Grocery Prices to Meet or Beat Late Winter 2013

Grocery Bag

Thrifty Thinking

It’s time to update my semi-annual Grocery Prices to Meet or Beat.  I am finding that every six months is a great time to update these prices since circumstances change, and finances are affected by a variety of issues like drought, a bad crop, a change in gas prices, and the like.

When you are at the grocery store, farmers market or co-op, do you buy whatever you need or want without any regard to the prices of the items?  In general are you aware of the prices for the same item at different places?  By the way, there are times I would pay higher prices on purpose, to support local businesses, to get organic, to support local farms, etc….I challenge you, if you don’t already know, to really get to know the target prices of the food items you buy most.  Some people keep a notebook.  I keep my list here.

All of the grocery prices I have listed below are approximate and come from Snohomish County, Washington, reflecting prices that I have seen in the last 6 months.   I HARDLY EVER need to buy above these given prices.

I have seen the most dramatic change in what we buy in the last six months more than ever before.  I still buy some conventional produce, but I admit it is getting harder and harder for me to buy them as I get more educated and seeing how much less nutrients are in conventionally grown food.  A lot of times you can visually see the difference comparing conventionally grown produce to it’s organic counterpart, but you can actually taste the difference, too!  There is just way more flavor to organic produce in general.

When I buy conventional canned beans or milk on sale at Fred Meyer, I find myself also buying an organic match to show Fred Meyer that I am interested in the organic, too, not just cheap food.  I think there will come a day soon, where I will ignore the conventional, and just buy the organic, but the process for us is slow.  I am voting for more organic foods with my dollars.  It’s really exciting to see the prices of organic foods, in general, coming down, as well as the variety of organic foods increase.  So as we transition from conventional foods, we will keep buying more and more organic.

It is interesting as I am updating these prices how I have to raise the prices in my head on certain items, giving myself allowance to spend more on a particular item.  I am happy to report the converse has also happened, where I see I am spending less for certain items in bulk (mainly at Costco with organic rice, baking soda, organic quinoa, etc…).

If I think it’s helpful, I am indicating the store at which I buy the item.

Grocery Prices to Meet or Beat

Baking & Bulk Section

  • Almond Butter $4.178/lb.-C
  • Almonds, Whole Raw    $3.98/lb.-W
  • Baking Soda $0.48/lb.-C
  • Beans, Pinto $0.91/lb.-W
  • Beans, Black Turtle $0.99/lb.-W (I can’t remember how much I bought these for organic at a local co-op.)
  • Bread $1.99/loaf Whole Grain w/o high fructose corn syrup-C (now I make sourdough bread, so I haven’t bought bread in over a year since I can make it for $0.61/loaf and it’s soaked.  It’s a total bargain!)
  • Cashews, Pieces Raw $3.19/lb.-W The price dropped by over half and has stayed there since November  Every week I buy it, thinking it’s going to dramatically increase.
  • Chocolate Chip $2/lb.-C
  • Coconut, Unsweetened $2.74/lb.-W
  • Craisins, Dried $2/lb.-C
  • Dates, Whole, Pitted $2.57/lb.!!-W (if you don’t have a WinCo in your area, aim for under $5 like Trader Joe’s)
  • Flax Seed $0.80/lb.
  • Flour, Whole Wheat Unbl $0.45/lb.
  • Honey $13/5 lbs.-C (I buy it BUY LOCAL when I can and pay more!)
  • Oat Bran $1.10/lb.-W
  • Oats, Old Fashioned $0.58/lb.
  • Oats, Organic Rolled $0.89/lb.-W or Local Co-op for $0.99/lb.
  • Oats, Steel Cut $0.58/lb.-W
  • Olive Oil, Organic Extra Virgin $6.23/liter-C
  • Peanut Butter, Natural $2/lb.-C
  • Peanuts, Dry Roasted $1.78/lb.-W
  • Pecan Halves $7.50/lb.-C
  • Popcorn, Organic $2/lb. or less-local co-op
  • Quinoa, Organic $2/lb. @ Costco!!
  • Quinoa, Organic Red $5.38/lb.
  • Raisins, Organic $2/lb.-C
  • Rice, Long Grain Brown Rice $0.56/lb.
  • Rice, Brown Organic $1.08/lb.-C
  • Salt, Sea $0.26/lb.-W
  • Sugar, Organic Cane $1.15/lb.-C
  • Tortillas $1.99/10 ct. package-Trader Joe’s
  • Walnuts $5.68/lb.-W
  • Wheat Berry Kernels $0.59/lb. to ground in the Vitamix for Wheat Flour
  • Wheat Bran $0.39/lb.
  • Wheat Germ $0.89/lb.

Dairy/Meat

If I bought conventional meat, these are the prices I would pay.  We are using what’s in our freezer now to make room to buy grass fed beef and cage free chicken.

  • Beef, Ground Lean 20 Percent Fat $2.99/lb.
  • Butter $2/ lb.
  • Butter, Organic $4/lb.-C
  • Cheese, Med. Cheddar $4.98/32 oz. (or better)
  • Chicken, Whole Fryers $0.99/lb.
  • Chicken, Whole Fryers Organic $2.49/lb.-C -This is what I have been buying lately.  Have seen range-free at Trader Joe’s for $1.99/lb.
  • Eggs, Large $1.50/dozen
  • Eggs, Cage-Free $2.50/dozen-Fred Meyer
  • Ham All Natural Deli No Nitrates $4.98/lb.
  • Ham $1.19/lb. (freeze around Christmas and Easter)
  • Milk $2.50/gallon
  • Milk, Organic $2.99/half gallon-Fred Meyer (my hope is to be buying raw milk regularly for the family by the next time I post this)
  • Shrimp/Prawns $5.99/lb.-looking for Wild Caught, not farm-raised
  • Turkey $0.99/lb. or WAY better around Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Turkey, Ground $2.69/lb.-C
  • Yogurt, Organic  $2.99/32 oz. container-Fred Meyer
  • Yogurt $0.40/6oz. (I mostly make our own yogurt, but when I see this price, I will buy it for a special treat.)

Fruit and Veggies

  • Apple $0.98/lb.
  • Apple, Organic $1.98/lb.-better than $2 at Trader Joe’s
  • Asparagus $2.99/lb.
  • Avocado, Hass $1 ea (we have still been seeing them for about $0.78 ea)-I buy organic at Trader Joe’s when I am there.
  • Bananas $0.54/lb.
  • Bananas, Organic $0.89/lb.-Fred Meyer
  • Bell Pepper, Green $1 (we have been seeing them for a lot less lately like $0.58 ea)
  • Bell Pepper, Red $1 (we have been seeing them for a lot less lately like $0.68 ea)
  • Blueberries $4.98/32 oz. (depends on the time of year)
  • Broccoli $1-$1.50/lb. depending on the week
  • Cabbage, Red & Green $0.58/lb.
  • Cantaloupe $0.99/lb.
  • Carrots, Baby $1/lb. (I now get the Organic Baby Carrots @ Costco.)
  • Carrots, Whole Organic $0.60/lb.-C
  • Cauliflower $1-$1.50lb.
  • Celery $0.58/lb.
  • Cucumbers $0.58 ea.
  • Ginger Root $0.98/lb.-W or Trader Joe’s
  • Grapefruit $4.98/5 lb. bag
  • Grapes, Red or Green Seedless $2.48/lb depending on time of year
  • Kale $1.38/bunch-I try to buy it for under $2 at Fred Meyer.
  • Kiwi $1.78/1 lb. bag
  • Lemon $0.28 ea.-I buy organic at Trader Joe’s when I am there about $2 for a pound.
  • Lettuce, Romaine Hearts $2/3 Ct. Package
  • Lime $0.28 ea.-I buy organic at Trader Joe’s when I am there.
  • Mango $1.50 ea.
  • Onion, Red $0.98/lb
  • Onion, Yellow $0.46/lb
  • Oranges $0.98/lb. -I buy organic at Trader Joe’s when I am there, and the price beats this.
  • Potatoes $2.98/15 lb. bag
  • Pears, Bartlett $0.98/lb.
  • Pineapple $2.98 ea (depending on the time of year you can get them a lot cheaper)
  • Salad Green, Organic $4/16 oz.-C
  • Spinach, Organic $4/16 oz.-C
  • Tomatoes, any type $1/lb. (sometimes you can get them close to $0.88/lb.)
  • Zucchini Squash $1/lb.

Other Grocery Items

  • Beans, Refried $0.78/16 oz. can
  • Beans, Kidney, Black, Red, Chickpeas $0.50/15-16 oz. can-stocking up at Fred Meyer
  • Beans, Canned Organic $1/15-16 oz. can (now Fred Meyer sells their Simple Truths brand for about $1/can!!)
  • BBQ Sauce (no HFCS!) $1.25/18 oz.-or I go to Trader Joe’s which is $2 something
  • Cereal, Natural $2/box
  • Cereal, Organic $2.50/box (Just got Fred Meyer Simple Truth Organic for $2/box this week!!  Prices are coming down.  Keep buying organic!!)
  • Coconut Oil, Organic $21.99/78 oz.-C wins by a landslide!!
  • Spaghetti Sauce $1.25/24 oz. GLASS JAR
  • Spaghetti Sauce $0.89/24 oz. CAN
  • Salsa, Organic  $7.75/76 oz.-C

Have you seen lower prices than these?  Please let us know where!  Did we miss something major?  We’d love you to share and for us to learn from you!!

  • Go here to see the 130 + Grocery Item prices for Costco.
  • Go here to see the 100  Bulk Item prices for Winco.
We would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment.  Get free e-mail updates by subscribing here.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful”  (1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV).  Thanks for visiting!

Sonja

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Comments

  1. says

    This is a great list! There is no way I would have the patience to maintain or even complete a list this detailed! Looks great

  2. says

    Thank you – I love this for getting a good sense of how prices compare elsewhere. I’m in the northern Shenandoah Valley in VA, and all of our “best prices” are either similar to these or much, much higher. Now I feel better about our grocery budget as compared to some I read about online. :)

    How do you deal with steadily rising prices, when you’re keeping up your list? Just with the every-6-months update? I find that I have had difficulty over the past couple of years with knowing whether something is a “bad” price because it hasn’t hit the right point in the sale cycle yet, or whether the price is just UP, period.

    • says

      Hi Rachel, If I am in need of a certain item, and the price has risen, I will just buy it at the lowest price I can find at the time. There was a time over ten years ago or so when I was buying ground beef consistently at $0.99/lb. Then you just couldn’t find it anymore at that price. I had enough frozen, I didn’t buy ground beef for over a year because I was holding out for $0.99. I finally had to raise the price in my head of how much I would spend for ground beef which became $1.99/lb.

      I do have all of these general prices in my head as I go to the store because I am aware as I shop. I do blog the 6 month update in February and August. Now that I am shopping more at Costco, our local co-op, and when I can I’ll pop down to Whole Foods, I have to look at my Costco Price List update (http://practical-stewardship.com/2013/01/14/costco-quarterly-natural-organic-price-list-update-130-items/) and Winco price list update (updated every 3 months http://practical-stewardship.com/2013/01/08/winco-quarterly-bulk-prices-quadruply-expanded-and-updated-1813/) so I can see what the best deal is for things like dried beans, which I haven’t bought in the past and need to learn those prices.

      I hope this helps, and thanks for visiting!

    • says

      Hi Tina, Yes, I do know about Azure. I have different friends who use it with regularity. I know I need to compare their prices again now that I am getting dried beans, lentils and the like. I guess it’s appealing to pick groceries up to have the same day. You still have to compare prices. They have great deals for somethings and not others. Thank you for sharing and visiting!

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