Sorry SFW, Giant is Still Cheaper
A few weeks ago Shoppers Food Warehouse challenged customers to find a cheaper grocery store. They said they would reimburse customers double the difference in price if they found comparable lower-priced items at a different store. I've written several times in this blog about the best places to buy groceries and I crowned Giant Food the cheapest store in the region. Many of you disagreed, some stating that Shoppers was really the cheapest, especially since Giant's recent re-branding campaign. Some of you challenged the value of the shopping experience, saying Giant stores were less than pleasant. And many of you expressed love and loyalty for Wegmans and Trader Joe's.
In the interest of finding the lowest prices, I took the Shoppers challenge. I recently compared the prices of 15 items, which included juice, meat, crackers, fruit and vegetables, that I buy on a weekly basis for my family of four. I put Shoppers' prices against Giant's regular prices and against their loyalty card prices.
My conclusion: Shoppers is cheaper than Giant when comparing non-sale prices but not by much. I paid 99 cents more at Giant for my 15 items at regular prices than what I paid for the same exact items at Shoppers. But Giant beat out Shoppers, which touts that it doesn't need to offer a loyalty card, when you use Giant's BonusCard. My 15 items were more than $3 cheaper at Giant than at Shoppers because several of the items were on sale. Giant's card is the only way customers can take advantage of sale prices while Shoppers offers sale prices to everyone.
Loyalty cards aside, the average price difference between Shoppers and Giant was about 50 cents. The California Pizza Kitchen pizza and the Green Giant frozen vegetables that I regularly buy were both 50 cents cheaper at Shoppers. The Mott's juice I buy was 10 cents cheaper and a box of couscous was 36 cents cheaper at Shoppers. But Giant won when it came to Laura's lean meat, which was $5.69 per pound at Shoppers and on sale for $4.29 at Giant. Even Giant's regular price was lower, at $5.29. Shoppers' prices on strawberries, blueberries and melons were lower but usually by only a penny. But as I wrote recently, Shoppers does have the best deals on pet food.
I made two attempts to contact Supervalu, Shoppers' parent company, but they didn't return my phone call or e-mail.
Even though Giant's sale prices change every week and I can't guarantee that using the BonusCard will always get me a better deal, I will continue to shop at Giant. While there's no question that some Giant stores have seen better days, the one that I happen to go to is clean, bright and pleasant.
So, do you shop at either of these stores? How many stores do you travel to just to save a few pennies or bucks? Do we go one place to get pet food and then drive somewhere else to buy toilet paper and then make another stop for meats and vegetables? Gas prices have dropped but it's still expensive to fill up the tank. How are you saving money on groceries these days?
By the way, Veterans Day is coming up, which means lots of sales. Here are a few:
-Crate & Barrel Outlet stores have up to 70% off Thanksgiving goodies like cookware sets for $149, cookbooks for $4.95 and sets of three platters for $13.50.
-Nordstrom is having its half-yearly sale on women and kids items. That means 40% or more off clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories.
-In case you haven't heard, Linens 'n Things is going out of business and is trying to get rid of its inventory. All furniture, dinnerware, serverware, decorative accessories, quilts, coverlets and bedskirts are 30 percent off. All kitchen electrics, personal care electrics, vacuums and irons, glassware, lighting and storage are 20 percent off.
-JCPenney has marked down items in every department by 30 to 60% if you shop online and free shipping for orders more than $69. You can stop by the store on Saturday between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. for more sales and an extra 10% off sale prices.
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