Grocery Store Differences

I’ve been keeping a grocery price book for 6 months now (see my current info).

I usually visit anywhere from two to three grocery store on my shopping day: Vitamin Cottage, Albertsons, King Soopers and/or Safeway. While my price book doesn’t keep track of what I buy at each store, I’ve started to get a feel for where I want to buy what. My observations below are only relevant for Longmont, CO. I don’t know how much this varies in other places.

  • Vitamin Cottage – Best place to buy bulk food items such as oats and nuts. The produce section is organic and, depending on the season, can sometimes beat the prices of non-organic produce at the other stores. If one is specifically looking for organic produce, Vitamin Cottage often (but not always) has the cheapest prices). They also have the best prices for the type of eggs I like buying and organic yogurt. Somewhat surprisingly, King Soopers usually sells Silk Soy Milk cheaper.
  • Albertsons – The non-organic produce they sell tends to be the cheapest of all the grocery stores. Unfortunately, it’s also often not in very good shape. Usually has the best prices on non-specialty grocery items such as canned beans and vegetables. I also usually buy my whole wheat pasta there because they seem to be the only ones that carry my favorite brand, Bella Terra.
  • King Soopers – This is my favorite general purpose grocery store. The prices are usually reasonable and even their specialty organic products are sometimes affordable (Muir Glen tomatoes are ofter twice as expensive at Albertsons as they are in King Soopers). Also, dairy products, specifically milk, are often the cheapest here. The only big downside is their French Bread contains two items that I’ve been trying to avoid: hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Safeway – I usually don’t buy much at Safeway. While their produce and other grocery products are usually the best quality, they also cost more. Safeway has organic equivalents of almost every product they sell but you pay for it. I usually don’t buy anything at Safeway unless they have a good sale on items I need that week or I’m buying French Bread. Of the three major grocery stores, their French Bread is the only one that contains neither hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup.

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