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In addition to all of the other food shortages the United States is facing, there’s now a rumor that a mayonnaise shortage is spreading (pun for sure intended). Considering the rising cost of eggs, plus the fact that other grocery essentials are suddenly scarce, it actually doesn’t sound that far-fetched, right?
Well, good news. We don’t have a mayonnaise shortage going on. But, I am seeing a big spike in mayonnaise cost (I’m talking up by 18% from the last year — yikes). I’ll dig into why mayonnaise prices are up and how you can save on the cost of mayonnaise every day. I’ll help you compare costs, figure out if generic brands can get you a good deal, plus share the best places to find the best mayonnaise deals.
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1. In 2023, we’re seeing an 18% increase in mayonnaise cost since last year.
We need eggs and soybeans to make mayo. But, both ingredients faced some price increases themselves (eggs cost about $4 and up for a dozen, and soybeans cost about $15 per bushel). The rising cost of both led to a sharp 18% price increase for mayo since 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index. Also, the fact that both are limited in supply right now also jacks up the price of mayo.
And it doesn’t matter what kind of mayonnaise. Regular, fat-free, reduced-fat, olive oil-based and Miracle Whip all went up in price. Unfortunately, prices will only go down once prices of eggs and soybeans go down. This could take several months. On the bright side, we’ve been stalking egg prices every week since the new year. And we’ve already seen egg prices drop slightly in various stores across the country.
Out of curiosity, I searched my Walmart order pickup history and found a receipt from July 2021. I found that two years ago I bought a 22-oz squeeze bottle of Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil for $2.98. Today’s Walmart price for that same bottle is $4.98! While I’m not a mathematician, that’s definitely more than 18%. Hmmm.
2. Calculate cost per ounce to find the best deal on mayonnaise every time.
Mayonnaise usually comes in jars or squeezable tubes, in sizes anywhere from 11 oz to 30 oz. Besides size, prices depend on where you shop, what brands you prefer, and whether you buy non-organic, organic, or vegan. But from what I’ve seen, mayonnaise can typically cost anywhere from just under $2 and can go up to nearly $10. Bulk packs can cost even more.
Because mayonnaise comes in different sizes and containers, you’d want to calculate cost per ounce to help you find the best deal. To do this, simply take the total cost of the mayonnaise and divide it by the number of ounces in the mayo package. For example, a while back, I ran into this Best Foods deal at Walmart. It offered 11.5 ounces of mayo for $2.98. When I do the math, that comes out to $0.27 per ounce. That’s an okay deal, but I can do better!
3. Look to pay $0.11 per ounce if you want to save the most on mayonnaise.
Now you know that cost per ounce is crucial to helping you find the best deal. So what? Well, the next step is determining the best price per ounce to know you’re really saving money. One shortcut is looking at wholesale club prices. Your target unit cost should be at or below the wholesale club price.
So I took a look at Sam’s Club mayonnaise prices and found that the best deal you can find there is the Kraft Real mayonnaise at $0.11 per ounce. Moving forward, we can use $0.11 per ounce as the reference point when determining the best mayonnaise deals.
4. We looked at a few stores to find the best mayonnaise cost right now.
Above, I compared a few different mayo varieties at five major grocery chains so you can see for yourself if the bread is worth the spread. Please keep in mind there are dozens of different brands, sizes, and varieties of mayo, so I just stuck to the basics for price comparison. I included the two top-selling brands (Hellmann’s and Kraft), Miracle Whip, and the cheapest organic version in stock. Also, these prices don’t reflect any in-store sales.
I noticed that every light mayo or olive oil version was the exact same price in every brand at every store. That also goes for vegan versions of mayo, which surprised me, since it wouldn’t be impacted by the nationwide egg shortage. I’m personally a brand snob when it comes to mayo, so I was glad to see what my price options are for Best Foods in my area.
Kroger came in with the lowest at $2.39 for their store brand of a 30 oz jar of mayonnaise.
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5. Hellman’s mayonnaise is the top-selling condiment in the country.
In 2021, mayonnaise was the top condiment in the United States, and the leading mayo brand has always been Hellman’s. Here’s where to get Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise at the cheapest price per ounce:
6. Don’t skip out on the generic brands. You can pay as little as $0.08 per ounce in 2023.
As we saw above, Kroger’s generic mayonnaise costs $2.39 for a 30-oz jar. That comes out to just $0.08 per ounce!
Also, a couple of years back, we’ve seen Aldi sell their 30-oz Burman’s Real Mayonnaise for just $1.89. That brings you down to just $0.06 per ounce. Mayo prices have gone up since then, but even now in 2023, you can score the same mayonnaise for $0.12 per ounce. That’s a steal.
7. Watch out for good sales and coupons.
Since prices are inevitably going up, it might be more challenging to spot a good sale in 2023. However, you can sometimes catch a deal on a name brand like Best Foods. For example, at CVS, you can run into a 20-oz tube of Best Foods mayo selling for $5.99. That’s $0.29 per ounce. Big no-no.
But sometimes CVS will run a sale. In the picture above, the store offered $3 off the retail price if you had a CVS card (which is free). That brings the cost per ounce to $0.15. Not too bad of a deal for Best Foods!
Here at KCL, we have a live Hellmann’s coupons page where we constantly add printable and mobile coupons from our favorite stores. In March 2023, you could save $1 off of Hellmann’s mayo or get back 10% in points via rebates.
8. Conclusion: Shop at Sam’s Club, Kroger, and Walmart to find the best price on mayo.
Overall, Sam’s Club has the cheapest price on brand-name mayonnaise (Kraft) at $0.11 per ounce. And if you wanted Hellman’s or Best Foods specifically, you could find the best price of $0.16 per ounce at Sam’s Club and Walmart.
If you wanted to save the most on mayo and don’t mind buying generics, head to Kroger to buy their store-brand mayo at just $0.08 per ounce.
9. But if these prices still aren’t cutting it for your grocery budget, we’ve got mayonnaise alternatives.
I don’t know about you, but I ain’t about to choke down a dry sandwich. So if the price increase has you questioning if it’s worth the extra moolah in your grocery budget, here are some mayonnaise alternatives to try:
- Homemade mayonnaise: I know, I know, inconvenient, but this recipe needs just a few ingredients and is surprisingly easy.
- Hummus: This is definitely a good option for a spread on sandwiches or wraps (and packs lots of protein).
- Greek yogurt: You can also get some good protein here, and bonus, it’s lower in calories and fat. It can be used in place of mayo in salads or as a dip for veggies.
- Avocado: If you find a good sale on them, a mashed or sliced avocado is a great substitute for mayo in sandwiches or wraps, with its creamy texture and healthy fats.
- Mustard: It’s a tangy and flavorful alternative to mayo that’s great for sandwiches, dressings, or marinades.
- Pesto: Pesto adds a burst of flavor to sandwiches, pasta, or dips.
- Ranch: It’s the second best-selling condiment in America, and it’s a popular alternative for mayonnaise.