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Thursday, 9 September, 2010 2:50 AM
Exclusive: Where To Find The Cheapest Lunch Foods in Metro Detroit
Photo credit: www.crossroadsgrocery.com
In July, 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, 2010. 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 that can be found only on AmericaJR.com:
Lowest Prices are in BOLD.
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. However, 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 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 so this is a missed opportunity for profit.
The store with the most lowest-priced lunch items is Wal-Mart. It had the cheapest price on six of the ten items. Meijer has the lowest price on the Tyson Chicken Wings and the Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. Kmart has the lowest price on the Bumble Bee Tuna. Kroger has the cheapest price on the Kraft Parmesan Cheese. This indicates that Wal-Mart has done more price checking with it competitors and then lowered its own price thereafter.
The price of Hot Pockets went down at almost every store. The biggest drop was at Meijer where the price went from $2.50 in 2009 to $2.08 in 2010. Busch's and RiteAid each lowered its price by 10 cents. Wal-Mart kept its price the same at $2.00 per box of Hot Pockets and is still the lowest.
Another interesting point is that CVS raised its price on the Digorno Pizza by 20 cents and lowered its price on the Wonder Bread by 30 cents. The pizza was $6.79 last year and it went up to $6.99 this year. The loaf of bread was $2.79 last year and it went down to $2.49 this year.
In terms of the Tyson Chicken Wings, most of the stores offer different quantities of the same product. Hillers, Kroger and RiteAid are selling the 11 oz. box. Busch's and Meijer offer the 25 oz. size of the chicken wings. Wal-Mart is the only retailer offering the 32 oz. box.
Kroger has lowered the price of the Kraft Parmesan Cheese by almost half. Last year, the store sold the 8 oz. container for $5.09. This year, it is selling for $2.80 at Kroger. Busch's has raised its price on the exact same item by $1.50 in just one year. Target lowered its price by 5 cents while Wal-Mart raised its price by 4 cents.
Prices on some of the items I checked have actually gone up at Wal-Mart. For example, the retailer raised its price on the Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese by 13 cents, the Kraft Parmesan Cheese by 10 cents and the Wonder Bread by 10 cents more. Wal-Mart also stopped selling the Bumble Bee Chunk White Albacore Tuna. Now, the retailer only offers the Starkist tuna.
The price of Digorno frozen pizza went down by $1.30 at Busch's. In 2009, it was priced at $8.29 per box. This year, it is selling for $6.99 per pizza. Kroger and RiteAid also lowered their prices on the Digorno pizza. Target, CVS and Meijer raised its prices on the pizza this year.
Wal-Mart has the lowest price on a 20 oz. classic loaf of Wonder White Bread for $1.88, even though it is 10 cents more than last year. Kroger, Busch's and Meijer raised their prices on the bread by 50 cents or more. Meanwhile, Kmart lowered its price by 50 cents.
Hopefully, this report will influence your shopping decisions. If you are on a budget, now you know where to get the best deals on lunch 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 six of the lowest prices. Meijer has the cheapest price on two items while Kmart and Kroger each have the lowest price on one single item each. If you are looking to save money, the place for you is Wal-Mart.
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