Food Shopping: Safeway & Trader Joe’s

One of my main goals for this blog is to write a series of posts about comparative food prices. Here are some facts that influence my shopping. I try to spend no more than $30 a week on groceries. I live with my boyfriend so that means we split the cost of food shopping. So, combined, we try not to spend more than $60 a week on groceries. That can get you a lot of food for two people! I am located in Santa Cruz, California and have a number of options when it comes to food shopping, including a farmers’ market on Wednesdays.

I mainly shop at Trader Joe’s because it is the closest to where I live and because most items are in the $2-$4 range. A lot of their items will be “accidentally vegan” which means that they will not be marked as vegan but they do not have any animal products. Thanks, Trader Joe’s! The only thing I do not like about Trader Joe’s is the amount of packaging they use for their products.

I also shop at Safeway for a few things that are not readily available at Trader Joe’s like meat and dairy alternatives. Trader Joe’s has a very limited amount of off brand meat alternatives because they mainly stick with selling their own products. Safeway has a great organic selection. I always try to buy organic when I can afford it. Safeway also has a great rewards program (free to sign up!) that helps save on select items and gives you gas points.

What I have found is generally, Trader Joe’s has cheaper (by maybe a dollar or two) fruits and veggies but Safeway has a much larger selection. Remember, I am speaking for the stores in my area. Prices and store sizes definitely vary in different locations. Organic bananas cost less at Trader Joe’s than at Safeway but a 15lb sack of potatoes (not organic) is $5 at Safeway. There is barely any vegan friendly sliced bread at Safeway. It is really annoying, actually. I like to buy foods with a short ingredient list (usually means less processed) and the only breads I have found at Safeway that I could eat had way too many ingredients. Trader Joe’s has a great selection of sliced bread that is $3.50 average.

I mainly brought up the foods I buy the most but let me know if there are any price comparisons you want me to write about! It is a really good idea to look around and compare prices at different stores. It could save you a lot in the long run! Of course, take gas into account if you have to drive out of the way while trying to save a couple of dollars.

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