Wednesday, August 4, 2010

MYTH BUSTERS - Grocery store checkout!

People tell me every other day that it would be so much cheaper if I would shop at Walmart.  There are two plusses for walmart shopping - generic brands and no tax on food.  Soooooo I decided to take this test on the road.  Myth Busters here we come

I purchased my groceries for the next two weeks at my normal store, the Ft. Knox Commissary.  I wrote down each item and the price and took my notebook to Walmart. At walmart, I wrote down the price for the exact same brand, or a comparable brand, and wrote down the price for the generic brand. I did not include generic brand pricing for generic brand items I would not use. (I will not substitute bottled water, coffee creamer, granola bars, or coffee. Other items I already use a generic brand at the commissary so the similar Walmart product is the generic brand)  For the purpose of this test, the figures below include only 1 of each item on the list.  All items in the test were the same size, or the prices was calculated per ounce and the total price was based upon the per ounce price. Below you will find my results and below that you will find the detailed figures.


General Observations:

Some items were cheaper at Walmart, but much of the produce was icky. Walmart did not carry everything the Commissary carried. Non-food items were generally cheaper at Walmart. Check the detailed list at the bottom for specifics.

Shopping at the Commissary - Total = $196.42 + $9.82 (5% surcharge) = $206.24
Shopping at Walmart with comparable brands - Total = $238.47 + $2.48 (6% tax on non-food items) = $240.95
Shopping at Walmart with generic brands - Total = $224.23 + $2.48(6% tax on non-food items) = $226.71

Results are clear!  Commissary wins by $20.47

So.. here are the prices.  I have highlighted the items that are cheaper at Walmart in a name brand OR a generic brand.

Item Commissary Prices Walmart Name Brands Walmart Generic Brands
Chicken Breast Tenderloins frozen 5.99 7.00 n/a
Chicken boneless skinless breasts - frozen 5.99 6.48 n/a
1 % Milk 2.17 2.28 n/a
Chicken tenderloins - fresh 2.93/lb 1.25/lb n/a
Tombstone Pizza 3.25 4.00 2.70
Mini corn on the cob - 16 count 1.86 3.28 3.60
Mozzarella Cheese 16 oz. 3.00 4.00 3.62
Cheddar Cheese - 32 oz. 4.99 8.16 7.25
Monterey Jack Cheese - 16 oz. 3.00 4.00 3.62
Ricotta Cheese - Light 1.99 2.13 1.83
Sour Cream - 8 oz. 1.11 1.28 .78
Deli Roast Beef - 10 oz. 2.89 3.00 2.88
Pepperoni 1.82 2.98 n/a
Cherry Tomatoes 1.50 2.48 n/a
Hummus 2.99 2.98 n/a
Jumbo pasta shells 1.35 1.96 1.50
Cilantro .79 .88 n/a
Strawberries - 1lb1.981.88n/a
green bell peppers.99/lb.98/lbn/a
poblano peppers1.98/lb2.28/lbn/a
Planters to-go packs - 25 ct.7.9820.00n/a
Deer Park .5L - 6pack.991.32n/a
Northland Cranberry/Black Cherry juice2.002.97n/a
Jolly Time popcorn kernels - 32 oz.1.193.981.48
Honeydew3.502.98 - but it looked ickyn/a
Hamburger Buns - 12 ct1.491.981.48
Eggs - 18 ct.1.401.74n/a
Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms.99.98n/a
Chili Beans.78.86.66
Pinto Beans.68.76.64
Cream of mushroom soup1.19.78n/a
Chopped tomatoes with zesty mild green chilis1.131.141.12
Quaker chewy granola bars - 18 ct.2.793.38n/a
Coffee Mate - Coconut Cream & Cinnamon Vanilla2.50 each3.38 eachn/a
Millstone coffee beans - two flavors5.99/lb each7.97/lb eachn/a
Lipton hot tea - Island Mango, Tuscan lemon, bedtime, blueberry pomegranate2.75 each3.16 eachn/a
Tomato sauce.89.58.50
White Vinegar1.071.50.84
Natural peanut butter with honey1.893.58n/a
V8 juice2.192.582.00
Malt o Meal version of Fruity Pebbles2.893.263.64
Malt o Meal version of Frosted Flakes2.452.222.50
Tortillas - burrito size and fajita size1.691.781.78
Hefty Casserole Pans - disposable - 2 ct.1.333.00n/a
Mushrooms - 16 oz. - whole2.192.98n/a
Romaine Lettuce1.681.88n/a
Green Leaf Lettuce1.681.88n/a
Red Peppers2.00 each1.64 eachn/a
Bagged Baby Spinach1.651.98n/a
Navel Oranges.69 each.78 eachn/a
Sheer Strip Band-aids1.772.431.40
Juicy Juice - 32 ct juice boxes10.269.60n/a
Granny Smith apples.99/lb1.67/lbn/a
Gala Apples.99/lb1.50/lbn/a
Pantene Color treated hair - smooth shampoo and conditioner3.77 each3.97 eachn/a
Olay wet express facial wipes4.504.47n/a
Band-aid flex fabric XL3.542.881.80
Band-aid blister treatment2.903.67n/a
Pantene Color Treatment3.133.97n/a
Degree clinical protection deoderant5.496.87n/a
Goody Girls flower clippies3.492.98n/a
Stay put elastics3.303.10n/a


Sarah said...

But YOU get to shop at a commissary. We've done somewhat of the same thing. I took a notebook in which I'd listed the grocery items we get most frequently and then wrote down the prices at a locally-owned grocery store chain, a regional chain, Costco, and Walmart. Costco and Walmart won, hands-down, on about 90% of the (grocery only) items.

Susie said...

Very true! This was mostly for the many military wives who tell me walmart is better :)