GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Cub, Lunds & Byerlys, Kowalski's, Hy-Vee, Trader Joe's, Fresh Thyme, Aldi, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Costco...
Everyone's selling groceries.
"So many different businesses are in this game now," said Kevin Brasler, the Executive Editor of Twin Cities Consumers' Checkbook, which surveys consumers and evaluates the quality and prices of local service providers and products.
So, who's winning the game?
First, let's start with who has the best quality.
"We have two new players here in the Twin Cities, one is Hy-Vee, another is Fresh Thyme. These stores, their customers love them. They got very high ratings overall and for things like fresh produce," said Brasler.
Lunds & Byerlys, Kowalski's, and Whole Foods all rate high, too, but so do their prices.
Consumer Checkbook found Target, Walmart, and Fresh Thyme to price about 20 percent lower than average stores. So, if you spend $200 a week on groceries, that 20 percent means about $2,100 a year. Just be warned, though, they may not have everything you need.
"The problem with Fresh Thyme and Aldi and Costco and a lot of these other options that are either low cost or really, really high quality - or both, even - is that you might have to visit more than one store each week," said Brasler.
Which means more time. One thing that could help is grocery delivery, except that takes organizing, trusting someone to pick out your produce, being home for the delivery, and it's more expensive.
"They're either charging delivery fees or marking up prices, or in the case of Instacart they're doing both," said Brasler.
And, he says, no matter where you go, you can save. Just don't shop hungry.