Price Comparisons: Organic vs. Conventional Foods

Organics have traditionally been more expensive, but growing availability and grocery store brands may help narrow the gap. We compare costs on 10 staples.

Price Comparisons Organic vs. Conventional Foods

Often, stores tout lower price as an advantage of their store brands – and, increasingly, organic foods are being added to the lineup. Recently, Kroger, a chain that’s pretty popular here in southeast Michigan, jumped on the bandwagon, revealing its Simple Truth brand of organic and natural foods. Its website states that the new line is honest, easy and affordable. But is it always a better bargain? Check out our side-by-side comparison of mom “must-haves” to compare receipts.

1. Milk (2-perent half gallon)

  • Simple Truth organic: $4.09 (6.39 cents per ounce)
  • Conventional milk: $2.99 (4.7 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Conventional wins the price war on milk.

2. Cereal (12-ounce box)

  • Simple Truth Toasted Oats cereal: $2.59 a box (21.6 cents per ounce)
  • Cheerios: $3.19 a box (22.8 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Simple Truth is the better bet for breakfast.

3. Yogurt

  • Simple Truth strawberry, 1 percent milk fat yogurt: $1.19 (19.8 cents per ounce)
  • Yoplait Original in strawberry: 60 cents each (10 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Conventional dairy keeps more pennies in your pocket.

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4. Eggs

  • Simple Truth cage-free, grain-fed eggs: $3.47 per dozen (28.9 cents each)
  • Ordinary Grade A eggs: $1.69 per dozen (14.1 cents each)

Bottom line: Make more omelets with conventional eggs.

5. Pasta

A pantry staple, pasta tends to find its way on to the table at least once a week.

  • Simple Truth 100-percent whole-grain spaghetti: $2.39 per box (14.9 cents per ounce)
  • Mueller’s 100-percent whole-grain spaghetti: $2.39 per box (18 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Save more money with organic pasta in your pantry.

6. Marinara sauce

  • Simple Truth: $3.29 per jar (13.2 cents per ounce)
  • Ragu Traditional: $1.68 per jar (7 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Ragu goes in the cart, for a savings of almost 50 percent.

7. Nutrition bars

Whatever you call them, nutrition bars, energy bars or cereal bars – they make snacking, for busy families, better.

  • Simple Truth’s fudge graham flavor: $1 each
  • Fiber One’s Chewy for Kids: 0.73 cents per ounce

Bottom line: Conventional keeps more coins in your account.

8. Bread

From French toast to PB&J, bread is a must-have on most everyone’s list.

  • Simple Truth’s 100-percent whole grain bread: $3.69 per loaf (13.2 cents per ounce)
  • Brownberry Smooth Texture 100-percent whole-grain bread: $3.19 per loaf (14.5 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Brownberry beats out Simple Truth by a just a bit.

9. Peanut butter

A lunchtime standby for most moms, peanut butter packs a protein punch worthy of the pantry.

  • Simple Truth’s creamy variety: $4.79 per jar (26.6 cents)
  • Jif Creamy Peanut Butter: $2.99 per jar (16.6 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Jif packs savings along with that protein.

10. Apple juice

This childhood favorite can be found year-round in fridges everywhere.

  • Simple Truth’s brand: $3.39 per jug (0.05 cents per ounce)
  • Mott’s apple juice: $3.49 per jug (0.06 cents per ounce)

Bottom line: Save cash by purchasing the organic apple juice.

This article originally appeared in a May 2013 edition of Metro Parent.

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