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Friday, 22 August, 2008 1:46 AM
Exclusive: Where To Find The Cheapest Lunch Foods in Metro Detroit
Last month, we told you where to find the cheapest breakfast foods that you can prepare at home. This month, we are tackling lunch foods that you can prepare on your own. We're talking frozen meals, canned tuna, soup and bread to go with it.
Do you know where the lowest prices are? You may think the cheapest prices will be at the grocery store. Our exclusive investigation will surprise you. I visited 10 different retailers to compare prices on the same 10 lunch foods that you can make without leaving your house.
The stores that I visited were Hillers, Busch's, Kroger, Meijer, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreen's, Target, Kmart and Wal-Mart. I visited all the stores during the week of August 6 - 10, 2008. All the prices that I compared were regular prices. I did not take sale prices or clearance prices into consideration.
If a store didn't have the product I was comparing, you will notice a N/A in that column. It could also indicate the store didn't have the size I was looking for. The store may have a smaller or larger sized item, but the price will be significantly different than the products I am comparing.
Here's the results to my exclusive investigation only on AmericaJR.com:
Lowest Prices are in BOLD.
Lowest Prices are in BOLD.
A lot has changed in a year when I last did this investigation at around the same time. Many of the products that I checked the prices on are now in smaller packages. Some of the packages are in larger quantities.
As you may have noticed, Kmart does not sell frozen food items. I believe this is a huge distraction for the customer. It may also keep shoppers from visiting Kmart because those items are not available. Kmart has made a bad business decision because they could be cashing in on frozen foods. As restaurants raise their prices, more people are eating at home instead.
The store with the most lowest-priced lunch items is Wal-Mart. It had the cheapest price on seven out of the ten items. Target had the lowest price on the Digorno frozen pizza and the Kraft Parmesan Cheese, a tie with Meijer.
Another interesting point is that CVS has raised most of it's food prices by 30 cents. That is the case for five of the ten items that I was looking for. They also raised prices on Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup, Kraft Parmesan Cheese, Digorno frozen pizza and Stouffer's French Bread pizza. CVS stopped selling the Tyson Hot 'n Spicy Chicken Wings in 2008.
Speaking of the chicken wings, six of the 10 stores I visited offered different quantities of the product. Kroger was the only retailer that kept the 14 oz. package. Hillers and Walgreen's switched to an 11 oz. package. Meanwhile, Busch's, Meijer, Target and Wal-Mart sell the 32 oz. package of the Tyson Hot 'n Spicy Chicken Wings.
However, the size of the Kraft Parmesan Cheese went from an 8 oz. container to a 7 oz. container at two retailers. Busch's and Wal-Mart now offer the 7 oz. container. All other eight retailers kept the 8 oz. size. The price of the parmesan cheese jumped by three dollars at Hillers from $2.99 to $5.99.
Althought Wal-Mart is the cheapest on most of the items, their prices went up slightly over the past year too. Some of their prices went up by 30 cents or more. However, some of their items dropped in price by a few cents. For example, prices went down on the Hot Pockets and Bumble Bee tuna.
The price of Digorno frozen pizza has gone up by four dollars at Kroger. Last year, it was $4.85 for a 28.3 oz. pizza. Now, the same item sells for $8.29.
Surprisingly, Hillers has the lowest price on a 20 oz. classic loaf of Wonder White Bread. It sells for $1.79 there. Last year, Wal-Mart had the lowest price at $1.57 per loaf.
Hopefully, this report will influence your shopping decisions. If you are on a budget, now you know where to get the best deals on breakfast foods for your family. Even if you aren't on a budget, this report should make you think twice about where to get the best value for your money.
This proves that the grocery store doesn't always have the cheapest price on groceries. To summarize: Wal-Mart has seven of the lowest prices, Target has one, Meijer has one and Hillers has one. If you are looking to save money, the place for you is Wal-Mart.
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