May 22, 2007

How to save 17% on your BBQ groceries this Memorial Day

As you may recall, last Thanksgiving I found that the exact same groceries at Safeway in the Bay Area were more than the exact same groceries at Safeway in Redmond, WA.

The point of this comparison was to see how Apple/Sony would compete against Nintendo/Microsoft. In that study, I found that on average, groceries cost 20% more here than there.

Which makes sense – have you seen Apple’s stock price? Have you seen our great weather? Of course grey poupon should be 30% more expensive here than there. Grey poupon is simply better here!

Well, Memorial Day is coming up, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a comparison for a BBQ. But to add a twist, I decided to compare groceries in the Cupertino, to groceries in Redmond, Washington – as well as Washington DC!

Yep, that’s right! There are Safeways there – and they sell the same Safeway Select stuff there. The Capital of Innovation versus the Capital of Politics vs the Capital of Rain.

Let’s take a look:

Cupertino DC Difference Cupertino Redmond Difference
Charcoal 4.99 3.69 35% 4.99 3.99 25%
A1 8.23 5.99 37% 8.23 5.45 51%
Foil 3.49 2.99 17% 3.49 3.49 0%
Butter 3.00 3.00 0% 3.00 3.00 0%
Pickles 3.69 2.99 23% 3.69 2.85 29%
Large Tomatoes 1.50 1.50 0% 1.50 1.25 20%
Corn on the Cob 3.19 3.29 -3% 3.19 2.99 7%
Pork Should Ribs 5.58 7.38 -24% 5.58 3.58 56%
Sausages 5.29 5.50 -4% 5.29 5.49 -4%
Coke 5.49 5.49 0% 5.49 5.49 0%
Ruffles Chips 3.49 3.49 0% 3.49 3.49 0%
Olive Oil 10.46 8.79 19% 10.46 8.39 25%
Dinner Rolls 0.39 0.55 -29% 0.39 0.39 0%
Ribeye Steak 10.99 11.99 -8% 10.99 10.49 5%
Ketchup 3.59 2.69 33% 3.59 2.59 39%
Mustard 2.49 2.04 22% 2.49 2.31 8%
Relish 1.49 1.49 0% 1.49 0.99 51%
Oscar Mayer Franks 4.99 4.29 16% 4.99 4.49 11%
Hot Dog Buns 1.69 1.19 42% 1.69 0.99 71%
Lettuce 1.49 1.79 -17% 1.49 1.59 -6%
Potatoes 0.32 0.25 28% 0.32 0.25 28%
Cucumbers 0.99 0.66 50% 0.99 0.99 0%
Chili 2.09 1.99 5% 2.09 1.86 12%
Appie Pie 6.99 5.99 17% 6.99 5.99 17%
Peach Pie 6.99 5.99 17% 6.99 5.99 17%
Ice Cream Sandwich 5.99 5.29 13% 5.99 5.49 9%
Paper Plates 2.19 1.99 10% 2.19 1.89 16%
Cutlery 1.99 1.99 0% 1.99 1.99 0%
Garbage Bags 7.99 7.59 5% 7.99 7.49 7%
Average: 11% Average: 17%

Woot! We win again! Groceries here are 11% more expensive than Washington DC, and 17% more expensive than Redmond, Washington.

Woot! We’re #1! We’re #1! Hurray! Huzzah!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “WTF? Houses are 2x more expensive than renting, and now groceries are more expensive than in Washington DC, and Washington state – where they don’t even have an income tax? WTH am I doing here???”

Before you consider leaving the Bay Area, just remember that they don’t have any Chinese restaurants, Korean restaurants, Japanese restaurants, Thai restaurants, Vietnamese restaurants, gay-friendly, smart people, diversity, tech companies, snow sports, hiking, mountains, universities, In-n-outs, or 9 months of sun. And let’s not forget our cheap housing, amazing public schools, great roads, low taxes, lack of traffic, and our Governator.

I hope your BBQ turns out well!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:25 am

No Responses to “How to save 17% on your BBQ groceries this Memorial Day”

  1. Area 51 Says:

    Funny you mention snow sports, which Bay Area people brag about so much. Problem is getting to the snow is much more difficult from the Bay Area. Takes at least 4 hours to get to the Sierras, maybe 3.5 to Bear if you’re on meth, and there’s no traffic. (HA HA)
    Let’s look at some other locales:
    Boise: 1 hr
    Seattle: 2hrs
    Portland: 90 min

  2. Brendan Says:

    F@#$ snow sports. Who really cares? it’s not a big deal. Sometimes this blog just makes me angry that I still live here.

  3. burbed Says:

    But when you do get to the snow, oh my god. The snowflakes we have here are very special.

  4. Brendan Says:

    Burbed.. I have an idea for a feature on your site. I’ve noticed you’re quite the mathematician. So I think you need to have the ‘bay area’ salary calculator on your site. You can base it on how far our dollar goes compared to the rest of the country. You can factor in groceries, gas, rent, home prices, and other things.

    I’m sure it’s a straight ratio of some sort. An example:

    Salary Austin 60,000 == Bay Area 150,000

    I think it would be cool/funny.

  5. burbed Says:

    Actually there’s a few Cost of Living Calculators out there already:

    Salary in San Jose CA: $100,000
    Comparable salary in Austin TX: $63,506.49

    # To maintain the same standard of living, your salary of $100,000 in San Jose, California could decrease to $40,625 in Amarillo, Texas
    # Stated another way, it’s 59.4% cheaper to live in Amarillo, Texas than San Jose, California

    But why would you compare the Bay Area to any other city? It’s simply impossible.

    Don’t even try to think about it – your head will explode.

  6. i8thekittypurr Says:

    But wait, sir:

    1) We’re further from the ocean ports than Seattle so it costs way more to transport food here. We’re practically landlocked.

    2)We’re close to the soft white sands of the Santa Cruz beaches AND the soft white powder of the Tahoe mountains, beat THAT mister! That alone is worth a 20% premium.

    3) Where else can you go to a acres-large fleamarket and buy fine imported wares, dine on the finest Indian cuisine this side of the Himalayas, and purchase a gram of meth ALL IN THE SAME AFTERNOON? Nowhere, son, that’s what I’m saying.

  7. burbed Says:

    >1) We’re further from the ocean ports than Seattle so it costs way more to transport food here. We’re practically landlocked.

    If only we could grow food here. Instead, all we seem to grow here are Best Buy’s and Petco’s.

  8. Norcalboomer Says:

    Grow food here? The Santa Clara Valley USED TO BE one of the most fertile valleys in the WORLD. The Central Valley is the BIGGEST PRODUCER of fruits and nuts in the U.S. The last time I was in San Jose, visiting relatives, I could not believe how expensive fruits/vegetables were, and they are grown just a few hundred ( or less) miles away!!! One of the things I always missed about California was access to CHEAP and GOOD fruit/vegetables. Now I can get almost everything you get at the same price here in the Southeast, but I don’t have to pay the INSANE real estate and other prices you all pay. My air conditioned house is just as comfortable as your non air conditioned house in the Bay Area is during the summer. My nintendo/computer numbed children are just as comfortable all year round as your computer/nintendo numbed children, at almost half the cost!! The Bay Area weather is only special if you go OUTSIDE and enjoy it!!

  9. Norcalboomer Says:

    ” numb” or ” numbed”? Sorry not an English major in college.

  10. Terrible advice from Consumerist -- Your San Francisco Bay Area Home and Mortgage Insanity Blog Says:

    [...] you spend 48% of your income on your mortgage (PI not TI), it’s really cheap to live here. Food is cheap. Gas is cheap. You won’t need to spend money on tanning salons. And it’s so diverse here [...]

  11. $698,000 for a 5 bedroom, 2.75 bath house on .24 acres! | Says:

    [...] on Tuesday we learned that if you lived in Seattle, WA, that your grocery bill for a BBQ this Memorial … compared to [...]

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