The 7 Most Expensive Grocery Stores in the US

Grocery Store
Photo by George Rudy at Shutterstock

Can you guess which grocery stores are the most expensive?

$5,728… That’s how much most Americans spend on food annually, according to the USDA. Sheesh! That’s a pretty penny if you ask us. But that’s not the WHOLE truth because this sum can be even higher for families that are larger in size.

We’re not even including those with dietary restrictions or people who shop in specialty grocery stores. And did you know that the cost of food isn’t even what sets grocery stores apart?

It turns out that some grocery stores in our country have some of the highest prices for their consumers, and today we want to know who the most expensive grocers in America are. Now, we realize that no matter where you choose to shop, grocery shopping can be pretty costly.

But you may be making it worse by choosing a store known for its high prices. So let’s get to it! Here are the stores where you’ve been wasting the most money on groceries!

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99 Responses

  1. I agree that Acme is an expensive food store. However, they offer great produce & meats and the store near me is never too crowded; two incredibly important reasons I prefer to shop there

    1. Acme is the he least expensive in the NE
      Cheaper than Wegmans, Stop and Shop. ShopRite, Kings

  2. You are correct in saying that Whole Foods is one of the most expensive food stores to do your weekly shopping. However, their meats, cheeses, poultry and other select foods are much more superior than your Walmarts, Publix’s and other food stores.
    Also, Whole Foods often have weekly specials on many of their food items-making a little cheaper to shop.

    1. We prefer to call it “WholePaycheck”. Tho I do agree with their excellent choices of products. We couldn’t do our weekly shopping there (on occasion we do), so we mostly rely on Giant Eagle, which needs a hefty dose of competition!!!

    2. You are correct, their quality in meats, poultry, cheeses is superior to most grocery stores, and safer. If you shop the 365 brands you can do well, and the sales. I’m a customer many years.

  3. I live in Chicago, and to be fair, Jewel Osco is far from the most expensive grocery store in our area. Jewel has a robust (no fee) Rewards program with rotating weekly promotions. And regular (non-promo) shelf prices are competitive with other grocery stores here. P.S. I do not work for Jewel Osco. Just want to give them a shout-out.

    1. I agree, I fine Mariarno’s (Kroger owned) just as expensive as Jewel-Osco and sometimes more. We get our meat and prepared food, etc. at Costco. You can always freeze the meat into smaller portions (2 of us). Produce is great at Aldi’s and other items. Can goods at Wal-mart.

    2. The jewel
      Has double and tripled their prices in the last couple of months no longer can get bargains the cereals , salad dressings fruit, canned goods are way too expensive Sometimes you can get. A deal on a 6 oz piece of salmon. Or a 6oz filet or buy one get on free pork chop but in other fish and meat it had tripled in price

    3. I disagree and also find the food is often past its sell by date. Their prices on most items are higher than the exact same items at Mariano’s.

    4. I agree – Jewel is NOT one of the most expensive. Mariano’s, Meijer and Super Target are much more expensive. The smaller chains might have some good deals on produce/bakery but regular shelf staples such as sugar are sky high at these stores.

  4. Thank you for sharing your research. My regular grocery store isn’t on your list. Each time I shop, which is about every 4 or 5 days, the prices constantly rise. My last bill of $85.00 consisted of four plastic bags. The regular grocery items I purchase have increased by 2 dollars and a few items even more. I am spending 60 – 70 percent more on food each month.

    1. Are buying the same items? If you are, then the food inflation rate is 60-70%. Does that sound realistic to you?

  5. We do the vast majority of our food shopping at Kroger, using their Click List service — at 85 yo, we often need the help of just driving in and being loaded. We buy a very few specialty items at Earth Fair, and take advantage of their meat/seafood specials several times a year. We also occasionally order from Whole Foods, again for specialty items we can’t get elsewhere, or for special sales. When we need something yesterday, we run up the highway to nearby Ingles or Food City.

  6. When living in the Phila area, we wolud frequent ACME but fully realize it was expensive. We went there for so long that it was more a habit that we eventually grew out of. Now living in Florida, we know of Harris Teeter but only shop there when we want an item that only they sell. They are admitedly the most expensive and logically located in the most up scale part of our community.
    Thanks for the info.

    1. I’m a faithful customer of Giant Eagle. Yes they are high compared to other stores. But the quality of their produce, meat and bakery are fantastic. To save money I take the weekly ad and make my shopping list. I buy items that are on sale, BOGO or seasonal. They do offer items from local businesses which I see as a plus. I also have Advantage Card that you can save $$when buying certain products. The savings and the points help pay for my gas. With a little bit of planning I can make it work.
      Also having lived in Arizona for several years I found that Safeway was on the same level as Giant Eagle.

      1. Walmart is unfair with their groceries. They, in my opinion, claim to be a discounted grocery store. Everything since Covid was the main cause of inflated prices, everything’s gone up and up. Give me a break please. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

    1. They have raised there prices minimum 25% to 65% higher their Bogo are items that have been sitting for quite some time. No big bargain. For instance there ice cream is minimum two dollars more for a pint of Häagen-Dazs and all of their ice cream‘s in general compared to Walmart Bottom line they have become very very expensive

    2. Publix had increased their prices so much. Their meats are not worth the price, steaks are tough. Produce is ok, not great. The stores are clean and most of their employees are very nice.
      The Bo gos are the only reason to shop there.

  7. Jewel food store in my area appears to be the most expensive,i go to other supermarkets like-petes in bolingbrook,shop and save in downer grove, tonys in wheaton-jewel is my last resort unless they feature a good deal on at least 1 item and sometimes thats all i will get there-all the prices go up but our income doesn’t!!

  8. Out of the 7 stores we only have 1 of the stores in our area, and that is Whole Foods Market. I tend to shop at Walmart and occasionally Publix.

    1. Texas girl here. HEB is our big grocery store here. Just fantastic to shop at. Grocery prices are definitely increasing but HEB does it’s best to keep everything reasonable and lots of meal deals and coupons. Besides Walmart and Whole Foods, its our only grocery store in San Antonio area but we love them.

      1. HEB is a nice store and always clean but i find them a lot more expensive. In Houston, i shop Aldi first (although i have had a lot of problems with mildewed fruit especially strshekkyawberries), then Walmart and then Kroger’s. Only HEB when i need something specific).

    1. Agree about HyVee. I was a Wally World yesterday. Two of my items were a good dollar cheaper than HyVee. 3 and 4 dollar items. And HyVee is no better than Walmart when it comes to self service. They are cleaner witrh more people on the floor at HyVee than WalMart.

  9. I think that Whole Foods is the most expensive place to shop. They have a large variety of food and their produce is always fresh. So does the selection and fresh produce outweigh the cost? It’s a toss-up!

  10. ACME isn’t the only store with self checkout. Most Giant Eagle stores in Pittsburgh have self checkout and many of them! Only issue I’d these machines are soo sensitive you rarely get out of the store without having to wait for a cashier to fix the problem! Some are more trouble than their worth!

  11. Publix is just as expensive, or more so, as Harris Teeter, but without the great HT fuel points and special HT key fob for weekly discounts. We love our neighborhood HT. At Publix, if you forget to enter your phone number to get a discount on the digital coupons that you’ve spent hours clicking, they say, “Oh, well.” Publix typically doesn’t care.

    1. Publix did their part by offering the discounts. Your phone number is tied to those discounts. Forgetting to enter your number is your fault, not theirs.


      1. I read it . 🙂

        I shop at Publix on their weekly BOGO’s , Walmart Neighborhood and at Sprouts for what meat I do buy when on sale. Sprouts also has bulk bins so I buy my dry goods there.
        And Aldi for some items though their prices on produce are not always cheaper than Publix.
        And rarely Wholefoods too expensive.
        I’m in Florida.

  13. the only one around me is whole foods, the first time I went there was to drop of a package for return. I walked around the store to check it out. the lunch buffet sucked, I wouldn’t eat anything displayed, then I looked at the prices, I wouldn’t even think about it. walking around the store, I saw pineapples priced at $4.99 ea., at the time shoprite was $1.99 ea., and don’t give me that bull about being organic.
    I just left after that.

    1. I don’t see IGA their milk is over 4$ a gallon here in Ohio. No matter where you go they are all to expensive. Walmart watermelon almost 9$ Ridiculous , meat outrageous

  14. Thanks so that was a big help for our extending Family; I forward ya Article to all my Kids, relatives & Friends… a lot of em…
    Our Kids 9/14 already got married w/ their own kids. we had got 18 grand-kids & great-grandkids
    They all, including the In-law, loved to shop at Whole food, Trader Joe & Nordstrom!
    Costco was the last resources for them reg Christmas Gifts & food!
    Us, for years, Costco & Target… mostly.

  15. Most of these are not in the west but out here the Albertsons/Vons combo has to be, in several areas, out of sight! When they place foods that are out of date, the connected half price is virtually the same as when they were being sold originally and therefore make no sense. They know that people are searching for “deals” and hope to catch them “napping.”

  16. None of them are in my area so no worries. I go to Walmart or Giant (NOT GIANT EAGLE), and only Giant for certain items since they are much more expensive than Walmart

  17. Can no longer shop solely at Wegmans, wow have they raised prices significantly more than other local stores including Price chopper/Tops.

  18. SooooooooSad to hear JewelOsco made this list especially since Chicago IS NOT the RICH city it was. Many many moons ago it was the best place to work shop and prices were good Both my husband and I worked with them and it was considered a higher end good place to work we still work with grocery but a different better chain

  19. Only Whole Foods in my area and I don’t use them. Associated with Amazon, but definitely expensive. They are due to the fact that they carry most anything you need, out of the ordinary.

  20. The only west coast market you mention is Whole Foods! We do have Albertson’s here. Shopping at Whole Foods is a real pleasure but it’s not often I can afford it! I love the quality and selection they offer. Their cheese section is superb as is their seafood. If I wasn’t a senior on a fixed income, you can bet I’d shop at Whole Foods always! We don’t have Albertson’s here in Reno where I live, but we did have them in Santa Ana where I used to live. That was my market of choice.

  21. What about Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill in Lititz, PA? They have 3 food stores and the rest are Garden stores. They’re more expensive than Giant Foods (not to be confused with Giant Eagle). Nice store inside. But we shop at Giant, Aldi’s, Walmart and three other discounted grocery stores.

  22. I retired from Giant Eagle in Ohio. Worked there for 12 years. And yes, it can be expensive. But I know from experience that it’s a super clean store. The managers for each department keep a close eye on cleanliness and sales for each department….and there are many. You can get very good bargains once a week. There are many, many BOGO items. Every Thursday they would have BOGO free whole roasting chickens on sale. Also, if you get the Giant Eagle gas card, every time you shop, points are automatically added to the card. You can really save at their attached gas station. I had a friend who had to go to the Cleveland Clinic once a week for cancer treatments, and it really helped with filling the car.


  24. Melanie, Randalls is Safeway in Texas (& perhaps some other states). They give points for the balance of your grocery bill, you can use them for some items or gas ($100 spent = 1 point, when buying gas each point is a 10 cent cost reduction on Each gal of gas you buy at a Randalls station)
    Watch for specials, etc. to not end up emptying your wallet.

  25. Here in Charlotte, one of the news channels highlighted how to save money on food and household necessities at grocery stores. He started out with Aldi’s, then Lidell’s followed by Walmart and then Costco for bulk items. I always forgo renewing my Costco card and not sure if I want to this time around because for $60 I didn’t shop there one time over the year. I never, ever buy meat at Walmart. Their prices are ridiculous, but do opt for canned goods and sometimes produce. I get better meat prices when shopping VIC at Harris Teeter. Not all stores are created equal either. Certain Harris Teeter’s seafood departments actually stink!!

  26. Surprised you left Publix off the list of expensive grocers – they are twice the price of Walmart for a basic shopping order!

  27. You can’t beat Fresh Markets $3.99# beef and chicken, market bacon, and fresh salmon. I shop there often for these items and other specials.

  28. Re Acme stores: “Unlike any other grocery stores, they have self-checkout stands that enable shoppers to scan and pay for their things without having to wait in those long lines. ”
    Huh? I think the only grocery stores I know of other than Mom & Pops that don’t have self-checkouts are Aldi and Ruler Foods.

  29. The most economical store for me to shop is at Walmart. They always have the most economical prices of any other place to purchase food for my family. The stores are clean, shelves are stocked, and the employees are most helpful taking the time to always look for items I cannot find. I have experienced the employees being very congenial as well. Too, they deliver, do your shopping for you so you just drive there and pick it up. I am getting older and appriciate all of this because I’m not sure how long I can do my own shopping. I love Walmart for obvious reasons.

  30. I spend winter months in Florida and am amazed at the high prices in Publix. Can’t believe it’s not on your list. I don’t know how people on social security can get by shopping at Publix. In Michigan we have Meijers which discounts most of its products. In Petoskey we had Glens, similar to Publix, overpriced. Within months of Meijers opening, Glens closed down since people could now get groceries at more reasonable prices. Wish Meijers would expand to Florida. That would be the end of Publix unless they chose to be competitive.

  31. Whole Foods has better hamburg. Other stores add pink slime and other junk. Passes me off. They need to leave are food alone. I will spend the extra money for good meat.

  32. With the exception of Whole Foods I have never heard of any of these grocery stores. Apparently Colorado grocery stores were not included.

  33. The only store that I am truly familiar with on the list is ACME. It is indeed priced much higher than Shoprite and Stop n Shop here in Jersey. Yeah, there’s a Whole Foods down the road, but why travel to it if it costs more? Got Trader Joes, Aldi and Lidl. Aldi tends to be the cheapest of the bunch. Foodtown, Pathmark and A & P all croaked. Had a regional Jersey one called Top Tomato which was small, but good.

  34. Those 7 most expensive markets are mostly in the Eastern & Southern states. Can you make a list for the Western states?

  35. I live in the Chicago suburbs. Hard to pass up Cheap Chicken Mondays at all Jewel stores. 8pc, fried or baked for $5.99. On Fridays you can get 2.5lbs of wings for $10.99. Sales on soda for the holidays are $3.99 12pak in multiples of 4.

  36. I shopped at Fresh Thyme this week and was not happy to see the price of ground round and their special (?) on bacon.
    I usually shop at Aldi but even their prices have jumped over the past year. Trader Joe’s is another store that is too expensive.
    Some stores carry the ‘special items’ that aren’t found in the lower priced stores.
    I will do without before paying a price that is too high and not worth it!

    Buying what I can afford and think is healthy for me and my family is my goal. Paying the higher prices on an every week basis is a waste and encourages that grocer to continue with high prices. Also known as lazy shopping!

  37. The only one I’ve heard of is The Fresh Market and I don’t shop there. I live in the South and shop mainly at Publix and Winn Dixie!

  38. I shop Whole Foods and The Fresh Market as well as Publix. I have found that prices are just as high at Publix but quality and selection not as good!

  39. We’re spending so much more and receiving far less service , seniors have a difficult time bagging there groceries and are expected to do so in self checkout lines, if there were acceptable options , I for one would never spend my money in grocery stores that don’t provide cashiers .
    As for prices , I don’t see how certain segments of our population will ever afford to eat nutritional meals and in some cases , eat at all . Without buying any meats , my bill is never under $100.00 dollars and more for one week and two persons .

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