Every Saturday in the Tampa Tribune business section there is a “Grocery Market Update.” It is a weekly comparison of grocery prices at local supermarkets. The selected stores are Walmart, Target, Publix, Winn-Dixie and Sweetbay. Here is a sample comparison of two items for the week of April 18-24.
Eggs were $1.28 at Walmart, 1.59 at Target, 1.50 at Publix, 1.89 at Winn-Dixie and .99 at Sweetbay.
A 64 oz. carton of orange juice was $2.00 at Walmart, 2.29 at Target, 3.00 at Publix, 2.99 at Winn-Dixie and 1.99 at Sweetbay.
Thirty items are compared each week and the comparisons can be viewed online as a guide to see which store has the best prices.
I have to admit, although I do cut coupons, I am a lazy shopper and prefer to do all my grocery shopping in one, conveniently located store. During the winter months while we are in Florida I shop at a Publix that is only a five minute drive from my house. I know the layout of the store and can be in and out in a relatively short time.
My husband, on the other hand, is a comparison shopper and does not mind going to several stores to get the best deals. He does not mind driving to Sam’s Club, the local wholesale club store in the area, even though it takes about twenty minutes to get there. Buying items in bulk does not bother him either; while I balk at the idea of having to find storage space for extra items that won’t get used for a while.
In order to convince me of the great savings of buying in bulk, my husband did his own price comparison. He took the receipt for several items I had purchased at Publix with him to Sam’s Club. There he compared the prices of all that were available (most were) using unit-pricing. For example: I bought a 75 foot roll of tin foil at Publix. To get tin foil at Sam’s Club, I would have to buy a two roll package of 275 feet each. So he figured the comparison on the size or amount I would have to buy at Publix to get the same item available at Sam’s Club.
Item – Publix-Sam’s Club
Tin foil- $25.30- $14.88
Almonds- 14.40- 9.46
Granola Bars- 14.95- 8.37
Purex Clothes Detergent- 18.72- 15.47
Kleenex- 21.90- 12.98
Detergent for dishwasher- 19.48- 13.78
Omega 3- 21.00- 13.98
Tuna fish (cans)- 17.68- 13.12
Corned beef- 22.26- 11.81
Totals:- Publix – $175.69 (plus tax) and Sam’s Club – $113.85 (plus tax)
Savings:-$61.84 (plus tax)
Eventually we used all of the items, lost nothing to spoilage, and did so at an impressive savings. Bottom line, we would have had to spend 54% more than the Sam’s price to get the exact same stuff at Publix.
The Publix prices do not take into consideration any specials that the store has such as “buy-one-get-one” or coupons. My husband was able to convince me that the savings are worth the trip to Sam’s Club.
Sources: 1. The Tampa Tribune
2. My husband