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Exclusive report: six staple items compared

Ashley Montgomery | 10/31/2013, 9 a.m.
Many in the community are bracing themselves for the Nov. 1st Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] (formally known as the ...

Many in the community are bracing themselves for the Nov. 1st Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP cuts. Recently, thousands gathered in Liberty City at the Joseph Caleb Center to discuss how they will survive. It is estimated that some three million households in Florida will be impacted by SNAP cuts. So what is a shopper to do? Perhaps one smart move would be to look at the prices charged at local grocery stores and see who is giving the best bargain — especially since some will soon have less money to spend.

Price Choice Foodmarkets, Presidente Supermarket, Publix and Winn-Dixie are some of the most frequented stores among Black shoppers in Miami-Dade County because of their promise of lower prices. Six staple items (bread, milk, eggs, peanut butter, cheese, bacon, and cereal) were compared side-by-side to find out exactly who delivers the best deals to the community. In addition, the majority of the items compared were Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] approved.

Here’s how the four matched up:

Presidente Supermarket boasts such claims as “your dollars buy you more in our store,” “we aim to please,” and “proudly serving you” on their website. Our small survey showed that with 30 years in the community, the majority of Presidente Supermarkets’ brand name items cost less than Winn-Dixie, Publix and Price Choice. Natures’s Own 100% Whole Grain sliced bread was priced as $3.19. Their grade A, large Sunups eggs was $2.19 for a dozen. A gallon of McArthur milk was priced at $3.59; Better Value 18 ounce peanut better was $2.59; El Quessoro 16-ounce mild cheddar cheese priced at $4.69; Gwaltney’s 12-ounce bacon was $3.49; and lastly, Cheerios 18-ounce cereal was $5.19. The total: $24.93 for six staple items that could feed a family of four.

Price Choice Foodmarkets came in second with all six staple items costing $1.59 less than Winn-Dixie. According to their website, “extending your dollars” is their number one priority. Price Choice also says the company takes care to provide their customers with high quality services personalized for their unique needs. Their Bimbo 16 ounces of 100% whole grain bread was $2.49; Crystal Farms grade A, large eggs was the cheapest of the three at $1.99; a gallon of McArthur milk was the most expensive costing $5.99; Peter Pan peanut butter was $3.59; Smurfresh medium cheddar was the cheapest of all at $4.49; Gwaltney running the same as $3.49; and lastly, 18 ounces of Cheerios pricing at $6.09. All six staple items totaled to $28.13

Publix fell in third place, eight cents shy of taking the lead for the most expensive grocery store of the four. With a promising slogan, “where shopping is a pleasure,” Publix features hundreds of items for buy-one-get-one-free weekly as well as half-off prices. Publix also takes coupons from its competitors. Their 16 ounce Nature’s Own 100% whole grain bread was the most expensive of the group, being $3.99. Publix’s gallon of whole milk costs $3.95; tying with Winn-Dixie their large grade A eggs cost $1.89 for a dozen. Publix promises that their own brand has lower prices than national brands and they delivered with their reduced fat peanut butter, costing just $1.89 for 16 ounces. Publix’s mild cheddar cheese was $5.79 for 16 ounces; Publix brand bacon, $6.59 for 12 ounces; and Cheerios were priced at $5.15. All six staple grocery items totaled $29.65.