Have you ever wondered if it would be cheaper to go to a discount store like Save-A-Lot or buy store brands in a store like Kroger and Walmart? Well, we are going to do a little experiment to see which is cheaper. Save-A-Lot or Kroger or Walmart.
I had often wondered this myself and found a few surprising things during my experiment.
So, how did I decide what to include in the experiment?
The experiment was based off my meal plan for this week and the items that I needed to purchase for my meal plan for the week.
- Taco Beef Mac n Cheese with Rolls
- Potato Soup with Cornbread
- Hamburger and French Fries
- Creamy Pasta with Smoked Sausage & Peppers, Mash Potatoes, and leftover Rolls
- Tuna Patties with Mashed Potatoes and Mac n Cheese
- Spaghetti and Bosco Sticks
After planning my week’s worth of dinners I wrote out my grocery list of items that I would need to complete the dinners and added any items I needed to replenish my stock of “keep on hand” items.
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How are the prices determined?
All items are based off what is available at Save-A-Lot.
If the item was on sale at any of the stores I still used the regular price since items go on sale at different times.
Since I couldn’t find exactly the same package size for some of the items I decided to break down the packages into cost per unit.
For instance, the peanut butter was purchased at Save-A-Lot for $3.29. The container is 40 ounces. Walmart had a 40 ounce container, but Kroger did not. So I took the largest container they had without going over 40 ounces and divided the price by the container size and then multiplied that number by 40 ounces.
So, the Save-A-Lot peanut butter would be $0.082 ($3.29 divided by 40).
And, the Kroger peanut butter is $2.39 for a 28 ounce container. Divide $2.39 by 28 equals $0.085. Multiply 40 and $0.085 to equal $3.40.
Each item that must be calculated this way will marked with an asterick (*) and I will note below the table what size container the store really has.
In the table below you will see four categories.
The first category will list all the items I am comparing.
The second category will be current prices (August 2020) at Save-A-Lot.
The third category will be current prices (August 2020) at Kroger.
The fourth category will be current prices (August 2020) at Walmart.
I will also include notes of things to bring to attention.
Experiment 1: Items needed to complete meal plan for the week
|Ale8 – 12pk||3||$13.47||$14.97||$12.84|
|Bacon – 12oz||1||$3.79||$3.49||$3.24|
|Cinnamon Rolls – 12.4oz, 8ct||1||$1.65||$1.25||$1.23|
|Shredded Cheese – 12oz||2||$5.98||*$6.87||*$5.94|
|Peanut Butter – 40oz||1||$3.29||*$3.40||$2.98|
|Water – 24pk||3||$7.47||$8.37||$8.04|
|Bread – 20oz||1||$0.99||$1.29||$0.88|
|Ground Beef – 5lb, 73%||1||$8.95||$12.99||$12.37|
|Heavy Whipping Cream – 16oz||1||$2.49||$1.99||$1.60|
|Hash Browns – 45oz||1||$3.99||*$3.58||*$3.36|
|Potatoes – 5lb||1||$2.99||$1.99||$2.77|
|Ketchup – 38oz, Heinz||1||$3.49||$3.49||$2.98|
|Milk – 1gl, 2%||1||$2.85||$2.89||$2.79|
|Instant Mashed Pot – 15.3oz||1||$1.59||$2.79||$1.48|
|Smoked Sausage – 14oz||1||$1.99||$2.69||$2.92|
|Sour Cream – 16oz||1||$0.99||$1.39||$1.00|
|Buns – 12ct, Sunny Buns||1||$2.79||$2.79||$2.68|
|Spaghetti Sauce – 24oz||1||$0.99||$1.49||$0.88|
|Vanilla Ice Cream – 1gal||1||$4.99||$4.79||$5.87|
|Albacore – 5oz, Starkist||4||$6.36||$6.24||$5.36|
|Rolls – 12ct||1||$1.39||$1.69||$1.00|
*Kroger did not have peanut butter in the 40oz container so I used a 28oz at $2.39.
*Kroger did not have shredded cheese in the 12oz container so I used an 8oz at $2.29.
*Walmart did not have shredded cheese in the 12oz container so I used 8oz at $1.98.
*Kroger did not have hash browns in the 45oz package so I used a 22.5oz at $1.79.
*Walmart did not have hash browns in the 45oz package but they did have 22.5oz packages so I used two of those.
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Couple things I noticed with this experiment is that name brand items are either the same price or more expensive at the discount store, Save-A-Lot. Imagine that…
I also noticed that it seems meats cost less at Save-A-Lot. So, if you are ambitious you could shop for your meat at the discount store and then everything else at Walmart as long as you stick to store brands.
A plus for using a store like Walmart is the option for different sizes. Like the sour cream, for instance. I really didn’t need a 16oz tub of the stuff. An 8oz would have been plenty so shopping at Walmart would have given me the opportunity to pay a little less and also not have as much to ruin in my fridge before I can use it all.
With this little savings it really just boils down to which store do you prefer to shop at. Just being honest here I completely expected Walmart to be higher overall than Save-A-Lot.
Personally, since I know Walmart is cheaper I would rather just do my shopping online using Walmart Pickup. This will save me time and keep me from having to go inside the store which I absolutely do not enjoy. Best of all, it’s free. (Be sure to check to make sure this is still the case as of the time you are reading this. We all know how things change.)
For just a moment I would like to point out something very important here and something I’m extremely proud of. Did you notice that I ONLY PAID $85.26 for a week’s worth of dinners? Before I started meal planning this number was more like anywhere between $200 to $300. Yes, just for dinners.
Actually, some of items are to replenish my stock so my actual dinners costed even less than $85.26 for week! When I remove my replenishment items I ended up with $45.92 being spent on dinners. The replenishment items are like condiments and food I keep around the house since my son is not in school right now. Not too shabby!
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