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Which grocery store is the cheapest?

Posted by Mitch Lipka  July 2, 2013 10:54 PM

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Where can you get the cheapest groceries in Massachusetts? At least when it comes to gearing up for the summer barbecue, the winner is Market Basket.

The state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation in a survey of price scanner accuracy -- everything rang up at the right price -- tallied how much it cost to buy typical barbecue items.

At 18 different locations, the state's price patrol bought 10 different items used at the family barbecue. Among the items: ground beef, hot dogs, buns, coleslaw, ketchup, and pickles.

While the state declared Hannaford the winner because they only went to two Market Basket locations, Market Basket prices were cheaper. The 10 items at Market Basket totaled $28.70. Hannaford's rang up at an average of $31.57.

Here's how the other's fared:

  • Big Y: $37.36
  • Stop & Shop: $39.50
  • Shaw's: $39.75
This was the first large-scale test of scanners since the state's new law went into effect allowing stores to no longer put price stickers on every item if they follow rules that allow consumers to scan prices and ensure accuracy.

“Consumers planning their Fourth of July barbeques can eat easy knowing that their supermarkets, wherever they may shop, are doing the very best to ensure price accuracy,” said Consumer Affairs chief Barbara Anthony said. “Consumers should feel empowered to shop around at different chains for the best deals knowing that the price they see on the shelves is what they’ll be charged at the register.”

The Office of Consumer Affairs reminds consumers of their rights under the new item pricing regulations when shopping with the new scanner systems: If a consumer is charged more than the price listed on shelf, they get it for free if the price is less than $10 or get $10 off if it costs more than $10.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at


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