When it comes to where you shop for groceries, you’ve got a lot to think about. Do you pick your destination for the prices? The proximity to your home or office? The product selection they carry? If your favorite store gives you all three, you’ve found the holy trinity of food shopping.

How Expensive is Grocery Shopping in Idaho, Utah, California and Washington State?


HelpAdvisor recently put together their list of the most expensive states and major metro areas for grocery shopping based on the most recent United States Census Bureau’s “Household Pulse Survey.” Based on those results, they discovered that the average United States household will spend $270.21 on groceries every week. Those numbers vary a little from state-to-state. 

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Of the states listed above, only Idahoans are paying LESS than the national average for groceries. We rank #26 on the list and spend about $257.54 on groceries per week. 

Utah ranked #11 ($278.41) and Washington ranked #4 ($290.64.) Seattle also ranked #6 on the list of major metros they looked into. The average shopper there is paying $289.23 a week. 

As for California? Since the Census Bureau did not include Hawaii or Alaska in the survey, it is the most expensive state to buy groceries in the United States. Californias are budgeting an average of $297.72 a week for groceries. Riverside ($300.50,) San Francisco ($298.44) and Los Angeles ($295.33) all ranked in the Top 5 most expensive major metros. 

The Most Overpriced Grocery Store Has 95 Locations in California

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When Delish.com ranked the “Cheapest Grocery Stores in America” we were excited to see Idaho based Winco on the list. It made a similar list put together by US News & World Report, too. 

But you know that Delish put together that “other” list too. They also crafted the list of “The Most Overpriced Grocery Stores in America” and we’re sure that you’re not stunned to see Whole Foods front and center. 

The grocery store has long been nicknamed “Whole Paycheck.” Could that be because they once sold “asparagus water” for $5.99 a bottle? (It was made with three asparagus stalks submerged in water.) Possibly. Could it be because they were once busted for mislabeling weights on products that led to ridiculous overcharges in New York? Probably.

Delish went on to say:

In 2017, it was purchased by Amazon, which led to price decreases, but Whole Foods still remains financially inaccessible to many shoppers. And now, with the rising cost of living, the store’s exclusivity is even more blatant.

Whole Foods has 95 locations in California, 11 in Washington state, four in Utah and a single location in Idaho. 

How Overpriced is Overpriced?

For fun, we searched for the following products at the Whole Foods on Broadway in Boise and the same products at the fancy Albertsons just down the street. When possible, we grabbed the price of the store brand. Here’s how the prices compare. 

Glass of the milk on a rustic wooden table.

Gallon of Reduced Fat Milk

  • Whole Foods: $4.59
  • Albertsons: $2.89
A variety of packages of ground beef at the supermarket

1 Pound of 85/15 Ground Beef

  • Whole Foods: $7.99
  • Albertsons: $6.49
Sliced bread in a plastic bag on white surface.

Loaf of White Bread

  • Whole Foods: $4.49
  • Albertsons: $1.69
Barbecued salmon, fried potatoes and vegetables on wooden background

1 Pound Atlantic Salmon Fillet

  • Whole Foods: $13.99
  • Albertsons: $10.99 

On average, products at Whole Foods were 30% more expensive than at the Albertsons less than a mile away. 

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