Grocery Cart Compare: Whole Foods v. Giant Eagle, week 2

Week 2 of my data gathering experiment was similar to last week, again with a few pleasant surprises. (For some background on this project, check out week 1 here.)

This week was also a bit odd for us with the contents, since we were having people over Saturday night and thus bought some extra things that we wouldn’t usually have around the house. 

Item Whole Foods Giant Eagle
Manchester Farms whole milk 3.99 4.70
Fresh onion dip 2.99* 1.50 *Made fresh in-house/no preservatives
Organic Beef Broth 3.69 2.99
Jambon (deli) 11.99/lb* 11.99/lb *No hormones or antibiotics
Roasted turkey breast (deli) 12.99/lb* 10.49/lb *No hormones or antibiotics
Catfish filets 7.99/lb N/A
Nature’s Rancher bacon 5.99 4.99
Organic carrots (2 lb bag) 1.79 2.58
Organic green leaf lettuce 2.69 3.49
Organic romaine lettuce 2.69 3.49
Conventional cucumber 0.89 1.49
Organic diced tomatoes 1.49 1.69
Organic tomato sauce (8 oz jar) 0.99 2/3.00* *Muir Glen on sale, 15 oz jar
Organic tartar sauce 2.99 N/A* *Conventional only, 2.19
Conventional butternut squash 1.29/lb 1.79/lb
Organic fresh sage (1/4 oz) 1.29 2.99* *2/3 oz, price per oz cheaper
Organic baby spinach 1.99 N/A* *Conventional only, 2/$6
Yogurt pretzels (bulk) 5.99/lb 6.99/lb
Organic paprika (bulk) 12.99/lb N/A* *Conventional only, bulk 15.96/lb
Organic barley (bulk) 1.49/lb 1.79/lb
Trail mix (bulk) 5.99/lb 5.99/lb
Organic garlic 5.99/lb 9.96/lb
Organic yellow onions 1.19/lb 3.99* *3 lb bag
Conventional lemons 0.79 0.79
Conventional blood oranges 5/$4 5/$4
Organic tortilla chips (12 oz bag) 3.99 2.99* *8 oz bag
Cape Cod kettle chips 3.19 3.79
Bakery sourdough 4.49 4.99* *small loaves 3.99, large loaf 5.99 – avg
Conventional cherry tomatoes (US greenhouse) 4.49 3.99* *Mexican, artificially ripened

I was happily surprised to see Giant Eagle beat Whole Foods when it came to bacon and that Giant Eagle carries a brand that is hormone and antibiotic free. Also Giant Eagle was having a good sale on Muir Glen organic tomatoes, which beat out Whole Foods’ generic ones. The fresh herbs were also cheaper at Giant Eagle, which was strange since the produce is generally entirely cheaper at Whole Foods (which the produce person at Giant Eagle told me flat out). 

The milk is from a local farm that supplies stores regionally, and I was surprised to see such a price difference – likely because of volume. 

Probably the biggest impact this comparison had this week is to remind me that we have a pork belly to cure to make our own bacon, and we have soup bones in the freezer from which to make beef broth. I need to plan better to be able to make some of these things at home, which makes them even more affordable than either store can carry them. At least we’ll be making a stewing chicken this week, and can make stock from the bones. (Look for a how-to post about making your own chicken stock using the crock pot, coming up soon!)


Congrats to Donna C, who wins the copy of Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food, Inc. from the Next Gen House anniversary giveaway. Thanks to the few and the proud who entered!