to have a very subtle flavor, the flavor of brown rice is a bit more pronounced, with a hint of nuttiness that some people love — and other people hate. If you fall into the latter category but are still interested in integrating more brown rice into your diet, you should check out Whole Foods' 365 brown rice. Although, yes, it does have that same nutty flavor you've grown to expect from brown rice, we think it tends to be a less intense flavor than many other brands of brown rice we've tried before. It has a mildness to it that makes it ideal for those who tend to prefer white rice over brown.

Another benefit of Whole Foods Market's brown rice? We also think it has a softer texture than other brands of brown rice we've tried before. If the main thing keeping you away from eating more brown rice is the texture, then this is definitely a brand you'll want to try out.

365 Tahini

Tahini is one of those ingredients that can be really hit or miss depending on what brand you decide to buy. The best tahinis are creamy but not oily, thick but not impossible to drizzle, and nutty but not so intense that it drowns out all of the other flavors in a dish. Of all the tahini brands we've tried, Whole Foods' 365 tahini may just be our favorite. It contains only organic ground sesame seeds and toasted sesame seed salt, so you know you're getting nothing more than the basics.

Although some tahinis can be on the bland side, that's not what you're going to get when you opt for this Whole Foods Market tahini. That toasted sesame salt gives this product a ton of flavor — so much so, in fact, that you may want to give the tahini a try before you add any more salt to your dish. Since tahini can be expensive, you want to know you're getting quality, and Whole Foods Market definitely delivers on that front.

365 Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup

If you want to buy maple syrup to sweeten your oatmeal or to drizzle on your pancakes, you should know that not all types of maple syrup taste the same. When you want the highest quality available, you should be looking for Grade A maple syrup, and we happen to love the 365 Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup from Whole Foods Market.

The dark maple syrup has a deeper, richer flavor than you may be used to, but that concentrated flavor is what makes us choose this variety over others — you don't need to use as much to get that signature maple flavor in your dish. Because you have that depth of flavor, you can get a less-sweet flavor profile without sacrificing all that richness. A lot of the syrups you'll see on store shelves are little more than glorified corn syrup, but we keep coming back to this Whole Foods Market Dark Maple Syrup again and again for its flavor and quality.

365 No Salt Added Canned Beans

Canned beans are one of our all-time favorite pantry staples because they're just so versatile. You can add canned beans to a bit of rice, and you'll have an easy dinner that only takes a few minutes to throw together, or you can go all out and make bean soup, bean dip, or basically any other recipe that calls for beans — all without having to spend hours soaking and boiling your beans on the stove. However, you may have noticed that most canned beans you buy are absolutely packed with salt, which may not be ideal if you're trying to watch your sodium intake.

That's why we love the fact that Whole Foods Market offers no-salt-added canned beans, which you won't find from every bean brand out there. These beans allow you all the ease of cooking with canned beans without overwhelming you with the high sodium content. From black beans to garbanzo beans, you'll find plenty of no-salt-added options at Whole Foods Market.