November 23, 2006

How to save 20% on your groceries for Thanksgiving

The other title for this entry is “Zune vs iPod, Wii vs PS3, Safeway vs Safeway”. Why?

iPods are made by Apple, which is in Cupertino. PS3s are made by Sony which has a big site in North San Jose. Bay Area companies.

Zunes on the other hand are made by Microsoft in Redmond, WA. Coincidentally, Wii’s are made by Nintendo – which is also in Redmond, WA!

But these places have one thing in common: Safeway. So thanks to a reader, I thought I’d investigate to see what the difference between the Safeways are. Here’s a table comparing the prices of common Thanksgiving items:

First, we’ll start with a turkey…

Here’s a turkey in Nintendo/Microsoft land:

nintendoturkey.jpg

… and the same turkey in Sony/Apple land:
sonyturkey.jpg

Here’s some milk in Nintendo/Microsoft land:

nintendomilk.jpg

… and the same turkey in Sony/Apple land:

sonymilk.jpg

Item Bay Area Redmond Difference
Turkey $7.99 $4.00 100%
Yellow Onions $0.30 $0.15 100%
Celery $1.00 $1.00 0%
Cranberries $2.50 $2.00 25%
Oranges $1.34 $1.79 -25%
Garlic $0.50 $0.50 0%
Lemons $0.99 $0.89 11%
Green Beans $2.49 $1.79 39%
Pork Sausage $3.49 $3.19 9%
Eggs $4.75 $3.49 36%
Milk $3.49 $2.40 45%
Corn $0.79 $0.75 5%
Olive Oil $8.39 $5.39 56%
Chicken Broth $0.60 $1.09 -45%
Flour $1.00 $1.00 0%
Sugar $3.09 $2.50 24%
Ginger $1.20 $0.80 50%
Pecans $8.50 $7.40 15%
Salt $2.79 $2.99 -7%
Rosemary $2.72 $3.21 -15%
Honey $7.79 $7.01 11%
Black Olives $0.80 $0.79 1%
Green Onion $0.99 $0.79 25%
Pumpkin Pie $4.99 $5.49 -9%
Spinach $3.69 $3.29 12%
Grape Jelly $3.39 $2.23 52%
Butter $3.00 $2.50 20%
Biscuits $2.79 $2.39 17%
Tomatoes $0.63 $0.75 -16%
Orange Juice $6.59 $6.29 5%
Potatoes $3.99 $2.99 33%
Carrots $0.79 $0.79 0%
Rice $4.80 $3.85 25%
Grey Poupon $4.29 $3.29 30%
French Fries $3.99 $3.29 21%
Ketchup $3.59 $2.59 39%
Stuffing $3.21 $2.18 47%
Ham $7.49 $6.99 7%

Average difference: 20% more expensive

(Just to be clear – these were the exact same products on both sides. Same brand, same quality, same count – everything. You can verify the results easily using Safeway.com)

So now you know why the PS3 and iPod are so expensive, compared to the Wii and the Zune. Because the groceries are more expensive too. :)
Want to save money on your groceries? Easy! Leave the Bay Area for some place that’s not special like Seattle metro area.

Of course if you leave the the Bay Area, you’ll find that they don’t have any Chinese restaurants, Korean restaurants, Japanese restaurants, Thai restaurants, Vietnamese restaurants, gays, smart people, guacamole, tech companies, snow sports, hiking, mountains, liberals, In-n-outs, or 9 months of sun. And let’s not forget our cheap housing, amazing public schools, great roads, low taxes, and lack of traffic.

Yeah. I didn’t think you’d leave. It’s just too special here. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:19 am

10 Responses to “How to save 20% on your groceries for Thanksgiving”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Personally, I stay for the cheap chicken broth.

  2. Robert Shipton Says:

    Redmond, WA for 20% less or live in Marin for 20% more?

    Worth the premium to live in Marin! In Redmond you’ll have to spend the extra money on umbrellas and anti-depressants.

  3. m Says:

    …except the Zune and the iPod are the same price, and Microsoft’s not taking a big loss on each unit sold… probably not the best comparison.

  4. m Says:

    err, i mean microsoft IS taking a big loss on each unit sold. minor detail!

  5. GW Says:

    How much of the difference is tax, or is this all pre-tax?

  6. burbed Says:

    This is all pre-tax.

    California has a state income tax.
    Washington does -not- have a state income tax.

    The sales tax is about the same.

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