Often, stores tout lower price as an advantage of their store brands – and, increasingly, organic foods are being added to the lineup. For instance, 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. Meijer, another favorite grocery chain among Michiganders, also has its True Goodness organics brand, which offers a variety of options, too.
Meijer’s website notes its line of organics is, “free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives,” making it attractive to many parents. Kroger’s website states that its Simple Truth line is honest, easy and affordable. But are these organic offerings always a better bargain? Check out our side-by-side comparison of mom “must-haves” to compare receipts.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Prices do change regularly at both stores.
- There may be special deals depending on the week that could impact price (and save you some money). Be sure to check out your local store for the latest – or the weekly ads online and in your mailbox.
- Some items listed below weren’t available from both organic brands, so we made comparisons where we could to give you an idea of how they match up.
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1. Milk (2-perent half gallon)
- Simple Truth organic: $3.49 (5.45 cents per ounce)
- True Goodness organic: $3.69 (5.76 cents per ounce)
- Conventional milk (at Meijer): $2.41 (3.8 cents per ounce)
Bottom line: Conventional wins the price war on milk.
2. Cereal (12-ounce box)
- Simple Truth Toasted Oats cereal: $2.79 a box (23.3 cents per ounce)
- Cheerios: $3.39 a box (28.3 cents per ounce) at Kroger
Bottom line: If you’re shopping at Kroger, Simple Truth is the better bet for breakfast.
3. Yogurt (32-ounce container)
- Simple Truth vanilla, low fat: $2.79 (8.72 cents per ounce)
- Dannon vanilla, low fat: $2.99 (9.34 cents per ounce) at Kroger
Bottom line: Simple Truth dairy keeps more pennies in your pocket when grocery shopping at Kroger.
4. Eggs (Grade A)
- Simple Truth cage-free: $3.99 per dozen (33.3 cents each)
- Ordinary Grade A eggs: $2.49 (20.8 cents each) at Kroger
- True Goodness cage-free: $3.89 per dozen (32.4 cents each)
- Ordinary Grade A eggs: $1.59 (13.2 cents each) at Meijer
Bottom line: Make the most budget-friendly omelets with conventional eggs, with slightly better deals at Meijer.
A pantry staple, pasta tends to find its way on to the table at least once a week.
- True Goodness: $1.99 (12.4 cents per ounce) for 16-ounce box
- Barilla 100-percent whole-grain spaghetti: $1.39 (10.5 cents per ounce) for a 13.25-ounce box at Meijer
Bottom line: Save more money with conventional pasta in your pantry at Meijer.
6. Marinara sauce (24-ounce jar)
- True Goodness: $2.29 (9.5 cents per ounce)
- Ragu Hearty Traditional: $1.77 (7.4 cents per ounce) at Meijer
Bottom line: Ragu goes in the cart, for a savings of just over 50 cents.
From French toast to PB&J, bread is a must-have on most everyone’s list.
- Simple Truth’s 100-percent whole-wheat bread: $3.99 (15.3 cents per ounce) for a 26-ounce loaf
- Brownberry 100-percent whole-wheat bread: $3.49 (14.5 cents per ounce) for a 24-ounce loaf at Kroger
- True Goodness: $3.99 (20 cents per ounce) for a 20-ounce loaf
- Brownberry 100-percent whole-wheat bread: $4.29 (17.9 cents per ounce) for 24-ounce loaf at Meijer
Bottom line: Though loaf sizes varied, when broken down, Brownberry at Kroger beat out its Simple Truth by a just a bit – and the same was true of Meijer.
8. Peanut butter
A lunchtime standby for most moms, peanut butter packs a protein punch worthy of the pantry.
- Simple Truth’s creamy variety: $3.99 per 16-ounce jar (24.9 cents per ounce)
- Jif Creamy Peanut Butter: $2.69 per 16-ounce jar (16.8 cents per ounce)
- True Goodness creamy variety: $3.99 per 18-ounce jar (22.2 cents per ounce)
- Jif Creamy Peanut Butter: $2.49 per 16-ounce jar (15.6 cents per ounce)
Bottom line: Jif packs savings along with that protein. If choosing between the two organic brands, Meijer’s True Goodness gets moms more ounces for less money.
9. Apple juice
This childhood favorite can be found year-round in fridges everywhere.
- Simple Truth’s brand: $2.99 per 64 fluid ounce jug (4.67 cents per fluid ounce)
- Mott’s apple juice: $3.19 per 64 fluid ounce jug (4.98 cents per fluid ounce)
Bottom line: Save cash by purchasing the organic apple juice.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for 2016.