Walmart vs. Target - Price comparison

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Item #17 on the list was a bag of potting soil. 

A ten-quart sack of Supersoil was $2.97 at Walmart, easy enough. However, when I checked Target, all of the sacks were 8 quarts. It is tough to compare these prices, but because there wasn't quantity equality.

If you just compare the prices, Target wins, because their bags of Garden Place potting mix were just $2.49.

By price/per quart, Walmart wins, as they charged about 30 cents a quart, to Target's 31 cents.

But, a Target fan might argue, Walmart "makes you buy more", and that if you wanted volume discounts, you would probably just buy a two cubic-foot bag for $12 and pay just 20 cents per quart.

I think the fairest way to compare these two prices is to recognize a price curve that exists when retailers create package sizes.

For example, here is a package size/price curve for jars of mayonnaise. As the package size increases from 8 ounces to 128 ounces, the price drops from 19 cents to 8.5 cents per ounce.

 

To be perfectly fair when comparing the 8qt. Target bag and the10 qt. Walmart bag, I would have to generate a group of curves for different products and compare the slopes of their package size/price curves. I didn't do that. I also didn't buy that gallon jar of mayonnaise.

For potting soil, I'm going to call this comparison a tie.

Item #17 - Bag of Potting Soil 

$2.97/10

Draw

$2.49/8

 

 

 

The next item was 13 gallon kitchen garbage bags.

This comparison was also treacherous. First of all, the bags at Walmart were marked with two different prices - $2.94 and $3.58 for a roll of 90. When I checked out, they scanned at the higher price, but when I complained to the attendant, and she silently adjusted the price to $2.94. 

Target had the same brand, Ruffies, but only offered 30-bag rolls, scented bag rolls and 175 bag rolls. The 175 bag rolls were $4.99, so again I was left to consider the slope of the package size/price curve.

Walmart had the lowest price at $2.94, Target had the lower price per bag, at 2.8 cents, but they "make you buy more" to get that price. Again, I called this comparison a draw. The photograph is from Target.

 

Item #18 - 13-gallon kitchen garbage bags 

$2.94/90

Draw

$4.99/175

 

Item 19 on the list was a plastic colander.

Walmart's cheapest option was the aqua, blue and clear ones in this top photo for $3.66. 

Go ahead and try to read the colander prices on the shelf, but don't strain your eyes.

 

 

 

Target's cheapest plastic colander was this petite white one, priced at just $1.99.

If I had known that colanders could be found for such a cheap price, I would never have spent 2 years draining my spaghetti through an old pair of stockings.

 

 

Item #19 - Plastic Colander 

$3.66

Target $1.67

$1.99

 

 

 

Finally, the comparison ended when I found the exact same 5x7 bejeweled silver frame at Target that I had previously found at Walmart.

The price at Target was $7.99. See top photo.

After spending hours wandering the aisles, snapping pictures and checking prices, I wanted to determine the Walmart price accurately, and not settle for the "maybe $7.00" price I had penciled in. I drove back to Walmart to verify their price.

 

 

 

 

As if my quest had been overheard by the ghost of Sam Walton, I returned to Walmart to find the frame on sale for $2.94! That was a huge, $5 savings over Target's price.

 

Item #20 - Silver 5x7 picture frame 

$2.94

Walmart $5.05

$7.99

 

Please read the conclusion Walmart vs. Target - Price comparison.

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