If you’re like most grocery shoppers, pay attention to the prices.
Whether it’s 10% off bananas, 20% off tuna, or a 2-for-1 deal on frozen TV dinners, we’re here – especially amid the current wave of inflation.
If you want to save big, it pays to shop where prices are consistently cheaper, according to a new report from online price tracker TradingPedia.
To illustrate the price difference, TradingPedia created a virtual shopping cart containing 37 typical grocery items such as meat and seafood, dairy and eggs, fruits and vegetables, canned goods, snacks and beverages.
If all brands and product quantities are exactly the same, the totals show that Walmart shoppers would pay $187.22 for all of these items — $23.68 less than Albertsons and $17.69 less than Target.
Shoppers at these stores still pay more than at Aldi, Costco, and Grocery Outlet — Southern California’s leader in budget groceries — but TradingPedia’s comparisons help illustrate different grocery prices.
And when these virtual basket prices are issued include eight annual visitsthat $23.68 savings at Walmart becomes nearly $190.
“US inflation is finally slowing, driven by falling fuel prices and tightening policies recently introduced by the Federal Reserve,” the report said. “However, food prices in the US remain sky-high.”
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the prices of groceries at home — including grocery purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets — were 13.5% higher in August than a year earlier. Industry experts assume that food prices will remain high for some time.
“Food prices aren’t going to drop later this year or even early next year,” said Burt Flickinger III, managing director of retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. “In the face of a global drought, prices are not likely to come down until the summer of 2023.”
Individual price differences may seem small. But overall, they add up quickly.
According to the report, a pound of strawberries costs $2.98 at Walmart, while Target touts them at $3.19 and Albertsons at $3.99.
Larger gaps were found on a 12-pack of Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater butter popcorn. Target wins there at $5.99, followed by Walmart ($6.36) and Albertsons ($8.99).
Flickinger said TradingPedia’s research doesn’t take into account Albertsons’ buy-one-get-one-free offers that are common at its stores. “They have the strongest promotions in the supermarket sector,” he said.
Flickinger added that many consumers overstock some groceries because they were in short supply during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and overstocked on those items when they later became available.
“We’re also seeing people turning away from national brands because there’s so much price gouging going on,” he said. “They are buying more private labels and private label products. These can be 15% to 50% lower than national brands.”
In April, grocery chain Smart & Final was fined $175,000 for increasing the price of its premium eggs by up to 25% even though its delivery costs had not increased.
“Today, the company will pay a price for these actions,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in announcing the action. Bonta said the company took advantage of customers from March to June 2020 when they were looking for essential items in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, consumers have increasingly expanded their grocery shopping routines to include multiple stores. As a result, a shopper could, for example, buy their milk and bread from Walmart, their produce from Albertsons, and their potato chips and salad dressing from Aldi.
California consumers struggling with food prices will soon experience some relief. In less than two weeks, the state plans to begin issuing a mid-range tax refund directly to residents.
California residents who filed their 2020 taxes on time and earned less than $250,001 individually or $500,000 as a couple are eligible for refunds ranging from $200 to $1,050.
The amount of the reimbursement depends on the recipient’s income, the application status and the number of dependents.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/03/with-inflation-soaring-where-are-the-best-grocery-deals/ With inflation soaring, where are the best food deals? – Orange County Registry