Brynne Conroy | 

We Found the Cheapest Grocery Store in America: The Winner Is...

The Krazy Coupon Lady is an ad-supported service. Many offers on our site contain affiliate links, and we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using them. Some posts are sponsored by the maker of the product, and we receive a fee for the post. Learn More.

I’m not going to lie. Before I started working at The Krazy Coupon Lady, I had some assumptions about how I’d determine the cheapest grocery store. For example, I just assumed the prices were way cheaper at Walmart because I tend to schlub it up when I shop there — versus how I tend to look a little more presentable when I shop at Target.

I also couldn’t imagine the prices at Target could be cheaper than places like H-E-B or Food4Less.

Guess what?

I was wrong in so many ways.

Finding the absolute cheapest grocery store means doing away with all your assumptions and taking a hard look at the actual prices. But that can get overwhelming — fast. Luckily, we’ve got a whole team of KCL researchers spread across the country who have gathered the pricing data for you. And today, I’m going to show you what those numbers tell us in terms of which grocery store is the cheapest overall.

A few things to know before we get started. First, we looked only at stores that carry brand names. While stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s might offer some significant savings, the fact that they don’t carry brand names makes for a messy comparison.

Second, remember that prices can vary by region, store, and items — like eggs and produce — go through seasonal price fluctuations every year. If your state charges sales tax on food, you’ll also want to account for that additional expense.

But as far as base pricing goes, these are the cheapest grocery stores in 2024.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299.

First, let’s take a look at the 16 items in our theoretical shopping cart:

To find the cheapest grocery stores in America, we looked at a typical shopping cart filled with these 16 common staples. We also decided on an exact quantity to use for our calculations. Picking an exact quantity helps us to better compare prices across stores, even when product sizes may differ.

For example, you’re never going to be able to buy just a 2.5-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts at Costco. But once you figure out the price per ounce for them at Costco, you can easily calculate what it would cost for a 2.5-pound bag at Costco.

So here’s what’s in our theoretical shopping cart:

  • Bananas, 1 pound

  • Bisquick All-Purpose Baking Mix, 40 ounces

  • Bounty paper towels, 662 square feet

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen), 2.5 pounds

  • Coca-Cola, 12-pack of cans

  • Eggs, 1 dozen

  • Honey Nut Cheerios, 10.8 ounces

  • Heinz ketchup, 32 ounces

  • Honeycrisp apples, 1 pound

  • Jif creamy peanut butter, 16 ounces

  • Orange juice, 59 ounces

  • Potatoes, 5 pounds

  • Ritz crackers, 13.7 ounces

  • Toilet paper, 190.7 square feet

  • Tyson fully cooked chicken nuggets (frozen), 32 ounces

  • White rice, 32 ounces

Now that we know what we’re shopping for, let’s check out America’s cheapest grocery stores, starting with the absolute least expensive (Sam’s Club, $69.43 total cost) and ending with the most expensive (Food4Less, $99.24 total cost). We’ll also show you the cheapest products at each store based on their unit price, in case you want to pick and choose where you shop to get the best value!

TIP: Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app to get all the best grocery deals.

1. Sam’s Club has the lowest total cart price of $69.43.

The exterior of a Sam's Club store

If you were to buy all 16 items at Sam’s Club — in the exact quantities we specified in our list — you’d pay just $69.43 in total (plus tax, of course).

But wait, don’t you have to buy in bulk at Sam’s Club? How can you just buy one 6-ounce container of Yoplait yogurt like we listed?

You’re not wrong. We did a little math to figure out the price per unit of each item at Sam’s Club, then multiplied to get it in the quantity we specified. That way, we can compare the prices at Sam’s to the prices at a non-warehouse location like Walmart.

Sam's Club has the best price on Heinz ketchup per ounce.

Where To Buy Heinz Ketchup

Frozen Tyson chicken nuggets are cheaper at Sam’s Club than Costco.

Sam's Club lower price beats Costco by $0.20 and was just enough to tie H-E-B in the Tyson nuggets category.

Where To Buy Tyson Chicken Nuggets

Sam's Club ties with Costco on lowest price for Bounty Paper Towels.

Where To Buy Bounty Paper Towels

Related: Check out our picks for the best things to buy at Sam’s Club.

2. Costco comes in second cheapest price for our theoretical shopping cart: $71.81.

Import from Rich Text Editor for tipPost [We Found the Cheapest Grocery Store in America...] - 10

Since you’re loading up on bigger quantities when you shop at Costco, you’re getting a better value than you do at stores like Walmart. We calculated what you’d pay for all 16 items and it came out to $71.81, which is $2.38 more than you’d pay at Sam’s Club.

Costco is a great place to pick up Coca-Cola to pay less per can.

Where To Buy Coca-Cola Cans

Costco beat competitors with their price on Jif Creamy Peanut Butter.

You gotta buy peanut butter in bulk to get the lowest price.

Where To Buy Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

Cheapest toilet paper is at Costco.

While $0.01 may not sound like much, it adds up when it comes to toilet paper.

Where To Buy Toilet Paper

Costco is the best price on Honey Nut Cheerios.

When we crunched the numbers, we found that Costco is best price on General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios. What happened to you, Walmart?

Now, in all reality, Costco doesn’t typically have the cheapest cereal prices when you factor in sale prices at grocery stores. While the Costco base price for cereal might be lower, if you wait for a sale at WinCo, Food4Less, or H-E-B, you’re likely to get an even better price than Costco can offer. These sales tend to rotate based on brand, so for Honey Nut Cheerios, you’d want to wait until there’s a General Mills sale.

Where To Buy Honey Nut Cheerios

3. Walmart comes in third behind Costco and Sam’s Club with their shopping cart total: $88.39.

Walmart Storefront

Wally World and Target are quite competitive. However, if you were to purchase all 16 items in the specified quantities at Walmart, you’d pay about $88.39, which leaves Target toward the bottom of our list.

Walmart tied Sam's Club for the lowest price on Bisquick All-Purpose Baking Mix.

Where To Buy Bisquick Pancake Mix

4. WinCo Foods came in fourth place with their shopping cart total: $89.08.

retailers-reward-bringing-you-own-bags-winco-shopping-tote-feature

You could pack up your cart with all 16 items and spend $89.08 at WinCo. We found five areas where their prices are unbeatable.

WinCo has the best price for bananas.

When we break down the price per unit, WinCo is one of the cheapest places to shop across many categories. Their winning streak started with bananas.

Where To Buy Bananas

WinCo beat their competitors on eggs.

Winco's $1.88 per dozen large eggs was too good for any of the competitors to beat.

Where To Buy Eggs

WinCo has the best price on Honeycrisp apples.

Hands down, at $0.98 per pound, WinCo has the lowest price on Honeycrisp apples. Next closest, is Costco at $1.47.

Where To Buy Honeycrisp Apples

Related: We did the digging for you to find out if WinCo is cheaper than Walmart.

WinCo takes first place for their price on potatoes.

WinCo's $0.26 per pound on potatoes was almost half the price of the second place winner Costco.

Where To Buy Potatoes

WinCo has lower-than-average prices on orange juice (tied with Sam's Club).

Where To Buy Orange Juice

5. Target takes fifth place for their shopping cart total: $91.80.

A Target drive-up parking space sign in the parking lot outside of Target.

If you were to buy all 16 items in the exact quantities we specified, you’d pay $91.80. And that’s before applying your Circle Card discount, which could push the price down even lower to $87.21. (Still not as low as the Sam’s Club total in Tip #1 above, though.)

6. Our H-E-B shopping cart total came in second to last place: $89.19.

heb

If you’re buying all 16 items at one store, the next least expensive option is H-E-B. You’ll be able to fill up your cart for a grand total of $89.19.

At $0.50 per pouncd, H-E-B did tie Costco for the bananas category.

7. Food4Less came in last place (again) for their theoretical shopping cart total: $93.56.

outside food 4 less grocery store

Despite having “Less” in their name, we were surprised to see that Food4Less came in last place of all the stores on this list (for the second year in a row) for their shopping cart: $93.56.

Unfortunately, Food4Less didn't win any category. However, they tied with WinCo for Tyson Chicken Nuggets and Jif Creamy Peanut Butter. They did take second in the eggs category, losing to WinCo by $0.11.

8. And the honorable mention goes to Kroger.

Kroger grocery store exterior

Kroger doesn’t have the cheapest prices on any singular item of the ones we compared. Purchasing all 16 items at Kroger would cost you $94.61, which is just a $1.05 more than the Food4Less (which Kroger owns).

Let’s recap: Sam’s Club is the cheapest overall for our theoretical shopping cart, but you’ll need a membership to shop there.

hand holding an instant savings book in front of sam's club

If you’re looking to squeeze the absolute MOST value out of every dollar you spend on groceries (or at least for the 16 common grocery items we checked), you’re going to want to try out Sam’s Club. Thanks to all the membership deals out there, you can join Sam’s Club for as low as $35 a year right now. And Costco’s membership is only a little higher, at $60 for a whole year.

But because inflation’s still high, budgets are tight, and you might not have the money to engage in bulk shopping, we determined your next cheapest option for grocery shopping out of the stores on our list is Walmart or WinCo.

Get our best deals on the go

By entering my phone number, I want to receive promotional messages from The Krazy Coupon Lady. Message frequency varies. Text STOP to 57299 to end or text HELP for help. Msg & data rates may apply. View Terms & Privacy.