Sprouts may not be as flashy as Central Market or as hippie-dippy as Whole Foods, but what they lack in pizzazz they more than make up for in price and convenience. Have you ever actually tried to shop at Whole Foods or Central Market at 7 p.m. on a weeknight? You'd be lucky to get out of there alive without being trampled by ravenous Uptowners. But at Sprouts you can pick up the same Kashi cereals, vegetarian chick'n patties and tofu cream cheeses, often for less money, and be out of there in no time. Their produce selection may not be as extensive as some of their hoity-toity competitors, but their fruits and vegetables are always fresh and cheap, and their meals-to-go and bulk departments aren't shabby either. And if you're running low on dough, check out their weekly ad at sprouts.com
, where they let you in on all the best deals. Bartlett pears at 69 cents a pound?! Check and mate, Whole Foods.