Friday, July 16, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Fruit & Vegetable Price Comparison

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Before I wrap up the segment on fruits and vegetables, I wanted to do a comparison among a few places we have available to us here in Utah to purchase fruits and vegetables for food storage. Specifically, I want to compare items that are already prepared for food storage, the freeze dried and dehydrated #10 cans of fruits and vegetables.

Generally speaking, dehydrated fruits and vegetables cost less than the freeze dried versions. Both have the same shelf life, which is about 25 years in ideal conditions. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables have a more pliable texture and aren't as flavorful as freeze dried varieties. Despite these differences, I feel both are great additions to your food storage. Read more about the differences between dehydrated and freeze dried foods here.
I compared 5 different places here in Utah that sell food storage items: Associated Food Stores {AFS, refers to Macey's Dan's, Dick's, Lin's, etc.}, Winco, Walmart, Emergency Essentials and Shelf Reliance. After surveying the items they each offered, I was able to compare the price per ounce of 8 total items, 5 fruits and 3 vegetables. Here's what I found:
  • Overall, Winco had the lowest prices on the items I compared.
  • Emergency Essentials was 6.2% more expensive than Winco, but had a much larger selection. Like, two walls filled with product, versus a 6' span on a shelf. Big difference.
  • Walmart was 6.8% more expensive than Winco. Their selection was minimal and of the 4 times I checked prices and items, they never seemed to have the shelves stocked well. {Surprise, surprise!}
  • It was a virtual tie for last place between AFS and Shelf Reliance. AFS was slightly cheaper, but not by much as both were a whopping 31% more expensive than Winco.
Winco, Walmart and AFS all carried the same brand of items, Augason Farms, the company formerly known as Blue Chip Group, who produces Morning Moo's. Emergency Essentials carries the Provident Pantry brand items and Shelf Reliance carries their own brand called Thrive.

Winco did carry another off-brand that appeared to be cheaper. They had a simple label and lower overall price. However, when I compared the price per ounce, the Augason Farms brand was less expensive!

My suggestion? Add fruits and vegetables to your storage in less expensive ways first- canning, freezing and drying your own. I do also feel it's a good idea to have several #10 cans of freeze dried or dehydrated on hand as well. My advice is to get what you can for less at Winco, then shop for the rest of the items on your food storage list at Emergency Essentials.

5 comments:

Kami said...

Just curious if you are a member with Shelf Reliance. Their prices are up to 30% off when you become a customer of theirs through a consultant. We are consultants and found their food to be much cheaper than WinCo or Macys and taste significantly better. Just an FYI.

Tyree said...

honeyvillegrain.com has the best prices per ounce I've found for freeze dried or food storage in general. They do 10% discounts a lot (they will e-mail the codes.) Plus shipping is only $4.49 per entire order (order with a friend or two and that's really cheap shipping.) I have loved everything I've gotten from them and they were the best price I could find anywhere.

Amanda XOX said...

Your Family Still Matters in St. George has great prices on everything they carry- #10 cans to backpacks for your 72 hour kit.
http://yfsm.saintgeorgenow.com/

The 3 Kjar Bears said...

You have one great blog! I'm glad I found it :) But just a heads up, Walmart price matches (I do it every other time I go)...so if you know the cheaper prices of other semi-local stores than you can save $$$ on those products. I've never done it for The Blue Chip items (we use Morning Moo milk on a regular basis:), but I'll check it out and try it! And if it's more convenient to go to a walmart, you'll have to try it too :)

Erica said...

I also thought I would pass along that Emergency Essentials also price matches. Ask for more information the next time you are in a store! It's great because you can get the best prices and the best selection.

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