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Is Walmart Neighborhood Market More Expensive?

2013 April 3

charlie_imageAbout a month ago our neighborhood got a Walmart Neighborhood Market, and the appeal of something closer, smaller, and perceivingly more inviting got me thinking. Is Walmart Neighborhood Market more expensive than regular Walmart?

As we made our first trip through the store on the first weekend it was open it was apparent lots of people in the community were drawn to the new store. A couple of things that stuck out about the new store were, it was half the distance to the regular Walmart. It was about 1/3 the size of a Super Walmart. It had a cozier and more homely feeling. It’s location made it easier to get in and out for grabbing a few groceries that are needed to prepare dinner. However, I had a feeling that I was paying for the convenience. Much like you pay more for gas station/convenience stores. 



I thought I wasn’t the only one wondering this question, and thought…hmm, I could make this into a blog post. Because I’d bet more people think they’re paying extra too. So this last week I set out for both stores with a list of 11 items, and visited both on the same day to compare prices. Here is what I found:

  • Milk (Land O Lakes Vitamin D): $3.98 (Neighborhood Market) – $3.98 (Walmart)
  • Bananas: : $0.51 (Neighborhood Market) – $0.48 (Walmart)
  • Beer (Coors Light 6 pack): $6.28 (Neighborhood Market) – $6.28 (Walmart)
  • Coffee (Folgers): $8.48 (Neighborhood Market) – $8.48 (Walmart)
  • Yogurt (Chobani): $1.00 (Neighborhood Market) – $1.00 (Walmart)
  • Cheese (Kraft 24 pack): $2.98 (Neighborhood Market) – $2.98 (Walmart)
  • Flour (Great Value 5lb): $1.58 (Neighborhood Market) – $1.68 (Walmart)
  • Guacamole (Wholly): $4.88 (Neighborhood Market) – $4.88 (Walmart)
  • Hot Dogs (Oscar Mayer Beef Franks): $3.48 (Neighborhood Market) – $3.48 (Walmart)
  • Butter (Land O Lakes tub): $3.48 (Neighborhood Market) – $3.48 (Walmart)
  • Cereal (Cheerios 14oz): $2.84 (Neighborhood Market) – $2.84 (Walmart)

Overall, I was extremely surprised that the prices were so close to a regular Walmart, and that people weren’t paying for the convenience. Funny thing is that this Neighborhood Walmart is just behind a convenience store where their prices are 50% higher on many of their grocery type items.

This was ThreeThriftyGuys.com first attempt at doing a comparison on prices of different stores. We would like to get other readers opinions on what other stores you’d like us to compare prices against to make sure you are getting the best value? Or would you like us to research who has the best balance transfer credit card offers? Or would you like more reviews on money saving devices like Ooma Telos or MagicJack? We are all about saving you money, so e-mail us at info@threethriftyguys.com.

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Charlie

An IT professional, Charlie also buys and sells liens, lives on the cheap, runs marathons and helps to run his family farm. In his spare moments, he raises 3 children, does the dishes and writes one post a week. His former blog, Frugal Retirement Plan, has been cited by US News and World Report.

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9 Responses
  1. April 3, 2013

    That is actually a little surprising that the prices are almost exactly the same, but I guess they don’t want to be competing against their own stores – just against those stores (like the one behind) that was 50% more in cost. You know that store isn’t happy about them showing up!

    I’ve done the comparison shop on items at our local grocery store vs. the Super Walmart by our house, and the Walmart comes out cheaper almost every time. It’d be interesting to see another one of these smaller Walmart grocery’s show up around us..

  2. Jason permalink
    April 3, 2013

    We have a Neighborhood Market that opened nearby and even though it is a bit farther than the Walmart, I would rather shop there to avoid the crowds. Kroger, Publix, and the farmer’s market are all closer and much more pleasant than Walmart so we’ve been shopping at them.

    I think this is a great comparison and would like to see Walmart compared to other grocers. Unfortunately many we shop at will be regionals. This is one of our largest budget items and so I find it very relevant. Thanks.

  3. April 3, 2013

    That’s very interesting. I would’ve thought that it might be a little more expensive and that you would be paying for the convenience feel behind it all. I’ve not been to one of these new stores yet, though I guess I should go see for myself.

  4. April 3, 2013

    That does not suprise me. The strategy is to get rid of that big box feeling that the traditional Walmart gives off. If they can get your business in a smaller setting, they will. I would love to see how the WNM stacks up costwise against your Publix and Kroger over a month. Lots of people swear that Walmart is the cheapest but with Publix BOGOs, I think in many categories Publix wins.

  5. April 3, 2013

    Walmart is one of the cheaper ones in our area, but there is a employee owned regional grocery that is as good or better. Compared to our local Schnucks though, Walmart is a bargain. How they stay in business baffles me!

  6. Charlie permalink*
    April 3, 2013

    @Peter, Jason, John, T, and Bryan – thanks for all the great feedback and comments! I think I’ll start charting Walmart vs Kroger next for a month. I think over a month you can get a good picture of the average price, and not just a point in time pricing.

    TTG is still taking comments on other comparisons, so give us a shout out to have your voice heard, and we’ll make it happen. Keep the ideas coming!

  7. April 3, 2013

    I asked a worker at a neighborhood walmart the same question and she said they are about the same with the market being pennies more if anything- I would like to see if it is better to use coupons on brand names or go with the cheap version of things

  8. Dona Collins permalink
    April 4, 2013

    I’ve never heard of a Neighborhood Walmart before. I assume this is a relatively new thing? I’d think they’d have more luck with mini-locations (even locations they could use for Site to Store shipping, than they’d have with that odd plan to have customers deliver goods.

  9. Clark permalink
    May 1, 2013

    Thanks for the analysis – somewhat surprising. Would like to see an analysis of City Target vs. regular Target. I’ve seen higher prices on a broad variety of items at City Target and have found that they even have different sales circulars vs. suburban markets.

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