When Your Grocery Store is Too Greedy

January 08, 2023

I never did a ton of comparison shopping on food items because I always presumed that in an efficient market food prices would generally land within a couple dollars of each other. You could save some money, but even over a year you were not going to move the needle a ton. Rising prices at Wegmans made me rethink this and I now am eating my shoe.

By The Numbers

  • In March 2022 a rotisserie chicken from Wegmans on Instacart was $6.89.
  • Today the same rotisserie chicken is a greedy $11.49. a 66% increase.
  • Costco famously charges $5 for its rotisserie chicken.
  • The differential in shifting our typical bacon consumption from Wegmans to Costco would be nearly $200.

Meal Delivery Apps are Even Worse

Recently I was offered a 50% off incentive for an Uber Eats delivery meal, and so I got $30 of food for $15. The entire discount was eaten away by a service fee ($4.97), a delivery fee ($3.49), and the tip for the delivery person ($4.21). I had a great few years of decent pricing, but now the service and delivery fees are creeping up, my enthusiasm is falling.

Now I am a Costco Believer

Not everything is cheaper at Costco or makes sense to buy in bulk. I hate shopping in-person which is why I have been such a fan of Instacart. However the savings end up being worth it, and Costco offers a partnership with Instacart including a $20/off a year discount on Instacart+, and competitive pricing on its white label Instacart site.

One More Thing

Costco also has exclusive discounts on gift cards and subscriptions, including $30 off an annual subscription to Apple News+.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.