Survey of Hunts Point stores finds wide price variation
By Alexia K. Arthurs
Convenience comes at a cost for shoppers. Although it may be convenient to run to the nearest store for a grocery item, residents can end up spending considerably less if they travel to seek out the best prices.
The Express comparison-shopped for nine common items at stores in Hunts Point and Longwood, and found a wide disparity in prices.
Chain supermarkets were generally less expensive than bodegas and small grocery stores, but on some items customers can do better at smaller stores.
Express Candy & Grocery at 797 Southern Boulevard in Longwood, offered the best price on orange juice, while a small grocery store, Intervale Meat Market Grocery, 941 Intervale Avenue, matched the lowest supermarket price for bananas.
Intervale Meat Market also beat the competition on eggs, and Deli-Meat and Grocery, 931 East 163rd Street, was cheapest for breakfast cereal.
Ahmed Elngie, one of the owners of Express Candy & Grocery, noted that supermarkets are able to sell milk more cheaply because they buy in volume, earning a lower wholesale price.
In some cases, shoppers, too, can get a discount for buying in quantity, but not everyone has the storage space to take advantage of the deals, or enough mouths to feed to use food bought in quantity before it spoils.
You can save almost a dollar a pound on chicken breasts at Western Beef, for example, but only if you buy five or 10 pounds at a time. Shoppers who buy the family-sized packages of chicken breast at Western Beef will spend as much or more than at Fine Fare and C-Town.
Is it worth the time to go from store to store? With money so tight in households throughout Hunts Point and Longwood, shoppers have to weigh every decision as they search for the best way to stretch their grocery dollar.