Are you seeing better sale prices in your grocery stores lately (June 2024)?

(Cross-posting from a P&E thread. Thinking it might get more feedback here)

Anecdotal, and hard to go into detail succinctly, but I’ll throw it out there.

Around here, grocery prices are indeed going down in the sense that sale prices (as opposed to base retail prices) are getting lower. Impulse purchases and non-price-sensitive purchases (e.g.“I just go through and pick up what I need. I don’t look a the circular”) are about the same as they were a year ago, but sale prices on many staple items are well down from a year ago. IOW, we’re getting better discounts than a year ago.

A few quick examples (all examples local to New Orleans, LA):

Bottled water, 24 x 0.5-liter cases: In 2021, four cases @ $10 was a common sales price that you could count on catching at least once or twice a month (not always the same store). By mid-2022, three cases @ $12 was about as good as the sales got. Within the last month or so, three cases @ $10 is getting common, and there’s been sightings of three for $9 and even two for $5.

Brand-name soft drinks, 6 x 0.5-liter packs: 12-18 months ago, Buy Two Get Two free at $7.99 apiece (so about $4 per six-pack) would pop up somewhere maybe once a month. These days, four for $12 is the once-a-month sale price and $3.25/pack pops up occasionally. Checking out the circulars, you can now always find a close-by store selling the six-packs discounted to $4 apiece.

Eggs: During the worst of the egg price hikes a year or so ago, finding Eggland’s Best 24-pack of large eggs for $6.99 was a steal of a sales price – the store brands were higher at the time! Just this morning, I picked up two dozen extra large eggs (store brand) for $3.44.

Boneless chicken breasts: Late 2022, $2.79/lb was the stock-up-the-freezer price. Today, $1.99/lb is the typical sales price, and you can count on it that somewhere will offer that discount at least every other week.

Brand-name potato chips / tortilla chips / etc.: If you’re brand-insensitive, you can find circa-2019 prices on many kinds of chips every weekend (likely have to buy two or more bags). True, if you echew the sale prices, you’ll be paying at least 50% more than pre-pandemic. But the discounts are frequent and deep.

It’s hard for me to imagine this is all unique to the New Orleans area. Price-sensitive shoppers should be noticing similar price breaks in other parts of the U.S. Among Dopers, am I out on an island here, or are others seeing some better price breaks on groceries than they saw, say,12-24 months ago?

Are you seeing better sale prices in your grocery stores lately?

  • Yes, I’m seeing much better discount prices lately on a wide variety of groceries
  • Sure, sale prices are getting better, but I’m not exactly wowed yet
  • Some items - yes, other items - no. It’s kind of a wash
  • Not really. If anything, grocery prices are still inching up. Sales, schmales!
  • No, still getting hammered by grocery prices as badly as ever
0 voters

I’m pretty happy with prices. I’m paying pre-Covid prices it seems. Chicken $1.79 lb, Sirloin steaks $4.99 lb. Pork ribs $1.99 lb. Getting lots of good deals on beer, too!

I don’t know. I honestly don’t pay that much attention to how much grocery items cost, but that’s not an option in the poll.

And the majority of my shopping is done at Trader Joe’s and Target, and they don’t really do “sales” the way major grocery chains do.

Mine was also going pretty good, however in the last 3 months or so I have noticed an uptick just when prices were dropping.

I wouldn’t use water, chips or pop/soda for price comparing over time since they’re often artificially influenced by promotions, loss leader calculations, etc. Eggs and chicken breast are better.

But, yes, I’ve detected some reduction in grocery prices over the last year plus. Shortages seem all cleared up now, too. Edit: voted ‘Sure’

My strategy has been to stock up on nonperishibles, incl. non-food items like razors or toilet paper, whenever Meijer’s has a sale on such, and cram as many perishibles as I can into the fridge and freezer. I now have a substantial surplus of most such items, with the exception of canned soup, which hasn’t been on sale in over two months, and 80-90% of my weekly buys are now things on sale. I’ve found [Ohio] that Meijer’s often has the lowest base prices to begin with (better than even Wal-Mart in some cases). I’ve stopped going to Giant Eagle because even their “sale” prices were typically higher than Meijer’s normal ones; I also use Meijer’s points for gas fill-ups, usually using the 5,000 point one for 50 cents off per gallon. I still miss Florida and Publix’s buy-one-get-one free’s, tho.

Kind of a wash. In addition to some prices up and some down a number of items have maintained the same price for a while now.

Safeway got me into their store a few weeks ago (I nomally shop at Winco) by offering me six pounds of bacon for $17.94. That was all I bought.

I joined BJ’s “wholesale” club for $20 - I figured I could risk that much to check it out. Wholesale, my Aunt Fanny!! At least for grocery items, they’re comparable to or more expensive than Food Lion, especially with sales. I’ve been told there are deals to be had on electronics, but I don’t need any of that. Needless to say, I won’t renew when the year is up.

I was unpleasantly surprised to find the key lime pie that my MIL liked which had been on sale for $5 is now on “sale” for $8!! We’re not talking months ago - more like 2 weeks later!

No real improvement. In fact, our store has cut back tremendously on “digital coupons” and other sales.

The biggest price weirdness I see is the base price for Coca Cola 12 packs has gone up to $10. While Pepsi cases are everyday priced at $8. So a “sale” on Cokes is hardly worth it.

I’m sure the Coca Cola corporation of Atlanta, Georgia has a completely different supply chain system from Pepsi’s to account for charging so much more. :wink:

9.29 here, which is absolutely ridiculous.

I’ve been reminded that I rather enjoy Publix-brand diet root beer, which is 1.33 for a 2-liter. And even there I’m pretty sure it was like 80 cents not long ago.

A week or two ago, Pepsi 12-packs were on sale, buy two get three free. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

Both companies hiked prices significantly over the last year, but Pepsi slowed down before Coca Cola. Coca Cola’s market position is stronger and they gambled (correctly, it turns out) that they could keep squeezing consumers.

My gf does the bulk of our weekly grocery shopping and she refuses to look at prices, so I don’t know. She has mentioned that the total seems lower lately, but she buys what she wants.

And IIRC both they and Pepsi bragged about it during quarterly earnings calls. I don’t buy soda except under deep discount as a matter of principle.
I’ve found that list prices are still absurd, but there are more and better sales than there were last year. One of the joys of being retired is having the time to got through the online Safeway discounts, so I have a good feel for this.

I definitely remember hearing about the Coca Cola earnings call bragging re: passing increased costs onto consumers.

This is pretty much my feeling and comment. Overall, prices are still pretty steep if it’s not on sale, and overall the sales are fewer, especially the heavily advertised digital/loyalty card ones.

And on those, they’ve pretty obviously understocked on the -big- deals that aren’t otherwise a cheat (IE “BOGO” offers where the price is up 20-30% from the prior weeks prices prior to the sale).

Some things though are a bit better, and the rate of increase has slowed or in a few cases reversed. So I voted for the neutral net price.

I guess we’re lucking out around here. Though thinking about it some more, I’m sure the movement of grocery-store sale prices is heavily dependent on a lot of local factors.

At the stores I go to, most of the clientele is price-sensitive and likely respond strongly to discounts. There are upscale markets (your Whole Foods and such) where that’s probably less true.

As a non American I was going to leave this one, but the mention of coke and pepsi has brought a rant on.

Here in the UK, name brand sodas were typically £1 for a 2-liter bottle. They’d be more expensive some places, like convenience stores, and it was getting to the point where you couldn’t have your first choice for £1, but you’d normally be able to find some variety of coke or pepsi on sale at £1.

Now the going rate has jumped directly to £2!
And while at first I thought that higher transportation costs are probably a factor, the store brand colas have not increased in price very much and can still typically be found at ~79p.

Exact same thing happened in the U.S. in, I think it was summer of 2022 or thereabouts. Roughly the same price points, too, when pounds are converted to US dollars.

I see loss-leader sale prices like always to get people in the store. but I’m not driving from store to store to take advantage of them. Prices are going up on items that never seem to go on sale. I don’t understand how a single serving of ice tea can be $2 but it’s now yet another item I’m making at home. That example fits a list of items I now make myself or do without.

My wife says she’s been seeing sales on many of the products (mostly fresh foods) that we buy regularly. Her theory is that the local stores (Jewel) first put a product on sale, and eventually that sale price becomes the new normal price. We’ll see if she proves correct.