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August 29, 2019

Grocery Store Wars: Which local grocery is cheapest?

Ever wonder whether Stapleton’s local Walmart, Target, or King Soopers is cheaper? Here’s the inside scoop!

If you’re like my husband and me, you’ve probably chatted about Stapleton’s grocery stores, from selection to freshness to drive time to pricing.  My family lives in Conservatory Green, so the Northfield Target is the closest grocery store to our home and therefore our “go-to” grocery store … most of the time.

Of our local grocery stores, my husband insists the Northfield Target is the priciest, and he’s always happy to go to Walmart on Quebec (I’m not a fan of the louder in-store music) and other local grocery stores when he can.  Meanwhile, I’m partial to the King Soopers in Eastbridge (great sushi!) and always thought my typical purchases there were about the same price-wise as Target and Walmart.

So what’s the real story? Among Stapleton’s current local grocery stores, which is the cheapest?

With the goal of answering this very question, the Stapleton Scoop visited our four local, big box grocery stores on two separate occasions the past two weeks. Here are the four stores we visited:

  • Target – Northfield    (visited Aug. 21 and 28)
  • Walmart – Quebec    (visited Aug. 22 and 28)
  • King Soopers – Eastbridge    (visited Aug. 22 and 28)
  • King Soopers – Quebec    (visited Aug. 22 and 29)

The 26 items we purchased

At each of the four stores we bought the same items. How did we decide what to buy? Well, we tried to buy a random assortment of (mostly) non-perishable items we were fairly confident all four grocery stores would carry in the same brand, size, and flavor. Some of these items are items my family typically buys; others we don’t normally purchase but I thought would help us get broader and different product representation (e.g., we thought Band-Aids and Tums would help get at least a little healthcare representation into our basket of goods – not perfect, but it’s something).

Interestingly milk pricing was identical

Since I only have one refrigerator and limited food storage space at my home, I focused on goods I could store relatively easily for a long, long time (hello Bush’s Best Reduced Sodium Black Beans and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup!). This means no fruits, veggies, or organics (my favorites!) – at least this time around.

If you’re wondering whether we used our King Soopers card to get the “discounted” pricing when available, we did. Also, when an item was on sale or discounted at Target or Walmart, we bought at the sale or discount price. This means our pricing comparison analysis isn’t 100% perfect, but that goes without saying given our limited sample size, goods we purchased, timing of sales/discounting, and other reasons. Last but not least, we didn’t have any idea which store was cheaper and didn’t pick any products based on perceived pricing of certain products.

Be sure to check back with the Scoop in a few weeks when we publish Part 2 of our Stapleton Grocery Store Wars series – Fruits & Veggies. And for Part 3, we’re going to focus on goods you, our Scoop readers, would like us to check out for you so be sure to give us a few suggestions in the comments or on Facebook. We’ll even include the new Sprouts going up next to Central Park Station when it opens in 9 months in future installments of our Grocery Store Wars series.

King Soopers wins the Cheerios pricing battle

And now on to the pricing comparison!

Northfield Target: $70.35

Walmart – Quebec: $72.20

King Soopers – Eastbridge: $80.26

King Soopers – Quebec: $80.26

ROUND 1 WINNER:  Northfield Target!

In a very close contest, the Northfield Target just barely beat out the Walmart on Quebec, thanks in part to a few key sales at Target, including on Oscar Meyer Classic Beef Uncured Franks (10 count) and Lunchables – Ham & American. Interestingly, Walmart was actually cheaper on our first series of visits to all the stores – $43.21 to Target’s $44.35.

Check out the detailed results in the spreadsheet at the bottom of this article!

A few quick observations:

Kraft Zesty Italian dressing at King Soopers

— We weren’t sure whether King Soopers’ pricing at the Quebec and Eastbridge stores was identical, or not.  Question answered.  Maybe there are pricing differences with other products but it seems pricing is identical, or perhaps close to the same at the two local King Soopers.

— The Denver Business Journal recently reported that Kroger’s (parent of King Soopers and City Market grocery stores) prices were 13.5% higher than Walmart in the second quarter of 2019 per a study of grocery prices in Las Vegas, Denver, and Minneapolis.  Our not-so-scientific analysis seems to reflect this King Soopers v. Walmart pricing disparity here in Stapleton as well – the difference was around 10% for us.

— It will be interesting to see how Walmart and Target compare on fruits and veggies, given their pricing seems very much in-line with our first set of products.  I can’t wait to find out!

So there you have it Stapleton friends! Look for our next installment of Stapleton Grocery Store Wars in a few weeks, and be sure to leave a few suggestions in the comments or on Facebook for Part 3 when we look into what the Scoop’s readers would like us to price shop for them.

3 Responses

  1. Miley

    If you use Cartwheel at Target, you will find more coupons and savings in addition to 5% off with your Red Card. I don’t work there… I just live there most days!

  2. Val Sherer

    Can I just send you my grocery list each week?? 😉 Great research!!

  3. Renee Bevis

    Great article! I love grocery shopping at the local Target in Thornton, but have always felt guilty because DH is really into King Soopers. I’ll feel guilty no more!

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