Ultimately, which grocery store is cheaper? Trader Joe's or Safeway?

United States
February 11, 2007 6:35pm CST
OK, so this has been gnawing at me for a while. When it's all said and done, what's the least expensive grocery store? I have a Trader Joe's that I go to most frequently, but I sometimes wonder if the neighborhood Safeway is cheaper. (or, if you don't have Safeway, some other large chain grocer like Giant, Albertson's, Giant Eagle, etc.) I go to Trader Joe's usually for the fresh stuff, the dairy & eggs, dried goods, and the occasional frozen meal. Does anyone know for sure which one has the better deals?
2 people like this
12 responses
• United States
14 Feb 07
Trader Joe's, hands down. Sometimes you can get good deals that make the items cheaper at Safeway if there's a sale and/ or you use coupons, but if comparing non-sale prices, Trader Joe's comes out ahead. For example, their pasta is always $.69. Safeway's pasta never gets below $.99, even during a good sale. Also, Trader Joe's has Morningstar Farms items for $2.50 all the time. At Safeway, they're like $4.00. Cheese, eggs, bread, soy milk, coffee; all cheaper at TJ's. Plus, the quality of the items seem way better than the inexpensive brands at Safeway.
3 people like this
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
12 Feb 07
For me it's TJ's. I live in the North East and the price of living here is just insane. As an example, a cereal that I like is available at both Shaw's and Trader Joes. At Trader Joes, it was $2 cheaper! I thought that was crazy. I felt like such a fool for ever buying it at Shaws!
• United States
12 Feb 07
I noticed that the organic string cheese is almost $2 cheaper at TJs than at WHole Foods. (Not that it's a surprise, Whole Foods can be pretty pricey.)
2 people like this
• United States
13 Feb 07
Yeah, Wholes Food is pricey. I have been hoping to do more comparison with things like canned soup. I guess is key thing is to watch for sales. Sometimes Shaw's has a 10 for $10 promotion. That's a great time to stock up on soup for lunches.
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@sylviekitty (2084)
• United States
23 Feb 07
I'm originally from the west coast, where there are both TJ's and Safeway/Vons. I would say it really depends on what you're buying. I would buy some foods at TJ's, like eggs, some snacks, maybe some pastas... things like that. But for the most part, I would shop at Safeway and buy store brand, and use my club card and use coupons as well. I'm assuming Safeway has an organic section? You can find some good deals in a regular grocery store's organic section, if you look. My Ralphs/Kroger often has really expensive products on clearance (for super cheap), plus I use coupons to get them nearly free. Here in the midwest where I live now, if I want to be super cheap, I buy all "great value" products from either Walmart or Giant Eagle. LOL
• United States
23 Feb 07
(oops. don't know how my post got in here in two places. sigh!)
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
See, in terms of "ultimately cheaper," I would pick Trader Joe's simply because of the quality and healthfulness of the food. It might not be the cheapest place in town at the moment, but I truly believe the health benefits will outweigh the cost and prevent unnecessary medical bills down the line. (I'm a bit of a tree-hugging hippie, can you tell?)
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
I LOVE TRADER JOES!!! I'll endorse TJs all day for food w/ flavor! I think they're inexpensive for majority of their staple products (kinda high on the produce); but they save you money due to the lack of the marketing dollars stores usually spend. Where else can you find the huge Fiji water bottles for under $2? Their $3 buck chuck is great for the price too!! Now if we could convince them to accept coupons!!
• United States
24 Feb 07
I've never been to Safeway, but we have a Trader Joe's down the road. I love it. But it is DEFINITELY more expensive than a regular grocery store. I shop tehre for certain gourmet-type items that the regular grocery doesn't carry.
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@freak369 (4402)
• United States
14 Feb 07
Henry's always seemed to have the best price on anything except meat. It was always a toss up between Trader Joe's and Henry's when we would have to get vegetables for the guinea pigs. These two were the only ones that sold carrots with the green tops still on them and the piggies really loved them. Trader Joe's did have a better price on sport bars but Henry's had a bigger selection of them. Oh how I miss the west coast ...
2 people like this
@cutepenguin (6460)
• Canada
12 Feb 07
Around here, Safeway is the second cheapest of the chains. Superstore is less, but it's farther away to drive so we don't go there. We usually just got o Safeway, and whenever possibel, we go to a farmer's market to get fruits and veggies, because they're cheaper and comparable or better quality.
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@peavey (14803)
• United States
12 Feb 07
We don't have Trader Joe's, but Safeway here is expensive. Super Walmart beats them for groceries and Save-a-Lot beats everyone. Kroger (King Soopers) is good for some things, but not everything.
@Ailina (180)
• United States
27 Apr 08
Trader Joes is a way better choise. It is cheaper and fresher. I miss it since I moved!
1 person likes this
@usmcsgtwife (5000)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I live on the west coast but since I live on a Marine Base I shop at the Commassary which is cheap =) I always wonder what traders joes was I thought it was like a fruit market type place.., When I lived in Ohio I shopped at Giant Eagle. I have been to Ralphs here which is fairly comprable to Giant Eagle a little on the pricy side.
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@Hatley (121178)
• Garden Grove, California
27 Apr 08
Safeway and vons allthe same store are a bit cheaper than Trader JO es but trader Joes has some of the most healthy foods more than Vons does. Also Trader JOes offers alotof frozen stuff that Vons does not have and so much more varity of things.