Monday, October 10, 2011

Average Price of Milk and Cheese

In the October 2nd Wilmington Star News Newspaper, there was a short column on page 1E from Amanda Lisk on economic indicators, listing average prices for items. For the grocery section, prices were listed for two common items- milk and cheese. I found it very interesting to take a look at those prices and see how they compared to what I usually pay.

Milk- The Price Was Given for Milk Prices on September 29
1 Gallon Whole Milk
Food Lion: $4.49
Lowes Foods: $3.99
Harris Teeter: $3.99
Walmart: $3.98

Personally, I thought those prices were outrageous! Food Lion clearly has the highest price by $.50. If you were going through two gallons of milk per week, over the course of a year you would pay $52 extra dollars just on milk alone! Over ten years, you'd overspend by $520!

Those prices also go to show how much you will pay if you don't buy on sale. I always buy milk on sale, so I never see those kind of prices. Harris Teeter tends to put it's milk on sale every couple of weeks or so. It is currently on sale this week at Harris Teeter for $2.97 per gallon. What a big difference! That is $1.52 less than Food Lion's quoted price and $1.01 less than Walmart's quoted price. 

Also, every Tuesday in October and through the first Tuesday in November, The Fresh Market grocer in Mayfaire is doing $2.99 Tuesdays. For only $2.99 you get a gallon of Hormone-free milk with a limit of four gallons. That's a great deal for what is normally very expensive milk.

I always say when you see a deal to stock up! That way, you will have plenty until the next sale comes around so that you never have to pay those high prices listed above. Stocking up is a little more difficult to do with milk, although I have been told that it freezes well. A tip I was given is to pour a little out first before freezing so that it doesn't burst in the freezer and to wait until completely thawed before drinking.

Truthfully, you could probably get away with not worrying about freezing milk and simply buying it on sale. Usually, milk will be on sale somewhere each week. Just wait for the sale and get enough gallons to last your family, keeping the expiration date in mind.

Finally, she listed American Cheese Single Slice Prices-store brand (16 slices-12 oz)

Food Lion: $2.39
Walmart: $2.36
Lowes Foods: $1.99
Harris Teeter: $1.97

Again, Food Lion wins award for highest price! Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods had pretty much the same price,, both around $.40 less than the others. This goes to illustrate something I often share in my workshops- that Walmart does not always have the lowest price. In Walmart's defense, they do say they will price match if you bring in the other grocery store's ad.

These prices from the article were on store brands, too. Imagine if they had been name brand and you used a coupon on the items at Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter. Those two stores would double your coupon, thus beating Walmart and Food Lion's prices by far! I personally have found this to be the case more often than not. Contrary to popular belief, I tend to spend a lot less at Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with shopping at Walmart and Food Lion if you prefer. Just keep in mind that you are usually going to pay extra for the pleasure of shopping there!

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