Cereal Challenge: Shoprite VS. Costco

Are you saving money when buying in bulk at a member only warehouse stores? The short answer is yes, most of the time. However, if you buy cereal, the price is often lower at your local supermarket. Knowing the unit price will help you determine which store has the best the price. Since I shop for Honey Nut Cheerios, I have used that cereal for this example. Check your local store's sales flyer here.

What Store Do I Buy Honey Nut Cheerios?

  1. Costco: if I know your regular store is not having a sale.
  2. Costco: if it is on sale and I don't have coupons.
  3. Costco: if only the 12.25 oz. box is on sale for more than $1.79 a box. At $1.79 a box at Shoprite without coupons, the unit price is $0.146/oz.. Multiply that by 55 and you are spending $.04 more at your local supermarket.
  4. Shoprite: if the 17 oz. box of cereal is on sale.
  5. Shoprite: if the cereal is on sale and I have coupons and/or digital store coupons.

Below are 3 scenarios that compare Honey Nut Cheerio prices at Costco and Shoprite. I've compared the 2 most common sizes of cereal that are often on sale at our local Shoprite; 12.25 oz. and 17 oz. boxes.

  1. When the cereal is on sale without coupons.
  2. When the cereal is on sale with coupons.
  3. When the cereal is on sale with coupons and digital store coupons: UPDATE: This week Cheerios is on sale and there was a coupon in the Sunday inserts.

When the cereal is not on sale at either store, Costco has the lowest price. However, Honey Nut Cheerios is often on sale at our local Shoprite. Keep in mind when the 17 oz. box is on sale at Shoprite for $1.99 without coupons, the unit price is cheaper than Costco's regular price. The 12.25 oz. box is not a better deal until you combine the sale price with coupons.

To determine the money saved; I multiplied the unit price from Shoprite by 55. Then, I compared that total to Costco's sale price to see if which store had the better price. I calculated the unit price for 2 sizes that are often on sale at Shoprite.

1. When on Sale Without Coupons


Store Size Regular Price Regular Unit Price Sale Price Sale Unit Price
Costco 55 oz. total $7.99 $0.145/oz. $5.65 $0.103/oz.
Shoprite 17 oz. $5.39 $0.317/oz. $1.99 $0.117/oz.

LOWEST PRICE: Costco
SAVINGS: $0.79


2. When on Sale with Coupons


Store Size Regular Price Regular Unit Price Sale Price Sale Unit Price Manufacturer Coupons Unit Price with Coupons
Costco 55 oz. total $7.99 $0.145/oz. $5.65 $0.103/oz. N/A N/A
Shoprite 17 oz. $5.39 $0.317/oz. $1.99 $0.117/oz. $1.00 off 2 $0.087/oz.
Shoprite 12.25 oz. $2.99 $0.244/oz. $1.99 $0.162/oz. $1.00 off 2 $0.122/oz.

LOWEST PRICE: Shoprite 17 oz. box
SAVINGS: $0.83

If 12.25 oz. box is on sale for $1.99:
LOWEST PRICE: Costco Sale Price
SAVINGS: $1.06

If 12.25 oz. box is on sale for $1.79 but must buy 3:
LOWEST PRICE: Costco Sale Price
SAVINGS: $0.89


3. When on Sale with Coupons and Digital Store Coupons


Store Size Regular Price Regular Unit Price Sale Price Sale Unit Price Manufacturer Coupons Digital Coupon Amount Unit Price with Coupons
Costco 55 oz. total $7.99 $0.145/oz. $5.65 $0.103/oz. N/A N/A N/A
Shoprite 17 oz. $5.39 $0.317/oz. $1.99 $0.117/oz. $1.00 off 2 $1.00 $0.058/oz.
Shoprite 12.25 oz. $2.99 $0.244/oz. $1.99 $0.162/oz. $1.00 off 2 $1.00 $0.08/oz.
Shoprite 12.25 oz. $2.99 $0.244/oz. $1.79 $0.146/oz. $1.00 off 3 $1.00 $0.091/oz.

LOWEST PRICE: Shoprite (2) 17 oz. box
SAVINGS: $2.45

LOWEST PRICE: Shoprite (2) 12.25 oz. box @ $1.99
SAVINGS: $1.21

LOWEST PRICE: Shoprite (2) 12.25 oz. box @ $1.79
SAVINGS: $0.61

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