Photo by Letty Salamanca

Grocery Store Price Disparities Strain Tight Budgets

The price discrepancy between two apples at two different grocery stores may seem negligible, but for many low-income shoppers, it’s crucial.

By Letty Salamanca

Each month, families spend hundreds of dollars on food. Between eating out or cooking at home, prices begin to add up. Finding ways to cut down on food costs can be tough for someone on a budget. For the food insecure, getting the most for their money at the grocery store can be an especially difficult task.

During the weekend of March 22 and 23, the prices for four basic commodities were collected from ten grocery stores in the Montgomery County, Md., area. The prices for the following items were compared: one pound of Red Delicious apples, a gallon of whole milk, store brand white sandwich bread and a dozen large eggs. The disparities in some of the prices show that hopping from store to store can help cut down grocery bill costs. Of the ten stores in the chart, all accept the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To find stores that accept SNAP in your area, go to

Here’s a chart with the prices for these items at each store, collected during the weekend of March 22 and 23.


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