I started replying to a comment made by Texas T-bone
on my last post, but it was getting long so I thought I would make it a post and open it up for further discussion.
T-bone said:But don't the prices at Kroger seem a little high to begin with?
Well, first off, I bought A LOT of food...for what I bought (enough feed a small family...) it was a good deal I think. I bought much more than I usually do, because I restocked my pantry and freezer from their previously desolate states.
But, generally I have found Albertson's to be much higher than Kroger on the things I buy, and Tom Thumb to be cheaper than both (which is totally counterintuitive). This is all assuming use of the store's reward card.
But here's another thought, it may be the food I buy. I tend to buy a lot of produce and fresh foods, versus boxed and bagged things. This may change the pricing dramatically. If one chain has a better source for cheaper produce and meats, my grocery bill probably changes significantly. The majority of my diet is vegetables and generally my only major source of carbs is a loaf of bread and some low-carb pasta (Dream Fields ROCKS by the way...). And I avoid entirely, any boxed meal or side dish like rice-a-roni or hamburger helper (with the exception of frozen lean cuisines).
But in the end, the tomatoes at Albertson's cost more than Kroger's and they last several days fewer than Kroger's or Tom Thumb's. I am lucky, if a tomato from Albertson's sitting in my fruit basket lasts three days. The same type of tomato from Kroger or Tom Thumb will last a week at least. Tomatoes and avacadoes seem to be my test foods. Their prices seem to be very indicative of the general pricing of produce and the store in general. They may go up and down with the season and crop production, but when you compare prices from store to store, they seem to be a pretty good indicator. For instance, hands down, the cheapest mainstream supermarket is HEB. If you live near and HEB, count your blessings. Someone loves you. Their produce is beautiful and amazingly cheap. And I distinctly remember moving to Dallas from Austin and going from HEB to Tom Thumb. My weekly food bill, which had averaged $50, jumped to $75 for the same food.
So, to answer your question T-bone, their prices are definitely inflated slightly due to the Plus card, but they seem to be a middle of the road pricer to me.
What do the rest of you all think? Have you ever taken the time to think about it even? I know I am a strange bird...These really are things I think about...
At 9:35 AM, January 27, 2006,
This may sound weird, but I liked to shop at the nicer store. The one that was cleaner. I know I might pay a couple dollars more at times, but I get grossed out buying something at a store that could be a hell of a lot cleaner or kept up nicer.
At 9:42 AM, January 27, 2006,
I completely agree…for me, that’s Kroger…the Albertson’s is gross, and they NEVER have hand baskets!! The Kroger is a Signature Kroger, so it’s all fancy nice…I USED to have a Tom Thumb less than half a mile away, but it closed. :( It was nice though. Clean and the meat was good, and it was a small store. I was thrilled to find this Kroger, because after Tom Thumb closed, I had to go to Albertson's and it's just scary...
At 8:37 AM, January 29, 2006,
I take the closest and cleanest over cost. Up until a couple of months ago, there wasn't a grocery store any where near me. Now, I have SuperTarget! It's actually not TOO much more expensive, but a few cents here and there really add up. But then again, with the price of gas, it's a toss up anyway.
Before a close SuperTarget came into my life, Kroger was the best price but I'd still go to Tom Thumb because it was ever so slightly closer.
But if it makes you feel any better, you're not the only person that thinks about these sorts of things!
At 4:28 PM, February 02, 2006,
This is probably the most thoughtful response ever to a comment that was probably completely dumb. Thanks!
We usually shop at Wal-Mart for everything except for yogurt, produce and meat. For that, we go to a United Market Street which is like a Whole Foods but with normal groceries as well. The latter costs more, and isn't near our house ... but always well worth it. They also have a terrific selection of gourmet breads, but we try not to indulge too often with those!
– Texas T-bone
At 8:54 AM, February 03, 2006,
mmm...I need a United Market Street near me!!! That sounds great!
At 11:11 AM, June 07, 2006,
I agree. I live near a Kroger's, Fiesta, and HEB but I shop at HEB. They are clean and the prices are overall cheap for the quality you're paying for (Fiesta is cheap but most of their store brand items aren't that great).
I'm an avid HEB shopper but I will go to Kroger's if they have a good sale and then I can use my coupons to double and triple the value of the coupon whereas HEB won't do that.