I like to go to two grocery stores a week for my groceries.  One, Tony’s, has rock bottom prices on produce, deli meat, and cheese.   In the other areas of the store, I find their prices higher, so if I do all of my shopping there, much of my savings is lost when I buy the rest of my groceries.  The other store, Food4Less, has some low produce prices, but overall, I find prices for the majority of the items I buy to be relatively low.

My husband complains that I am probably losing the savings from shopping at both stores because of the high cost of gas.  So, this week, when I went shopping, I priced out items at both stores and the amount of gas the trips took.  Here is what I found:

The Cost of Groceries

If I bought every item at Tony’s, my bill would be $76.08

If I bought every item at Food4Less, my bill would be $106.75

(Note:  Tony’s had chicken breasts on sale for $1.49/lb., so I stocked up and bought almost 13 lbs.  Food4Less’s chicken breasts were $4.28/lb, a price I would never pay, but that explains the discrepancy in the totals between the two stores.)

By buying the sale items at each store, my grand total was $65.69.  (You can see the shopping trip here.)  By shopping both stores, I saved $10.39 off the price of shopping Tony’s alone and $41.06 off the price of shopping Food4Less alone.

But that is only part of the equation.  I must also compute the gas I used. 

The Cost of Gas

Our minivan averages 20 miles per gallon.  I will compute the cost using gas prices in our area, currently $4.29 per gallon.

Tony’s is 2.8 miles away, and requires 1/8 of a gallon of gas at a cost of .53

Food4Less is 4.9 miles away and requires 1/4 of a gallon of gas at a cost of $1.06.

Two drive to both stores requires 1/3 of a gallon of gas at a cost of $1.43

Final Analysis

Shopping Tony’s alone: $76.08 + .53 in gas = $76.61

Shopping Food4Less alone: $106.75 + $1.06 in gas = $107.81

Shopping both stores: $65.69 + $1.43 in gas = $67.12.

Even after computing the current high price of gas, it is still worth my while to cherry pick the sales at my two favorite grocery stores.  This week doing so saved me $9.49.

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