In many cities, residents can shop at either Walmart or Publix as their primary grocery store. While there are other alternatives as well, we’re going to limit our comparison between these two stores, as the Walmart brand is known to be one of value and low prices, whereas the Publix brand is focused more on quality and service. With that being said, is there a significant price difference when grocery shopping between the two stores?
Overall, Publix is cheaper than Walmart if you use coupons and take advantage of their deals and sales. Non-sale prices, however, are typically lower at Walmart. That said, the most price-frugal strategy would be in both stores’ shops.
Several online blog posts show receipts from both stores, comparing sale and non-sale prices and demonstrating how Publix is cheaper for some things but more expensive for others. We summed up all that info for you here in one place.
Which store is overall more price-conscious?
Hands-down, Walmart has better pricing when looking at several comparable items between Walmart and Publix. Not only does Walmart beat out Publix, but it also beats out several other competitors when looking at some standard grocery items at regular prices. The lone exception may be Aldi, which consistently beats out even Walmart on normally priced items.
However, this comparison is making a bit of an assumption that the price differences are the same as they are when deals, sales, and offers are also accounted for.
While one store has a better overall price level when considering non-sale items, it might be that they don’t offer as good of deals, which can add up and account for some big cost differences over time.
Things to consider when comparing costs
A quick stroll through the aisles of Walmart and Publix will reveal that Walmart has consistently lower prices. This can be a bit deceiving, however. Publix is known to be the king of the BOGO – or the Buy One Get One deal.
They use BOGO sales to great effort in their advertising and sales events. Depending on your shopping list, it might make sense to stop by Publix for a few items before finishing up your shopping at Walmart – especially if they’re located close by.
Publix also has weekly inserts in local newspapers that you should pay attention to. Many of their sales will go unnoticed if you aren’t looking for them. Timing your grocery purchases correctly can go a long way in saving money on your monthly grocery budget.
Check out the weekly sales ads and newspaper inserts to see what deals are going on at Publix – it might make more sense one week to take advantage of those deals over a trip to Walmart.
Check out the receipt below for an example of what it’s like to save with some BOGO deals at Publix and other item-specific promotions:
It’s hard to beat Walmart when it comes to coupons, however. They offer any number of coupons and accept them in several different formats – including print and app. There is almost also an applicable coupon for something in your cart at Walmart, and when you add additional coupon savings to the already low prices, the savings start to stack up.
Are there certain items cheaper at one store?
Yes, there are certain items at Publix, for instance, that are cheaper and better in quality. Generally speaking, Publix’s produce is of a higher quality and lower price than a local Walmart offering the same products. Fruits and vegetables, particularly, are cheaper, whether or not they are on sale, than in Walmart.
This appears to be the savings limit for going with Publix over Walmart. Beyond produce, Publix prices start to creep up and, in some areas, jump much higher than comparable grocery items you can find at Walmart. This makes a trip to Walmart cheaper overall, despite some of the items on the list being a little bit cheaper at Publix.
What do the pros say?
While there are a lot of people with a lot of different opinions on the subject, it has been addressed by some of those with some more prominent qualifications above and beyond running an online blog. In a recent Bank of America – Merrill Lynch study, researchers analyzed cart prices across various grocery store companies in America.
The study examined prices across 54 items, including produce, dairy, meat, and packaged foods. They concluded that the best value was found at Walmart. However, a significant limitation of this study is that it’s conducted at a single point in time and doesn’t account for any sales or specials that might have been going on.
Regardless of these limitations, the analysis was relatively straightforward: they purchased the same items at different stores across the same metro area and compared overall costs on the receipts afterward.
How can I save additional money at Walmart?
If your ultimate goal is to stretch your dollar as much as possible, you’re likely going to want to go with Walmart and try to take advantage of any sales and offers they have surrounding the items on your list. There are plenty of tips and tricks for saving money at Walmart, but here are a few that you might find useful:
- Scour the clearance racks for really great deals on items you might be buying anyway
- Plan with the app, and grab any app-only deals that might be available
- If you’re a frequent Walmart customer, consider Walmart+ for additional savings
- Make sure you create a list and stick to it
- Take the time to cut coupons – Walmart makes extensive use of their coupon program
- Sign up for the Walmart Rewards Mastercard to get additional benefits from purchases you were going to make anyway
Is Walmart cheaper than Publix? Well, that depends. It depends on which items you’re shopping for. It depends on whether you’re limiting your purchases to sales and offer items or have nothing but normally priced items in your cart.
It also depends on which item you’re buying, as produce can often be less expensive and of higher quality at Publix.
It’s more important than ever to ensure every dollar goes as far as it can when feeding yourself and your family. Hopefully, this helped you plan your shopping strategy to stretch your dollar as far as possible.
Hi there, I’m JJ, and welcome To EverydayQuery! Founded in 2022, we created this project to be the most complete resource on the web for your everyday questions regarding retail, shopping experiences, and overall consumer questions. We’re a team of passionate consumers whose mission is to provide the best answers to your everyday questions.