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July 28, 2014

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GROCERY WARS:

Price check: The Sun shops for the same items at eight stores and compares the bills

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Steve Marcus

A clerk at the meat counter fills a customer gets sliced ham for a customer during the grand opening a WinCo Foods supermarket at Stephanie Street and Wigwam Parkway in Henderson Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Boise-based supermarket chain opened their 81st and 82nd stores Sunday, their first stores in Southern Nevada.

Grab a cart, shoppers, and join us as we compare prices at several Las Vegas Valley grocery stores.

For our snapshot comparison, we hit eight grocers and checked on nine items over the noon hour Friday. We included items from various departments on our shopping list, and we looked both for prices on specific products and for the lowest price on a general type of item. For instance, we priced a 10.5-ounce bag of Lays Classic potato chips, but looked for the lowest price on white bread regardless of brand.

Specifically, our shopping list was as follows:

• Lowest price on a gallon of 1 percent low-fat milk

• Lowest price on a 1-pound chub pack of ground beef

• Lowest price on a loaf of white bread

• 14-ounce box of Cheerios

• 1-pound bag of Gala apples

• 13.72-ounce package of Chips Ahoy! cookies

• 10.5-ounce bag of Lays Classic potato chips

• Lowest price on a 1-pound slab of bacon

• Lowest price on a head of iceberg lettuce

When applicable, our list contains prices offered to frequent-shopper discount club members. Also, the list features the price of a single item in all cases — even though, in some cases, they were part of two-for-one and similar deals.

With that, off we go.

    • Three-year-old twins Armann, left, and Aryan Saadi wear Winco hats as their mother shops during the grand opening a WinCo Foods supermarket at Stephanie Street and Wigwam Parkway in Henderson Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Boise-based supermarket chain opened their 81st and 82nd stores Sunday, their first stores in Southern Nevada. STEVE MARCUS

      WinCo, 80 N. Stephanie St., Henderson



      Milk — $2.48

      Ground beef — $2.98

      Bread — 98 cents

      14-ounce Cheerios — $1.78

      Gala apples — 88 cents

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $1.98

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $1.98

      Bacon — $2.18

      Iceberg lettuce — 68 cents

      Total — $15.92

    • **FILE**An Albertsons supermarket is shown in a Mountain View, Calif. file photo from May 30, 2006. Ross Stores said the company will acquire 46 Albertsons supermarket sites in six states, including California, as part of its ambitious expansion plans for next year.

      Albertsons, 2851 N. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson



      Milk — $2.89

      Ground beef — $3.19

      Bread — 99 cents

      14-ounce Cheerios — $4.29

      Gala apples — $1.49

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $2.99

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $3.79

      Bacon — $3.99

      Iceberg lettuce — $1.29

      Total — $24.91

    • Raul Rios, left, and Rosalinda Ramirez attend to their 5-month-old daughter Angel Mayen, as they leave a Los Angeles Vons grocery store, Oct. 30, 1996. Safeway Inc. proposed a stock-swap merger with the Vons Companies Inc., to create a California grocery giant that would be the second-largest in North America.

      Vons, 2667 E. Windmill Parkway, Henderson



      Milk — $2.79

      Ground beef — $3.99

      Bread — 99 cents

      14-ounce Cheerios — $3.89

      Gala apples — $1.49

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $3.29

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $4.29

      Bacon — $2.99

      Iceberg lettuce — $1.29

      Total — $25.01

    • Food 4 Less, 2271 N. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson



      Milk — $2.48

      Ground beef — $3.68

      Bread — 98 cents

      14-ounce Cheerios — $4.38

      Gala apples — 58 cents

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $2.75

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $1.98

      Bacon — $2.28

      Iceberg lettuce — 68 cents

      Total — $19.79

    • Smith's, 1000 N. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson



      Milk — $2.50

      Ground beef — $2.99

      Bread — $1

      14-ounce Cheerios — $3.19

      Gala apples — 99 cents

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $3.18

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $2.49

      Bacon — $4.29

      Iceberg lettuce — 72 cents

      Total — $21.35

    • The new Fresh & Easy set to open March 21 near South Decatur Boulevard and West Cactus Avenue in Las Vegas on Monday, March 19, 2012.

      Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, 8500 South Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas



      Milk — $2.79

      Ground beef — $4.79

      Bread — 98 cents

      14-ounce Cheerios — $3.99

      Gala apples — $2.07

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $3

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $3.49

      Bacon — $2.29

      Iceberg lettuce — 98 cents

      Total — $24.38

      Notes: Fresh & Easy does not sell apples by the pound, but rather individually. The price of Gala apples was 69 cents each. With three apples generally equaling a pound, the per-pound price would be $2.07. Also, the store does not sell chub packs of ground beef.
    • Walmart Supercenter, 2310 E. Serene Ave., Las Vegas



      Milk — $2.98

      Ground beef — $3.18

      Bread — $1.38

      14-ounce Cheerios — $2.84

      Gala apples — 87 cents

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $2.50

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $2.68

      Bacon — $3.78

      Iceberg lettuce — 87 cents

      Total — $21.08

    • Whole Foods Market, 100 South Green Valley Parkway, Henderson



      Milk — $2.99

      Ground beef — $4.99

      Bread — $2.69

      14-ounce Cheerios — $3.99

      Gala apples — $2.49

      13.72-ounce Chips Ahoy! — $3.69

      10.5-ounce Lays Classic chips — $2.99

      Bacon — $4.99

      Iceberg lettuce — $1.99

      Total — $30.81

      Notes: Whole Foods does not carry Chips Ahoy! and Lays Classic potato chips. Prices listed are for comparable Whole Foods brands.

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    1. And the winner is.....WinCo!
      But for HOW LONG? Many of these prices are likely to reflect promotional grand opening pricing meant to bring in customers.

      One the best ways to cut your food bill is the use of product coupons and weekly specials. Otherwise, it is pretty relative, considering the gas costs in driving around town for the "best deals."

      Blessings and Peace,
      Star

    2. I noticed where I live, the competition between stores has gotten hotter. We have Walmart, two large chain stores - HyVee and Jewel. HyVee is midwestern local and Jewel's parent company is Albertson's. One family-run store called Fareway. And finally a store called Aldi (no deli counter and their own brand of can goods, dairy, bakery etc).

      Walmart use to clobber all these other stores as far as price goes but not anymore. They are more expensive then the other stores in a lot of merchandise, but still a good place to go for shampoo, toothpaste, hardware, etc. I shop at HyVee all the time now. They once were on the high side for just about everything but their weekly sales are hard to beat. Some unadvertised so you basically have to walk the aisles. Great deli and they have dinners for take out or dine in that cannot be beat. They have this excellent salad bar and I've paid upwards of $11 for a container but it is fresh and lasts me 2 meals. Their butcher dept is first rate. The bakery is very good. If you want a cake made special of your own choosing or recipe, they will make it for you!! The Jewel is a robber barron. Prices are high and I don't see how they can stay in business, ie 4 qts of butter at $3.99 v. the same brand and size for $2.69 at HyVee. Fareway also used to be expensive and limited on many items. But they have become very competitive and their butcher department is well known with a stellar reputation. Anything I bought there was excellent, especially if you are going to grill. All their meat is from Iowa meatpackers. Aldi is very popular because it is not fancy and great prices. No shelves to stock the items, just the boxes they come in. You bag your own groceries, too. Produce is always fresh and cheap!! For example - avocados 49cents each v. $1.00 at HyVee or $1.19 at Jewel. I actually go to 3 different stores when shopping - just like my Mom did and I use to always ask her why she did that. Now I know - to save money! All 3 stores are on my way home every night so luckily no extra gas is required.

      When I lived in Vegas, I shopped at both Smith's and Albertson's. Both stores were good at staying competitive and both had good sales. If this Win store keeps their prices low, the other stores will follow suit. The competition will be good for the area.

      PS The two Target Stores in our area sell groceries, too - fresh produce, deli items, meat etc.

    3. True comment about stores being more expensive in poor areas. Remember that last grocery store near MLK and Lake Mead? Closed because they had to have 3 security people on duty all the time. Sorry, but you make the crooks, you have crime. Sad, but true....

    4. How about checking the stores in the real Las Vegas & North Las Vegas? By the time you drive way out to the boondocks you wipe out the "savings" you get. My Food 4 Less is four blocks from my house and I can also get fuel there at 10 cents a gallon off of the regular price. I checked prices myself and the cost at the Bonanza & Pecos Food 4 Less was only $1.87 more that the WinCo out at the edge of town.. That's spending $1.87 more but saving a half hour drive each way and 3-4 gallons of gas.

    5. Food especially meat is too expensive at any store and isn't really meat. Families should pool their money and buy whole beef, pork, and chicken from local producers or famers who sell whole beef, whole pork, and farm fresh chickens by the case. This alone would cut food bills down a few thousand a year.

      I've been buying all my meats from Franks Meat and Sausage, Seafood from Pike Place Fish Market for the past 30 years and Chickens from local famers. The money savings is enormous and health factors buying in bulk from producers who don't feed their animal's steroids and the rest of the junk found in grocery store meat and fish.

      On average a whole beef, varying by where you buy but shouldn't be more than $2.30 lb for all cuts of meat. Whole Pork cut and wrapped $2.45 lb for all cut. Whole Chicken by case, 72 lbs, #2.05 to $2.15 lb. Smoking any will add $.50 cents a pound. Cuts are your choice, no store cuts where meat looks like crap or something you wouldn't feed your dogs.

      The quality of the food and taste each has would really surprise most of you if you haven't had real farm fresh food. You can eat without getting sick or the fear of coming down with some other aliment that mass produced brands inherently have.

    6. "Lowest price on a 1-pound chub pack of ground beef"

      Do some searching on the internet on the issue of "Pink Slime" which is used as an extender in many supermarkets' ground beef, both fresh and pre-packed chubs. AP had an interesting story summarizing which supermarket chains are "pink slimey" and those which are not.

    7. Chunky says:

      The saddest part of this price shopping survey is that the items shopped likely represent the diets of our excessively obese country.

      Other than the milk and maybe the apples that list is full of processed food, simple sugars and fat; either no nutrients or all the wrong ones. The only thing missing is soda!

      That's what Chunky thinks!

    8. I am not sure if all stores price match but I know Wal-Mart will. If one store dosen't price match, I know by finding a Wal-Mart grab your add and you will be off and running. I would think WinnCo will do the same thing. REMEMBER!!!!!!! take your ADD'S with you, call or ask a cashier first. This is our only way of fighting food inflation.