Average Cost of Food in Seattle


Below, you’ll see the spreadsheet that I’ve been working on that notes the average cost of a set group of items, their cost at the 6 stores that I priced them out at and the bill you should be looking at for each store.  Also, on the lower left, you will see the average bill at the three stores (Whole Foods, Kroger & Metropolitan Market (local) that carry all the items in this list.


Whole Foods Safeway Fred Meyer (Kroger) Metropolitan Market Trader Joes Costco Average Cost of Item
Organic Pears (lb) $2.19 $1.19 $1.99 $2.99 $2.09
Banana (ea) $0.23 $0.36 $0.16 $0.23 $0.19 $0.47 $0.27
Organic Russet Potatoes (lb) $0.99 $1.16 $0.99 $1.19 $0.70 $1.01
Organic Green Pepper (ea) $2.50 $1.59 $1.49 $1.69 $1.25 $1.70
Organic 2% Reduced Fat Milk (gallon) $3.99 $6.99 $6.99 $6.50 $5.99 $6.60 $6.18
Free Range Chicken Breasts (lb) $7.99 $7.49 $7.99 $6.99 $5.99 $7.29
Grass Fed Ground Beef (lb) $7.99 $7.49 $7.99 $4.49 $6.99
Red Onions (ea) $0.89 $0.64 $0.70 $1.49 $0.69 $0.87 $0.88
Organic Hearts of Romaine (3 heads) $3.99 $3.89 $3.99 $3.99 $2.29 $3.49 $3.61
 Cost of bill                           $30.76                                          $15.82                              $31.29                          $34.06                               $18.10                                $21.91                                               $30.02
Average of Stores that carry all items

I would also like to point out that the boxes that don’t have values in them are items that are not carried at the stores I visited.  Also, note that at big discount retailers (Costco in this instance) things like bananas are not exactly sold per pound but in much larger quantities.  That’s wonderful for items that you can freeze (meats) and lock in a lower rate but things that are perishable it’s not always the best use of your money.

I have also gone ahead and bolded the items that are the lowest price in each category.  Trader Joe’s comes out as almost a clear winner on produce and fruit.  To me, the difference in banana & red onion cost is a moot point.  Costco is obviously a winner for the meats and I was blown away at the price of Organic milk (their 365 house brand) at Whole Foods.  The cost of the milk at WF alone puts it in contention with Kroger/Fred Meyer for overall cost.  Take out the milk and it’s a whole other ball game.

One item I didn’t include on here is fish.  Here in Seattle our fish prices are so wonky depending on the time of year that it’s more about which store carries the better quality of fish rather than getting the lowest price.  I refuse to pit farm fish (Trader Joe’s) against Alaska Sockeye (Met Mart/Kroger/Whole Foods).

So, anyone else take anything away from this little experiment?  Planning on shopping differently in the future?

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