2017 was a big year for the mega-retailers Target and Walmart. On the grocery front, Walmart announced plans in May to remodel more than 400 of its 11,703 stores, with much of the effort focused on widening grocery selection and stocking up on more organic products. Target, which has just over 1,800 stores of its own, fired back in October by opening 11 new grocery-focused small format stores, as well as announcing plans to remodel more than 1,000 locations by the end of 2020.
Of course, what matter most when you’re shopping at a Walmart grocery or browsing Target’s aisles are the prices. GOBankingRates compared prices at the two retailers in stores and online, to see how they measured up across all sections of the grocery store. We looked at name brands and house labels in each section, too.
Click through to see where the best deals are: Target or Walmart.
One banana at Target: $0.29
One banana at Walmart: $0.23
One russet potato at Target: $0.99
One russet potato at Walmart: $0.48
Starting off, Target almost stands up to the bigger company on bananas, but the potato comparison is a big ouch for Big Red. When buying bundles of produce, that $0.51 difference per potato adds up quickly.
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One pint of Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato at Target: $7.49
One pint of Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato at Walmart: $4.78
12-ounce bag of Market Pantry frozen sweet peas at Target: $0.99
12-ounce bag of Great Value frozen sweet peas at Walmart: $0.84
Those potatoes were just the start of a trend. Target’s Market Pantry store brand frozen veggie prices come close to Walmart’s, but the Talenti ice cream is over $3 more. Not cool, Target.
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15.25-ounce can of Del Monte sliced yellow cling peaches at Target: $1.49
15.25-ounce can of Del Monte sliced yellow cling peaches at Walmart: $1.48
15.5-ounce can of Market Pantry black beans at Target: $0.79
15.25-ounce can of Great Value black beans at Walmart: $0.72
If you’re shopping for canned goods for your local food drive and a Target grocery is convenient, don’t blow the extra gas on a trip to Walmart. These prices are pretty darn close. Beans are inexpensive, plus they’re great for your heart — time to stock up!
750 ml Jim Beam bourbon whiskey at Target: $13.99
720 ml Jim Beam bourbon whiskey at Walmart: $11.97
12-pack of Dos Equis lager beer (12 oz.) bottles at Target: $14.99
12-pack of Dos Equis lager beer (12 oz.) bottles at Walmart: $12.98
Whether it’s beer or spirits, there are cheaper prices at Walmart. Party on, Waltons.
Juice and Beverages
12-pack Coca-Cola Life (12 oz.) at Target: $5.49
12-pack Coca Cola Life (12 oz.) at Walmart: $4.78
64-ounce Market Pantry 100 percent orange juice with calcium and vitamin D, pulp free at Target: $2.52
64-ounce Great Value 100 percent orange juice, pulp free at Walmart: $2.58
The difference in store brand prices won’t kill you, but if you’re a fan of name-brand sodas, Walmart can save you a few bucks.
16.3-ounce box of Kashi Organic Promise cereal, Cinnamon Harvest at Target: $3.29
16.3-ounce box of Kashi Organic Promise cereal, Cinnamon Harvest at Walmart: $3.68
20-ounce box of Market Pantry raisin bran cereal at Target: $2.19
23.5-ounce box of Great Value raisin bran cereal at Walmart: $2.92
Finally, a price win for Target across the board. Do your cereal shopping at Target if you can. Jerry Seinfeld would have saved hundreds here. Cereal is one of the best things to buy generic.
38-ounce party size bag of peanut butter M&M’s at Target: $9.49
38-ounce party size bag of peanut butter M&M’s at Walmart: $8.98
30-ounce jar of Market Pantry all-natural popping corn, yellow at Target: $3.29
32-ounce bag of Great Value premium yellow popping corn at Walmart: $1.66
Not only is Wally World’s popcorn cheaper, you get two more ounces of it. Use the spare change for more movie night snacks.
One pound of 85 percent lean ground beef at Target: $4.89
One pound of 85 percent lean ground beef at Walmart: $4.37
One pound of Market Pantry hardwood bacon at Target: $4.79
One pound of Great Value thick-sliced bacon at Walmart: $3.94
Beef is only slightly more expensive at Target, but in this case, Walmart brings home the bacon with a fairly significant price difference. Make sure to shop at Walmart when you’re preparing to celebrate International Bacon Day.
23-ounces of Simply Balanced frozen Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets at Target: $16.99
23-ounces of fresh skinless Atlantic salmon fillets at Walmart: $16.94
32-ounces of Market Pantry frozen jumbo shrimp, tail-on, peeled and deveined at Target: $11.49
32-ounces of frozen jumbo head-on shrimp at Walmart: $11.98
Target doesn’t have to sweat this small difference too much. Pescetarians can breathe easy when picking up seafood at either store.
12 Simply Balanced large, grade A, cage-free brown eggs at Target: $2.99
12 Great Value large, grade A, cage-free brown eggs at Walmart: $2.77
When comparing the value-priced store brands, Target’s Simply Balanced label is simply more expensive.
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Bread and Baked Goods
27-ounce loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread, Good Seed at Target: $5.99
27-ounce loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread, Good Seed at Walmart: $5.58
32-ounce box of Market Pantry Original Complete Pancake Mix at Target: $1.79
32-ounce box of Great Value Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix at Walmart: $1.68
Though Walmart still clocks in cheaper, this category only turns up a few pennies’ worth of savings. Not a whole lot of bread to be saved at Walmart.
48 ounces of Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening at Target: $5.89
48 ounces of Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening at Walmart: $5.58
12-ounce bag of Market Pantry Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels at Target: $1.99
12-ounce bag of Great Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips at Walmart: $1.98
Bakers will save a bit at Walmart, but probably not enough dough to worry about.
Dairy and Alternatives
Half-gallon Silk All-Natural Original Coconut Milk at Target: $3.12
Half-gallon Silk All-Natural Original Coconut Milk at Walmart: $2.97
One gallon Market Pantry whole milk at Target: $2.99
One gallon Great Value whole milk at Walmart: $2.99
Milk goes for exactly the same price whether you choose a Walmart or Target grocery, so don’t hesitate to swing by either when you inevitably forget to buy it.
12-ounce box of Barilla gluten-free spaghetti at Target: $1.99
12-ounce box of Barilla gluten-free spaghetti at Walmart: $1.98
16-ounce box of Market Pantry penne rigate pasta at Target: $0.99
16-ounce box of Great Value penne rigate pasta at Walmart: $1.00
Here’s a universal truth: Pasta is cheap. Even if you’re gluten-free, the difference here is literally a single cent across the board. Even though pasta is cheap, there are still impressive ways to serve it.
16-ounce bottle of Carrington Farms coconut cooking oil at Target: $8.39
16-ounce bottle of Carrington Farms coconut cooking oil at Walmart: $7.98
50-ounce bottle of Market Pantry extra virgin olive oil at Target: $11.59
51-ounce bottle of Great Value extra virgin olive oil at Walmart: $10.9
Walmart wraps up the list glistening in the oil of frugal victory. Did you spot a trend?
Though each store has its strengths and weaknesses, with the Target grocery generally offering a more curated selection while Walmart tends toward variety, Target food prices just can’t stack up to Walmart’s prices. If you bought everything on our shopping list, you’d save more than $13 in just one trip.
GOBankingRates sourced a variety of online and in-store prices from Los Angeles regional Walmart locations in Rosemead, Calif. and Target locations in Glassell Park, Calif. between Jan. 3-6, 2018. Store prices vary per region and location.
About the Author
Dan is an honors graduate of western Kentucky’s Murray State University and has been a freelance writer and full-time creative since 2009, in addition to co-founding and co-owning two active media production businesses – one for the west coast in Los Angeles, California, and one for the east in Cincinnati, Ohio. As an independent creative professional with a scroll-like resume of both blue collar and white collar experience and a longtime business writer, Dan has been fortunate enough to publish with the likes of Chron.com, Fortune, The Motley Fool, Career Trends, Bizfluent, MSN Money, Legal Beagle, San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate, USA Today, Builder’s Capital, Salon.com and Zacks.com, among others. He’s also offered his words to such diverse brands as ASUS, Kellog’s, Discover, Sony Pictures, Samsung, Linksys, LIVESTRONG, Office Depot, Canon Inc., Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation and Verizon, as well as frequently writing in the fields of entertainment, travel, fitness, lifestyle and fashion.