Forget Whole Paycheck, How About Whole Savings?

September 15, 2011
By

Even though we keep hearing in the news about how the price for groceries is going up, my husband and I have noticed an interesting trend: the grocery stores that we once considered to be too expensive for regular shopping oftentimes offer better deals or cheaper prices than “regular” supermarkets.

For example, I’ve always considered Wegman’s to be beyond my reach, financially. I get that Wegman’s is a lovely place to shop–the first time my husband food shopped there, he jokingly asked, “Do you think I could move in to Wegman’s?” But I’d always assumed that with higher “production” values comes higher prices. Recently, though, a full cart of groceries at Wegman’s came in at about $100 whereas a similar cart at our local grocery store the next week clocked in at $170–with coupons!

Turns out I’m not the only one noticing that flip flop between “upscale” supermarkets and regular supermarkets. Or at least someone has quantified the difference I’ve noticed.

Whole Foods Market hired Harris Interactive to do an online survey called The Food Shopping Trends Tracker. It compared Whole Foods Market prices to competing supermarkets in four different, pricey locations. Here is a chart with that survey’s results.

Seattle, WA San Francisco, CA Fairfax, VA Atlanta, GA
Items WFM Fred
Meyer
(Kroger)*
WFM Safeway** WFM Wegmans*** WFM Publix****
Annie’s
Homegrown
Macaroni &
Cheese, 6 oz
$1.99 $1.59 $2.19 $2.49 $1.99 $1.49 $2.19 $2.29
Organic Free
Range Chicken
Broth, 32 oz
(Private Label)
$1.99 $2.49 $1.99 $3.39 $2.29 $2.99
Pacific
Natural
$1.99 $2.99
Pacific
Natural
Sweet Cream
Butter, 16 oz
(Private Label)
$2.99 $2.99 $2.99 $3.99 $2.99 $2. 79 $3.29 $3.19
Organic Kidney
Beans, 15 oz
can (Private
Label)
$1.00 $0.99 $1.19 $1.69 $1.19 $1.99 $1.19 $1.29
Brown, Cage
Free, Grade A
Eggs, 1 doz
(Private Label)
$2.79 $2.49 $2.99 $2.99 $2.49 $2.99 $2.29 $2.09
EnviroKidz
Organic Cereal,
Gorilla Munch,
15.3 oz
$2.99 $2.89 $2.89 $3.49 $2.89 $2.89 $2.89 $4.69
Frozen Whole
Strawberries, 16
oz (Private
Label)
$1.69 $2.99 $1.69 $2.99 $2.49 $2.99 $1.69 $2.69
Organic 1%
Milk, Half Gallon
(Private Label)
$2.99 $2.99 $3.29 $3.69 $3.29 $3.39 $3.69 $3.69
Organic Yellow
Mustard, 9 oz
(Private Label)
$1.99 $3.79
Annie’s
Naturals
$1.79 $2.69 $1.99 $3.49
Annie’s
Naturals
$1.99 $2.19
Organic Tomato
Basil Pasta
Sauce, 25 oz
(Private Label)
$2.29 $3.38
Newman’s
Own
$2.69 $3.29 $2.29 $2.29 $2.29 $2.69
Newman’s
Own
Organic
Crunchy Peanut
Butter, 18 oz
(Private Label)
$3.39 $3.49 $3.69 $3.99 $2.99 $2.99 $3.29 $2.79
Not Organic
Organic
Romaine
Hearts, 3 pack
$3.99 $3.00 $2.49 $4.49 $2.79 $3.99 $3.99 $2.79
Organic
Refrigerated,
Plain Soymilk,
Half Gallon
(Private Label)
$2.99 $2.89 $2.99 $3.49 $2.99 $2.69 $2.99 $2.69
Organic Lowfat,
Plain Yogurt,
Quart (Private
Label)
$2.79 $3.29 $2.99 $3.39 $2.99 $3.69
Stonyfield
Farms
$2.99 $3.59
Stonyfield
Farms
Total $35.87 $39.26 $35.86 $46.06 $35.66 $40.66 $36.76 $39.66

Now, I realize that Whole Foods paid for this survey but this part of the survey makes me believe that the findings were worth sharing with my frugal audience:

All prices were collected in person by a third-party independent contractor and reflect regular retail prices only.

So, maybe the saying “Whole paycheck” is no longer relevant at Whole Foods?

Have you found supermarket savings in unexpected stores lately as well?

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3 Responses to Forget Whole Paycheck, How About Whole Savings?

  1. [...] Price: $ 31.16 Price: $ 20.66 Pack of 2, 3-pound bags Organic cat food Made with organic grains and vegetables Newman's Own® Org…ve%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB001GVIUYA"> Pack of 2, 3-pound [...]

  2. Leah Ingram on September 15, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Sometimes we’ll get a rotisserie chicken for dinner, and then serve sides that we make at home. The chicken we get from Wegman’s is between $4 and $5. At Giant, right around the corner? Between $7 and $8! While that’s still cheap for feeding a family of four, I’d rather not pay double for the same item!

    Leah

  3. Jen A. Miller on September 15, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Wegmans can be expensive if you’re buying their pre-made foods or some brands. But if you shop the Wegmans brand? My dog loves their dog food and I think it’s under $4 a bag.

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