Walmart is taking on Giant Eagle and is spending big bucks on a new ad campaign that compares prices. The ad shows a Giant Eagle customer saving 16 percent by buying her groceries at Walmart. Target 11's Robin Taylor put the ad to the test.
I made up an ordinary grocery list of things I needed, such as milk, bread, butter and some canned foods, along with things like sandwich bags and aluminum foil. I spent $115 dollars on everything at Giant Eagle. Then I bought the same things at Walmart.
Walmart used a real shopper in their new commercial comparing the cost of buying groceries at Giant Eagle in Cranberry to the prices at the nearby Walmart. The shopper spent about $150 on her weekly groceries.
"There was a 16 percent difference. Walmart was actually 16 percent cheaper than our competitor," said Marcy Park, the Walmart market manager.
We set out to buy a slightly smaller list of 30 items, not 50.
As I loaded the cart, I saw the bananas were 2 cents cheaper per pound than at Giant Eagle. The spaghetti sauce and the olive oil were also less expensive.
I noticed a big difference in price on staples and canned goods.
"Walmart's not just everyday low prices for your general merchandise, it's actually everyday low prices for the groceries," said Park.
Many of the same items were definitely cheaper at Walmart, but Walmart doesn't offer as big of a selection as Giant Eagle, and when we went to ring things up they didn't have organic lemonade or fresh-baked sourdough bread, so we substituted them for similar items.
The Metamucil was cheaper ounce per ounce, but you had to buy a bigger bottle at Walmart.
The grand total at Walmart was $102, an 11 percent savings over Giant Eagle.
But at Giant Eagle I earned $0.30 in fuel perks. If I filled up my tank with 15 gallons of gas, that's another $4.50 in savings, bringing the total savings to 8 percent.
So we didn't save as much as the commercial, but we did save by shopping at Walmart.
To be fair, I also talked to Giant Eagle. They want shoppers to know they'll double coupons up to 99 cents, something Walmart doesn't do.
Also, every time you buy a tank of gas at GetGo, at Giant Eagle, you earn FoodPerks, which will save you money on groceries.