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How Do Local Grocery Store Prices Compare?

Danville welcomed the arrival of the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market on Diablo Road last week. Will another grocery option help the household bottom line? We priced five popular items to see.

Watching the bottom line can be challenging at the grocery store.

With the price of groceries on the rise, it pays to compare prices between stores.

Local shoppers enthusiastically greeted another grocery store option when opened last week in Danville's Green Valley Shopping Center.

The store was packed Saturday afternoon with people checking out the store and looking for deals.

Fresh & Easy features self-service, familiar brands and store brands. The U.K.-based chain stresses its commitment to quality products as well as economical prices.

How do its prices compare with existing local grocery options?

We compared five common grocery list items. See how each grocery store's prices stacked up:

Milk (2 percent, one half gallon)

  • Draeger’s: $2.69 (Clover Stornetta)
  • Fresh & Easy: $3.29 (Fresh & Easy brand)
  • Lucky’s: $2.09 (Sunnyside)
  • Lunardi’s: $2.49 (Clover Stornetta)
  • Trader Joe’s: $1.99 (Trader Joe’s brand)
  • Safeway: $2.29 (Lucerne), $2.19 with Club Card
  • Whole Foods: $3.29 (365 brand)

Eggs (grade A, one dozen)

  • Draeger’s: $2.99
  • Fresh & Easy:$2.49
  • Lucky’s: $2.69
  • Lunardi’s: $2.29
  • Trader Joe’s: $1.99
  • Safeway: $2.89
  • Whole Foods: $2.99 (365 brand)

Bread (whole wheat)

  • Draeger’s: $4.99 (Orowheat Wheat Bread)
  • Fresh & Easy: $2.99 (Fresh & Easy brand)
  • Lucky’s: $4.99 (Orowheat)
  • Lunardi’s $4.99 (Orowheat)
  • Trader Joe’s: $3.49 (Trader Joe’s brand)
  • Safeway: $4.89 (Orowheat), $2.79 with Club Card
  • Whole Foods: $3.99 (365 brand)

1 lb. lean ground beef

  • Draeger’s: $5.98 per lb.
  • Fresh & Easy: $3.99 per lb.
  • Lucky’s: $3.79 per lb.
  • Lunardi’s: $4.99 per lb.
  • Trader Joe’s: $3.49 per lb.
  • Safeway: $5.69 per lb.
  • Whole Foods: $4.49 per lb.

California navel oranges

  • : $.69 per lb. (special)
  • : $.69 per lb. (individual); 6 lb. bag $.42 per lb.
  • Lucky’s: $.99 per lb.
  • : $.69 per lb. (special)
  • : $.69 each individually; $3.99 for 8 lbs., or $.50 per pound
  • : $1.89 per lb., $.99 per lb. with Club Card
  • Whole Foods: $.69 per. lb. (special)

Although Fresh & Easy was right on its heels, Trader Joe's emerged the economic winner in this cost comparison.

Like Fresh & Easy, Trader Joe's store brands offer greater discounts over name brand products, and sticking to Whole Food's 365 brand can similarly lower your grocery bill.

What might make Fresh & Easy an overall savings may be its restricted selection.

At Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, it's not the eggs and milk that is going to boost your bill as much as all the "this looks interesting, I think I'll try it" selections.

Watch out for those tempting pre-packaged selections at Fresh & Easy, too. Like Trader Joe's, the convenience is going to cost you more in the long run.

When it comes to the larger chains, it pays to watch fliers for advertised deals, because without a special or a Club Card, items do cost more.

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