A Grocery Store Comparison: And The Winner is…

Where To Shop

A quick trip to the corner grocery store could actually be costing you an extra $40 on a cart full of groceries – money that could have been better spent on gas, clothes, library late fees (yes, it’s a real thing), or put into your saving’s account for a rainy day. Convenience shouldn’t be the only factor you consider as you fill up your cart with your food staples – value is just as important. And if you’re like me you go to the store for eggs and you walk out with milk, bread, butter, toilet paper, chicken nuggets, chips, and a couple apples and lemons too. Before you know it your cart is half full! So much for just getting that one thing. But if you’re shopping at a pricey store those extra items are going to add up.

So where is the best bang-for-your-buck place to shop? If you are budget conscious you probably ask yourself this very question every time you go to the store. Am I really getting the best deal here? How do these prices compare? Is it cheaper somewhere else?

To lay those questions to rest, I decided to find out for myself. I took a trip to six of the most popular grocery stores in Longmont, Colorado and did a comparison of products I would normally buy on a regular shopping trip. The stores were Safeway, King Soopers, Target, Vitamin Cottage, Lucky’s and Sprouts. I selected several items from different categories to compare across the stores.

Supermarkets vs. Neighborhood Markets

In compiling the results of this survey, I found products I could compare across all stores to get an overall price comparison. I also took a detailed look between the larger supermarkets and the smaller neighborhood markets. The supermarkets generally carry a wider range of products to appeal to the organic, natural, and everyday consumers. On the other hand, the neighborhood markets focus mainly on a limited selection of organic and natural products. For example, if you know that you’d rather not have high fructose corn syrup in your bread or need some freshly-ground almond butter, then you’d probably have a better chance of finding it at Sprouts, Lucky’s, or Vitamin Cottage than Safeway, King Soopers, or Target.

An across-the-board comparison and a detailed comparison gave me the same results of who won the title of cheapest store. However, different stores seemed to come out ahead in different categories, so I’m going to give you the overall winners, followed by the category winners.

And The Overall Winner Is…

The overall winner for cheapest place to shop is…


Comparing Categories

Now let’s take a look at each category and see how each compares. You can also download the spreadsheet.

The winners in each category are…


Bakeries

In the detailed regular price comparison of bakery items, the winner of supermarkets is King Soopers.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Vitamin Cottage.


Refrigerator & Dairy

In the detailed regular price comparison of refrigerator and dairy products, the winner of supermarkets is Target.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Vitamin Cottage.


Pantry

In the detailed regular price comparison of pantry items, the winner of supermarkets is Target.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Sprouts.


Spices

In the detailed regular price comparison of organic spices, the winner of supermarkets is Target.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Lucky’s.


Bulk & Dry Goods

In the detailed regular price comparison of bulk and dry goods, the winner of supermarkets is Target.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Vitamin Cottage.


Produce

In the detailed regular price comparison of produce, the winner of supermarkets is King Soopers.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Sprouts.


Meat

In the detailed regular price comparison of meats, the winner of supermarkets is King Soopers.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Sprouts.


Freezer Items

In the detailed regular price comparison of freezer items, the winner of supermarkets is Target.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Vitamin Cottage.


Drinks

In the detailed regular price comparison of drinks, the winner of supermarkets is Target.

And for the three neighborhood markets, the winner is Sprouts.


Other Items

In the detailed regular price comparison of other miscellaneous items, the winner of supermarkets is Target.


Conclusion

Is there one store that comes out above the rest in every category? No, and certainly not every item in the Target pantry list is the cheapest everywhere, but when added together you’re going to be saving money.

Is this price comparison going to change where you shop for groceries? I know it will for me! Even still, if there’s a certain product that I like and only one store carries it that store is going to win and hopefully it’s one of the cheaper stores, because as I’m walking out of there with my special vegan, sugar-free sourdough bread, I’ll probably be taking some milk, a pound of pistachios, jasmine green tea, and a bag of potato chips with me.

Happy shopping!

*Note: This comparison was done within a two week time span in March 2016, so that the prices on products would be comparable across the stores and not be fluctuating in and out of season.

Author: Olivia

I am a mom and a homeschooling teacher of two little ones. I am also a Biblical Studies major with a hobby in Creation Science. I love to research Biblical topics and how science and the Bible live in harmony with each other. I learn beside my children when we read, build, and explore with the help of our glorious classroom - God's green Earth!

5 thoughts on “A Grocery Store Comparison: And The Winner is…”

  1. Very interesting! So how about you come down to Tucson and do a grocery store comparison for me? πŸ˜‰

  2. I am curious how Whole Foods 365 brand will measure up with this. It’s still my number one store to shop followed by the Vitamin Cottage.

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