Comparison of grocery prices?

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Pajamas
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Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm

Another thread raised the issue of grocery prices. I thought it would be useful to Bogleheads to post what they paid for groceries and where they bought them to make comparisons with the potential to save money.

I shop mostly at Trader Joe's, a national chain which has regional prices and local prices for certain items such as milk and eggs, which makes their prices very reasonable and competitive for a high cost of living area like NYC. I don't have stores such as Costco or Aldi or Walmart in walking distance.

Just got back from a limited shopping trip for mostly perishables to eat over the next week or so.

Whole milk, gallon - $3.69
Large eggs, dozen - $1.99
Bananas, each - $0.19
California Style Sprouted Wheat Bread, 24 oz. - $3.99
Asparagus, 1 lb. - $1.99
Ataulfo mangoes, each - $0.79
Teeny tiny Hass avocados, six - $2.99
Bran flakes, 17.3 oz. - $1.99
Blood oranges, 2 lb. - $2.79
Grape tomatoes, 1 lb. - $2.69
Last edited by Pajamas on Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ddurrett896
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by ddurrett896 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:25 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Bran flakes, 17.3 oz. - $19.99
Please tell me this is a typo

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Pajamas
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:26 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:25 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Bran flakes, 17.3 oz. - $19.99
Please tell me this is a typo
No, they're organic. :mrgreen:

Just kidding, yes, should have been $1.99.

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MnyGrl
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:47 pm

I used to shop at Trader Joe's most of the time, but Aldi's seems to have many of the same products for less, just in different packaging.

I used to spend about $125 every two weeks at Trader Joe's, but that is down to about $85/two weeks at Aldi's. It doesn't have the upscale atmosphere and you have to bag your groceries but it is definitely worth it!

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Pajamas
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:50 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:47 pm
I used to shop at Trader Joe's most of the time, but Aldi's seems to have many of the same products for less, just in different packaging.

I used to spend about $125 every two weeks at Trader Joe's, but that is down to about $85/two weeks at Aldi's. It doesn't have the upscale atmosphere and you have to bag your groceries but it is definitely worth it!
You provided absolutely zero actual grocery prices for comparison, so your post is off-topic.

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MnyGrl
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:54 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:50 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:47 pm
I used to shop at Trader Joe's most of the time, but Aldi's seems to have many of the same products for less, just in different packaging.

I used to spend about $125 every two weeks at Trader Joe's, but that is down to about $85/two weeks at Aldi's. It doesn't have the upscale atmosphere and you have to bag your groceries but it is definitely worth it!
You provided absolutely zero actual grocery prices so your post is off-topic.
Hey, you didn't either! So yours is off topic too. :D

The Aldi near me has milk (gallon) for $1.85, and eggs for $1.09. I live in a HCOL area.

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Pajamas
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:59 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:54 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:50 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:47 pm
I used to shop at Trader Joe's most of the time, but Aldi's seems to have many of the same products for less, just in different packaging.

I used to spend about $125 every two weeks at Trader Joe's, but that is down to about $85/two weeks at Aldi's. It doesn't have the upscale atmosphere and you have to bag your groceries but it is definitely worth it!
You provided absolutely zero actual grocery prices so your post is off-topic.
Hey, you didn't either! So yours is off topic too. :D

The Aldi near me has milk (gallon) for $1.85, and eggs for $1.09. I live in a HCOL area.
A half-gallon of milk for $1.85 is equivalent to $3.70 a gallon, which is a penny more what I just paid at Trader Joe's. Egg prices vary almost weekly from $0.99 to $2.69 or so over the last couple of years. I do agree that Aldi is generally less expensive than Trader Joe's, although I haven't shopped at Aldi's recently. They also do carry some of the same items in different packaging and Aldi's is usually less expensive. I am hoping that Aldi's and Lidl both come to my neighborhood.

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MnyGrl
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:00 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:59 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:54 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:50 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:47 pm
I used to shop at Trader Joe's most of the time, but Aldi's seems to have many of the same products for less, just in different packaging.

I used to spend about $125 every two weeks at Trader Joe's, but that is down to about $85/two weeks at Aldi's. It doesn't have the upscale atmosphere and you have to bag your groceries but it is definitely worth it!
You provided absolutely zero actual grocery prices so your post is off-topic.
Hey, you didn't either! So yours is off topic too. :D

The Aldi near me has milk (gallon) for $1.85, and eggs for $1.09. I live in a HCOL area.
A half-gallon of milk for $1.85 is equivalent to $3.70 a gallon, which is a penny more what I just paid at Trader Joe's. Egg prices vary almost weekly from $0.99 to $2.69 or so over the last couple of years. I do agree that Aldi is generally less expensive than Trader Joe's, although I haven't shopped at Aldi's recently. They also do carry some of the same items in different packaging and Aldi's is usually less expensive. I am hoping that Aldi's and Lidl both come to my neighborhood.
I revised my post, meant a gallon.

neilpilot
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by neilpilot » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:01 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:54 pm

The Aldi near me has milk (gallon) for $1.85, and eggs for $1.09. I live in a HCOL area.
Just bought large eggs at Aldi for $0.89. Maybe that's an Easter special? Still waiting for our first Trader Joe's, which has been rumored to be on the way for a couple of years and is now expected late 2018.

wrongfunds
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:11 pm

I suppose I could tell you about prices at Market Basket but I already did that on FatWallet :-)

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telemark
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by telemark » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:31 pm

$2.99/dozen at Natural Foods for cage free omega plus eggs, from Amish farmers yet. Not the cheapest option, but I like the flavor and a dozen lasts me about a week, so it's not a major expense. I don't like milk, so I don't buy that.

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ray.james
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by ray.james » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:38 pm

At my local costco

Whole milk, gallon - $4.64 - 2 gallons
Large eggs, dozen - $3.24 - 2 dozens
Bananas, each - 1.36 - 7-8 bananas
Ataulfo mangoes, each - $0.79 - same I think
Large Hass avocados, six - $7.59
6 Organic Bell peppers - 6.99
Organic Jumbo Onions 10 pounds 4.64
Tomatoes on vine 1.86 per pound.

Let me know if you need any other specific item.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939

Hillview
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Hillview » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:50 pm

Boston area here -- I purchase a subset of what you get so here's the pricing at Wegman's
Whole milk, HALF gallon - $3.49 (Organic)
Large eggs, dozen - $3,99 (Organic)
Bananas, each - $0.39 a lb (59 cents for Organic)
Grape tomatoes, 1 lb. - $3.99 (Organic)
Last edited by Hillview on Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

SeekingAPlan
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by SeekingAPlan » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:35 pm

Today I got a gallon of milk @ Aldi's for $1.75 and 18 eggs @ Target for $.99. Skipped the eggs @ Aldi because they were $2.15 for a dozen and I knew Target had a sale & I was passing right by.

nm451
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by nm451 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:49 pm

Live in Hawaii on Oahu. Outer Islands are probably at least 20%+ more for groceries.
I shop mostly at Sam's Club/Don Quijote (Japanese Chain)/Palama Market (Local Korean Chain), so mostly the cheapest options around. Regularly go to Foodland (Local Chain) if the other options don't have what I need or for sale items. Sometimes go to Farmer's Markets to look for special/unusual items. Rarely go to Costco/Safeway/Whole Foods unless it is for something highly specific.

All items are non-organic
2% Milk, Gallon - $4.69 (Sam's)
Heavy Cream, 1 qt - $7.99? (Sam's)
Whole mushrooms, 2lb - $4.99 (Sam's)
Chicken Thighs/Legs - $1.59/lb (Sam's)
Rib eye, whole loin, $8.69/lb (Sam's)
Large eggs, dozen - $4.79 (Local producer - Don Quijote)
Generic Large eggs, dozen - $2.99ish? (Don Q, don't buy)
Broccoli - $2.99/lb (Don Q)
Carrots - $2.49/lb (Don Q)
Bananas - $1.29/lb (Don Q)
Sour Cream, 16oz, $2.69 (Don Q)
Asparagus $1.99/lb (Don Q - Did not buy-really poor looking)
Avocados 2 for $3 (Don Q - Did not buy really small)
Tomatoes on vine - $1.99/6 (Don Q - Do not buy, grow own)
Bell Peppers - $4.99ish? (Do not buy, grow own)
Onions - $1.59/lb (Don Q)
Mangos - $2.99/lb (Foodland - Do not buy, get free from neighbors)

quantAndHold
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:52 pm

Your TJ’s prices are pretty much the same to the penny as my Southern California TJ’s prices.

FraggleRock
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Eat well. You may die tomorrow.

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:16 pm

I no longer care about food prices.
Yes, price performance is important. When 2 different, taste the same to me, OJ cartons are in front me, I will pick the cheaper one.
But, for many other foods, {cheese, raw meat, bread, charcuterie, olive oil, butter, refritos, tortillas, beer}, I am going for performance. Price be damned (is ignored).

Cheese - https://www.cheeseandprovisions.com
Meat - http://ilporcellinodenver.com and http://www.edwards-meats.com
Bread - http://raleighstreetbakery.com
Cured meats - http://www.belfioreitaliansausage.com
Refritos - https://www.yelp.com/biz/pochitos-torti ... ory-denver
Beer - http://calltoarmsbrewing.com
Last edited by FraggleRock on Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dziuniek
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by dziuniek » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:06 pm

I am the same, but I think the point of the thread is to showcase just how much different areas/regions vary in price.

(they sure do)

jlawrence01
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by jlawrence01 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:33 am

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm

Whole milk, gallon - $3.69 1.89
Large eggs, dozen - $1.99 $0.99 or free from one of my neighbors
Bananas, each - $0.19 $0.49/ lb for Cavendish, $0.69/ lb for Thai bananas
California Style Sprouted Wheat Bread, 24 oz. - $3.99 Only buy artisan bread day-old - $0.99-1.79/ 16-24 oz
Asparagus, 1 lb. - $1.99 Depend on the season - from $0.79 to 1.00; don't buy over that rate
Ataulfo mangoes, each - $0.79 $0.50-.-0.69 ea or $3 per case some weeks
Teeny tiny Hass avocados, six - $2.99 Almost always available at 4/$1 whether i buy them depends on condition
Bran flakes, 17.3 oz. - $1.99 I never pay over $1.50 for any dry cereal.
Blood oranges, 2 lb. - $2.79 NOT AVAILABLE in this market
Grape tomatoes, 1 lb. - $2.69 $0.35-0.99 depending on the week


My market is the Tucson market although we live in a "food desert" as defined by the USDA as we have no local supermarkets at all.

Much of my produce is purchased for about $0.15-0.25/ lb off of a food salvage non-profit as many of the warehouses of the Western Mexico distributors are in our neighborhood. We prefer the Mexican produce over the California as it is generally fresher and of higher quality.

As much as I liked Trader Joe's back in the days when we lived in markets without their stores, I find them to be very expensive, especially on fresh produce and meats I much prefer Aldi. However, until they get their new Phoenix warehouse open in Fall 2018, we only shop there when we drive back home to the Midwest or to El Centro, CA in the imperial Valley.

HongKonger
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by HongKonger » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:28 am

Whole Milk - around US$1 per litre so $4 per gallon
Large eggs - $1.50 for 10 caged eggs
Bananas - $1.50 per pound
Sprouted wheat bread - erm... no such thing available.
Asparagus - not available out of season
Mangoes - not available out of season
Avocado - not available out of season
Bran flakes - not a clue, I haven't bean down a cereal aisle for over 20 years
Blood Oranges - not available out of season
Cherry tomatoes - not available out of season

Based on large supermarket in the 2nd largest city of the poorest country in the EU.

denovo
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by denovo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:45 am

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Another thread raised the issue of grocery prices. I thought it would be useful to Bogleheads to post what they paid for groceries and where they bought them to make comparisons with the potential to save money.

I suppose there's too many regional variations in prices that it would make comparisons difficult. Also, a lot of chains don't have a national footprint.

I'd say a few things apply though to everyone.

1. Prepared/cooked foods are more expensive.

2. Run away from Whole Foods if you want to save $$$.

3. If you're willing to shop sales/coupon/be flex with your diet it saves money.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

gd
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by gd » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:54 am

dziuniek wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:06 pm
I am the same, but I think the point of the thread is to showcase just how much different areas/regions vary in price.
OP says stores, not areas/regions. Problem is that area/region can make absolute prices pointless, you've got to compare various stores in your area and post the differences, not absolute prices. Which for me, like you, is irrelevant because food prices were one of the first things I worked on when peeling off my lifetime habit of frugality and compulsive saving to actually enjoy the fruits (!) of my lifestyle labors. I choose my stores based on supporting local stores & avoiding neighborhood-killing big box stores. To some extent that includes factoring in animal ethics (e.g. local organic milk for better cow treatment), ecological ethics, & organics for personal health, since big-box stores and large chains often have questionable products. My food bill increases (wild guess) maybe 25% as a result.

Food bills are still a minor part of my budget; this is the behavioral luxury of rich people.

h82goslw
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by h82goslw » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 am

For those who are arguing that Trader Joe’s is better than Aldi and vice versa, those stores are owned and operated by the same German family.

randomguy
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by randomguy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:32 am

h82goslw wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 am
For those who are arguing that Trader Joe’s is better than Aldi and vice versa, those stores are owned and operated by the same German family.
2 brothers but they are independent companies that don't share ownership or infrastructure. Want to say the split was in the 60s which is a long time for corps to evolve. Are all the babby bells the same because they started from ATT? Or after 30 years has the path each of them taken turned them into unique companies?

randomguy
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by randomguy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:33 am

Zip codes matter a lot with food. Trader Joe's NYC prices are not the same as Knoxville TJ prices

likegarden
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by likegarden » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:49 am

Grocery prices are local. I solved this comparison issue by buying my weekly groceries at various stores, one chain at a time, and listed them in spread sheets. I found out that grocery prices at Walmart for our specific needs were better by far, and since then buy our weekly groceries at Walmart. I was not impressed by an updated nice looking new design of stores of one chain, but was upset i.e. when that store sold my bag of prunes for $2.95 when I could get it at W for $1.95. Quality of grocery items was considered the same, because we mainly buy national brands, and i.e. milk quality is state regulated and tested.

We do not compare prices weekly between stores, do not want to waste our time with that, also do not use coupons. We go to one store, and that's it.

wrongfunds
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by wrongfunds » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:59 am

People who have spent their entire life in US never really understand how cheap food is (relatively speaking) here compared to almost every other country. Once you have reached the "BH status" aka living well below your means, then minute increase in the food purchases should be inconsequential to your long term goals.

I remember buying fish only when on sale few decades ago but these days I buy when I want fish or goat meat (each $10 per pound) or feel like it.

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Pajamas
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:27 am

randomguy wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:33 am
Zip codes matter a lot with food. Trader Joe's NYC prices are not the same as Knoxville TJ prices
NYC and Knoxville are in different regions for Trader Joe's but almost all of the prices ARE the same.

There are some items that are local or almost local such as some dairy and baked goods that are sourced regionally. Alcohol is priced differently in certain states because of large differences in taxes. Some produce and similar products such as flowers are sometimes higher or lower in one region or another. For instance, produce is often slightly less expensive on the west coast than it is on the east coast and southeast because of shipping costs from California and Mexico. The regional differences are noted when products are featured on their website or in their print ads.

But the basic, shelf-stable items such as packaged and canned goods are generally the same price at every Trader Joe's.

Some national chains vary prices much more, right down to different stores in the same metro area. Many chains charge more in NYC than they do in Knoxville. Stores like CVS and Walgreens and Kmart don't have weekly ads with sale prices in Manhattan, although some of them do in the other boroughs. We don't have a lot of locations of national chain grocery stores in NYC in the first place. The Container Store is an example of a national chain that charges the same in NYC while McDonalds is one that generally charges more.

As a related issue, Tennessee apparently taxes groceries, whereas New York does not. So I would guess that the total bill for monthly groceries at Trader Joe's would be higher in Tennessee than in New York by a low single-digit percentage.

MP173
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by MP173 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:00 pm

Aldi this morning...

Whole milk - $1..99 gallon
eggs - $.99 dozen for large eggs
bananas - not purchased but $.39 per pound.

1/2 gallon orange juice - $1.99 per container. Really good quality.
6 ciabata rolls - $2.49
misc chips, crackers, etc. various prices - usually around $1.50 for 10 ounces.

Big fan of Aldi and also Trader Joes. The closest TJ is an hour away. Their selection is a little larger and quality of both stores is similar to the big brand grocery stores in our area....at about 50% the cost.

Ed

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:04 pm

denovo wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:45 am
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Another thread raised the issue of grocery prices. I thought it would be useful to Bogleheads to post what they paid for groceries and where they bought them to make comparisons with the potential to save money.

I suppose there's too many regional variations in prices that it would make comparisons difficult. Also, a lot of chains don't have a national footprint.

I'd say a few things apply though to everyone.

1. Prepared/cooked foods are more expensive.

2. Run away from Whole Foods if you want to save $$$.

3. If you're willing to shop sales/coupon/be flex with your diet it saves money.
Regarding Whole Foods, I might have said the same thing a few years ago. We buy all over, but stop in at Trader Joes and Whole Foods for some things. My wife likes organic so we'll always be paying more than those who buy non-organic. We were at Whole Foods last night, and their organic bananas were $.69/lb. If we were in our local Dierberg's (a St. Louis area chain), organics are $.84/lb. I also buy seafood at Whole Foods regularly, and find them to have good prices, and (at least they report) good oversight on who they buy from, so if farm raised, no dyes, chemicals, etc.

dziuniek
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by dziuniek » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:39 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:59 am
People who have spent their entire life in US never really understand how cheap food is (relatively speaking) here compared to almost every other country. Once you have reached the "BH status" aka living well below your means, then minute increase in the food purchases should be inconsequential to your long term goals.

I remember buying fish only when on sale few decades ago but these days I buy when I want fish or goat meat (each $10 per pound) or feel like it.
You might mean developed countries or something else.

You can easily live in Thailand decently for $1000 / month... which is less than some Bogleheads grocery bills.

dziuniek
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by dziuniek » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:43 pm

gd wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:54 am
dziuniek wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:06 pm
I am the same, but I think the point of the thread is to showcase just how much different areas/regions vary in price.
OP says stores, not areas/regions. Problem is that area/region can make absolute prices pointless, you've got to compare various stores in your area and post the differences, not absolute prices. Which for me, like you, is irrelevant because food prices were one of the first things I worked on when peeling off my lifetime habit of frugality and compulsive saving to actually enjoy the fruits (!) of my lifestyle labors. I choose my stores based on supporting local stores & avoiding neighborhood-killing big box stores. To some extent that includes factoring in animal ethics (e.g. local organic milk for better cow treatment), ecological ethics, & organics for personal health, since big-box stores and large chains often have questionable products. My food bill increases (wild guess) maybe 25% as a result.

Food bills are still a minor part of my budget; this is the behavioral luxury of rich people.
For me, unlike you, the better treatment doesn't necessarily come into play.
Not that I don't care per se, but it's not really on the radar.
Not sure if a happy cow gives better milk, however you define that.

All that being said, I've milked a cow before. Pretty much a farm has to become a factory of sorts these days to stay afloat.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:50 am

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Just got back from a limited shopping trip for mostly perishables to eat over the next week or so.

Asparagus, 1 lb. - $1.99
I like this forum, but I may have to drop out. Reading this thread makes me too sad. We live in a low population New England town served by only one (high cost) grocery store. When asparagus is plentiful we pay $3.50 per pound. In the winter we pay $5.99 to $6.99 per pound.

One of our favorite meals is salmon, wild rice and asparagus - I hope our retirement savings holds out.

scottr08
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by scottr08 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:33 am

Does anyone know if there is an app for current grocery prices? I only buy a few things when I'm at the store and don't want to have to drive all around town to see the prices/find the best deals. If there were an app/website, I could plug in my grocery list and it would tell me the store that has the lowest overall price and save me a lot of time.

If there's not an app, anyone want to work on one with me?

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snackdog
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by snackdog » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:54 am

Basket and Favedo are popular apps for this.

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Pajamas
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:37 am

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:50 am

I like this forum, but I may have to drop out. Reading this thread makes me too sad. We live in a low population New England town served by only one (high cost) grocery store. When asparagus is plentiful we pay $3.50 per pound. In the winter we pay $5.99 to $6.99 per pound.

One of our favorite meals is salmon, wild rice and asparagus - I hope our retirement savings holds out.
You should at least consider moving if the cost of living is unaffordable or if the quality of life is better elsewhere. Of course, there would be trade-offs. It's hard to beat the peacefulness and beauty of a small New England town.

1.99 for a pound of fresh asparagus is fairly inexpensive here and it is only when it is at the peak of the season and even then only in certain stores. For Trader Joe's, it is what they call an "opportunity buy" and probably will only be available for a week or two in limited qualities. My rule with the peak asparagus is to always buy one or two bunches when I see it as it probably won't be there the next time. It is on sale at Whole Foods this week for $2.99 a pound instead of the usual price of $3.99, if that makes you feel any better.

hicabob
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by hicabob » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:29 am

dziuniek wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:39 pm
wrongfunds wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:59 am
People who have spent their entire life in US never really understand how cheap food is (relatively speaking) here compared to almost every other country. Once you have reached the "BH status" aka living well below your means, then minute increase in the food purchases should be inconsequential to your long term goals.

I remember buying fish only when on sale few decades ago but these days I buy when I want fish or goat meat (each $10 per pound) or feel like it.
You might mean developed countries or something else.

You can easily live in Thailand decently for $1000 / month... which is less than some Bogleheads grocery bills.
We have it pretty good. It seems US spends the least on food as percentage of household income of any country.
https://www.google.com/search?q=income+ ... XtJA12B2pM:

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Pajamas
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:36 am

hicabob wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:29 am
We have it pretty good. It seems US spends the least on food as percentage of household income of any country.
https://www.google.com/search?q=income+ ... XtJA12B2pM:
I would disagree that we have it pretty good because even though that is true, we also have very high comparative rates of obesity and diabetes and similar. Our health care costs are by FAR much higher per capita than anywhere else in the world even though we are not healthier and don't live longer, as a whole, than other developed nations. Life expectancy in the U.S. has actually declined for two years in a row.

So cheap food is not necessarily a good thing without looking at the context, including the quality of the food and what the consequences are.

hicabob
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by hicabob » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:48 am

Pajamas wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:36 am
hicabob wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:29 am
We have it pretty good. It seems US spends the least on food as percentage of household income of any country.
https://www.google.com/search?q=income+ ... XtJA12B2pM:
I would disagree that we have it pretty good because even though that is true, we also have very high comparative rates of obesity and diabetes and similar. Our health care costs are by FAR much higher per capita than anywhere else in the world even though we are not healthier and don't live longer, as a whole, than other developed nations. Life expectancy in the U.S. has actually declined for two years in a row.

So cheap food is not necessarily a good thing without looking at the context, including the quality of the food and what the consequences are.
I agree bad food choices are ubiquitous in the US (and almost everywhere else) but Mexico and Saudi have now surpassed us on obesity levels yet they spend much more household income on food.

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Cycle
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Cycle » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:18 pm

telemark wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:31 pm
$2.99/dozen at Natural Foods for cage free omega plus eggs, from Amish farmers yet. Not the cheapest option, but I like the flavor and a dozen lasts me about a week, so it's not a major expense. I don't like milk, so I don't buy that.
I did a taste test of various eggs cooked over easy in unsalted butter.

Pasture raised, organic grocery eggs ($5 on sale) & co-workers free range home raised chicken eggs (non organic)- both deep orange yolks
Brown organic eggs from Aldi -dark yellow
.89 cent Aldi dozen - pale yellow, smaller yolk

All tasted exactly the same. With my eyes closed I couldn't distinguish any difference. Obviously the pasture raised looked amazing, but zero flavor difference for me.

danaht
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by danaht » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:24 pm

I pick up items in different places usually - (because I like different items at Target / Kroger / Walmart / Aldis / Sprouts) - everything is in Dallas / Fort Worth

This is what I usually get every week:
Target
1 gallon milk - $1.98
32 oz "light" non fat vanilla yogurt - $1.79
organic celery stalk - $.99
Market Pantry 100% whole wheat bread $1.29
32 0z vegetable broth - $1.29


Kroger
sweet yellow onion - $.79/1b
100 tea bags (Kroger generic) - $1.19
32 oz popcorn kernels - $1.59
black beans can (kroger brand) - $.59
Healthy Choice frozen dinners - $1.88 each
Kroger Canned Petite Tomatoes $.49

Aldi
brocolli - $1.29 /lb
2 lb carrots - $.89
cabbage - $1.19

Sprouts
Mandarins - $3.89 for 5 lbs.

Walmart
Adam's 100% Natural peanut butter - 36 oz. for $4.89

North Texas has very inexpensive groceries! I now like Target the best out of all the stores here.

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telemark
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by telemark » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:31 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:18 pm
telemark wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:31 pm
$2.99/dozen at Natural Foods for cage free omega plus eggs, from Amish farmers yet. Not the cheapest option, but I like the flavor and a dozen lasts me about a week, so it's not a major expense. I don't like milk, so I don't buy that.
I did a taste test of various eggs cooked over easy in unsalted butter.

Pasture raised, organic grocery eggs ($5 on sale) & co-workers free range home raised chicken eggs (non organic)- both deep orange yolks
Brown organic eggs from Aldi -dark yellow
.89 cent Aldi dozen - pale yellow, smaller yolk

All tasted exactly the same. With my eyes closed I couldn't distinguish any difference. Obviously the pasture raised looked amazing, but zero flavor difference for me.
I eat my eggs hard boiled, no butter or other flavorings. But it could easily be a placebo effect.

misscourtneyk
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by misscourtneyk » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:11 pm

Laughing at some of the prices for eggs!! I just bought a dozen eggs at Walmart for $0.33......
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.

dsmclone
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by dsmclone » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:25 pm

I worked at a grocery store(Hy-Vee) here in Iowa from high school, through college, and a couple of years after. One of the things I did was price comparisons with other stores. Here is what I can tell you:

If you compare like brands and stay inside the aisles, prices overall are going to be almost identical in the end. I'm talking things like cereal, canned goods, mayonnaise (loss leader) etc. At the time, the overall profit on those items were around 1%. One you get to the frozen foods, dairy, meat, bakery, non foods, etc. things can change a lot. What we found is that the average customer in our big stores spent a lot more money not because our prices were higher on standard grocery items but because we had more higher end choices. This was before places like Whole Foods were around and we were just competing with other grocery stores.

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dual
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by dual » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:57 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:11 pm
I suppose I could tell you about prices at Market Basket but I already did that on FatWallet :-)
Now that is spooky :)

Fatwallet has been out of business for about a year.

Shikoku
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by Shikoku » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:27 pm

We live in the suburb of a MCOL area. Grocery prices here are comparable to other areas. The only exception: We buy fat-free lactose-free organic milk from Whole Foods Market at $5.39 per half gallon, i.e., $10.78 per gallon. Ouch!
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

jerryk68
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by jerryk68 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:17 pm

Milk, eggs and other selected items are sometimes sold at a loss. The store will make nothing on those items but will make you walk to the back of the store to retrieve same. There is a reason for that walk and it's not so you get exercise. They want you walking hoping that you see something that you will buy in which they can turn a profit. Product placement is very important in the grocery business like ceiling fans in restaurants. Those slow moving ceiling fans are not to keep you cool but to cool your food slowly to get you out.

michaeljc70
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Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Another thread raised the issue of grocery prices. I thought it would be useful to Bogleheads to post what they paid for groceries and where they bought them to make comparisons with the potential to save money.

I shop mostly at Trader Joe's, a national chain which has regional prices and local prices for certain items such as milk and eggs, which makes their prices very reasonable and competitive for a high cost of living area like NYC. I don't have stores such as Costco or Aldi or Walmart in walking distance.

Just got back from a limited shopping trip for mostly perishables to eat over the next week or so.

Whole milk, gallon - $3.69
Large eggs, dozen - $1.99
Bananas, each - $0.19
California Style Sprouted Wheat Bread, 24 oz. - $3.99
Asparagus, 1 lb. - $1.99
Ataulfo mangoes, each - $0.79
Teeny tiny Hass avocados, six - $2.99
Bran flakes, 17.3 oz. - $1.99
Blood oranges, 2 lb. - $2.79
Grape tomatoes, 1 lb. - $2.69

I don't regularly buy all of those products. I would say at Aldi I typically pay around $2.40 for a gallon of milk. Eggs have jumped recently due to some crisis, so they tend to be around $2, up from $1.00-$1.40 (Target had 18 for 99 cents last week). Asparagus is seasonal. Out of season $4-$5/lb (don't buy) and in season $1-$2/lb. Avocados, I don't buy mini, but sometimes full size are 50-60 cents on sale, but more like a $1 is regular (at Aldi/Mexican store). Grape tomatoes I only buy on sale. I shop based on the sales generally. I don't typically feel like I have to have anything. If zucchini is on sale instead of asparagus, I buy that. I cook a wide variety of cuisines from Indian to French to Italian to Thai and tend to go with the flow of what is on sale. I don't find Trader Joe's to be great prices on a lot of things as they don't really have sales. If you don't want to shop sales, then it is probably better than going somewhere else.

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