Grocery Shopping Humboldt–Choose Carefully–The Dynamics have Changed Since Last Year
Last year, I priced groceries at the SoHum, Fortuna, and Eureka Safeway and Ray’s stores. And found little difference between the prices within each chain and only minimal differences between the Safeway and the Ray’s stores. Then, I went to Winco and took the exact same list of groceries (right down to 8.9 oz box of Cheerios) and priced the list there. Whew! Now that was some savings. There was nearly a 25% savings from its nearest competitor.
I decided to repeat the process this year. (I skimped a bit and didn’t price the Ray’s Eureka and the Safeway Eureka just to save time but you can always take the same list and price the items.)
I found something Odd!
Bad News: the prices at Winco rose a little over $2 from last year. Still the Winco prices were $6.72 cheaper than the same items at its nearest competitor, the Fortuna Safeway. And $13.13 cheaper than the Garberville Ray’s .
Applying the same methodology as last year, that still makes it worthwhile to drive to Eureka to shop at Winco from Southern Humboldt. (Gas prices are at $3.25 /gal. It’s 60 miles. At 20 miles per gal. for the ave. car, that is $19.50 in gas round trip.) The Average American family spends about $165 /week on groceries. How much would you save if you shopped at Winco rather than the SoHum Ray’s stores?
A recent letter to the Redwood Times notes the discrepancies in price between Winco and Ray’s on another list of items (including the definitive Turkey Oven Bags which supposedly are sold more at the Garberville Ray’s than in any other store in the nation which should result in lowering of prices because of bulk sales. There is a savings of $1.41 per box.) *
Although Ray’s is a chain and not based in Southern Humboldt, the employees are. I need to emphasize how incredibly friendly and helpful all Ray’s employees were and are. In fact, Ray’s is very welcoming to the local non-profit community. I have frequently stood out front of both the Garberville and Redway stores selling raffle tickets for our schools and our local martial arts group. The managers, clerks and stock people not only are cheerful and helpful but frequently buy tickets and some have lent a quick hand setting up.
Out-of-Towners find the stores charming. One Washington woman took the time to write a delighted review of the Redway store here.
Pricing: Sadly, I’m limited on how to put in charts but the items are below with the corresponding prices below.
Milk Humboldt!/2 gal. Whole
Bread Brio Rustic Ital
Cheerios 8.9 oz
Eggs Ray’s org Val 12 brn Omega
1/2 Trop. pulp free
Hamburger lean grd not over 19% fat
Dreyers Tangerine Fruit bar popsicles
Foster Farms Fryer
Palmolive Original dish soap
tp Quilted Northern 12 double rolls
Bien padre Tortillas 12 pk
Newman’s own Balsamic Vin. salad Dressing 16 oz
Signature coffee organic dark fr. 12 oz
Oro Wheat Double fiber Muffins
|$ 69.53||$ 66.59||$ 66.82||$ 64.12||56.40|
* The online version doesn’t list the items and prices but it can be found in the Tues. March 16th issue hardcopy.