Which Grocery store in the area is cheapest? The results

June 17, 2011 by
Filed under: Grocery 

Several weeks ago, after compiling a bunch of comments from readers, friends and family that said “Fred’s grocery store prices are so high” or “Joe’s grocery store has the lowest prices in town”, or “Have you ever shopped at Big Box o’ Groceries?” I decided I needed to put my nose to the grindstone and find out if all the generalizations people make are true. Let’s face it, even I had some preconceived notions about particular stores. And while many of us shop the sales to get the best deals, I think it’s the items that aren’t on sale that are just as important.  Besides, I hate generalizations–I want facts to back them up!

Here’s how I did my unscientific research. I asked friends and family for items they frequently buy from the store, then whittled my list down to about 30 different items which included everything from:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • butter
  • peanut butter
  • mustard
  • ketchup
  • loaves of bread (white and whole grain)
  • hamburger and hot dog buns,
  • beer
  • soda
  • I also included all sorts of  popular “dead animal”  choices like
      • boneless skinless chicken breast
      • pork chops
      • ground beef, chuck or round, etc.

I then went to seven grocery stores in the Green Bay area to check the regular prices on these items: Aldis, Copps, Festival Foods, Piggly Wiggly, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Woodmans.  Green Bay Consumer reader Rebecca finished it off with a visit to SuperValu on Webster. With respect to mom and pop stores like Mason Brothers Red Owl or Austin’s Market who do fill a niche market, I did not include them in this research.

Rebecca and I chose the lowest priced item, regardless of size or whether it was brand name or generic. The lowest unit price we found is the number we used for that particular store.

Since many stores carried items in different sizes, I broke the item down into unit prices (ounces/pounds, etc). I then multiplied those totals by an average amount. For example, if I were buying diapers at Sam’s Club, the lowest price I could find was $32.99 for 200 diapers which is 16.4 cents per diaper. Then I multiplied that by an average number for diaper packages (48) because no one buys just one diaper.

Drum roll please:

Woodman’s was the Green Bay Consumer winner, which edged out Aldi by $1.43 for the 30+ items I priced. Darnit, my mother was right. Woodman’s does have the best prices around. One should never doubt their mother….

As you can see, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Festival Foods are in the next bracket for costs, with SuperValu, Copps and Piggly Wiggly being the highest-priced stores for their everyday regular prices.  Any surprises from my results?

I’ll further break down my observations including which stores have the best/worst in particular areas in part two this series “Which Grocery store in the area is cheapest?

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13 Comments on Which Grocery store in the area is cheapest? The results

  1. Shelly@GBSavers on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 1:30 pm
  2. Great post! I am not surprised at all by the results but it’s good to have real “proof”! Guess the bottom line is, and always has been, know your prices and shop the SALES!

    Looking forward to Part 2, because there are a few things (like produce!) that can make a big difference in choosing a store.

  3. Danielle on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 5:10 pm
  4. Not too surprising. Woodman’s is on the opposite side of town for me so I will continue to shop Festival. I usually shop the sales anyway. Thanks for doing the research.

  5. Anne Tess on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 7:11 pm
  6. YAY!!! This confirms what I’ve been thinkin’ all along — Woodman’s is the cheapest!!! Which is why we do the majority of our shopping there! Thanks for doing this! :-)

  7. Mary Ruth on Wed, 22nd Jun 2011 7:06 pm
  8. Thank you for this information! I do the majority of my shopping at Woodman’s. I love the Pig though! They have great meat, produce and deli! I NEVER have to wait in line at the Pig, even on a Packer Sunday! They always have plenty of checkouts staffed! Time is money! :-)

    […] use Aldi occcasionally; I'm not loyal to any one store. But a while back I did research of all the grocery stores and the regular prices on popular items to see who really had the best prices in town. Aldi might have come in first place except for the […]

  9. Mrs W on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 3:41 pm
  10. Please keep in mind, Sam Club would cost a little more than the other stores because Sam’s Club has a yearly membership fee.

  11. The Bargain Sleuth on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 3:47 pm
  12. Thanks for the input, Mrs. W. In part two of the series, I mention that fact. This post was mainly the results of my research. Part two goes into further details.


  13. The Cost of Double Coupons | Green Bay Consumer on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 2:53 pm
  14. […] my research this past summer showed (and you can see it here), Copps regular prices on items is a lot higher than many other grocery options in the Green Bay […]

  15. barb on Fri, 6th Jul 2012 11:21 pm
  16. I was wondering about how well target prices are now that they have enlarged the grocery area. I just started couponing and really like the store coupons and stack with manufacter coupons. Where does Target prices fall into on the list?

  17. The Bargain Sleuth on Sat, 7th Jul 2012 10:55 am
  18. I’ve been wondering about that as well. Unfortunately, this year I don’t know if I have the time it takes to conduct the “informal” research again.

  19. Liz Hessler on Thu, 15th Nov 2012 10:26 am
  20. What great information, love your website

  21. Deb on Tue, 12th Nov 2013 7:16 pm
  22. Well, I like Woodmans but poor service as they rarely have enough checkouts open. My husband refuses to shop there. He hates standing in lines of 5 or more people and we don’t even go there during busy times. My time is worth money too.

  23. rose on Sat, 15th Mar 2014 12:31 pm
  24. Hello, I am a new subscriber and I am wondering if you would possibly run this test again for 2014? I love what I have seen so far on your site. Thanks for sharing it with us all.

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