Aaaaaaaannnnnnddddddd...the Avian Influenza outbreak has finally made it's way to PJP egg prices. After seeing very little price difference last week, our food broker Lara stopped by today to let us know that eggs this week would be taking a 100% increase in price per case (a case is 15 dozen eggs). And in full righteous indignation, we immediately began to consider our options...mainly, where could we buy eggs cheaper? (And we've received a lot of great tips about local egg producers, to which we are fully open to considering...as long as the producer is approved and certified by the City of Columbia Health Department). Because we were pretty slow and we had a lot of help today at PJP Buttonwood, we decided to launch an Egg Price Investigation, an Eggvestigation of sorts (hahahahahaha!). In short, we decided to visit seven local grocery stores and check egg prices in hopes of beating our new .17 cent per egg price from our food broker.
- Our first stop was Lucky's Grocery. Since we no longer sell our pies at Lucky's (long story), I haven't been inside this super cute store in probably eight months or more. They do sell wine that you can drink while you shop, which was the perfect complement to Eggvestigation 2k15. And I'd forgotten all their great produce options and interesting cheese options. In short, I'm saying it was hard to go straight to the eggs and when we did make it there, some guy spent at least five solid minutes trying to make his mind about the eggs he was buying (cage free? organic? free range?) and thereby blocked our access. Finally though we were able to shove our way to the front and Phil's medium cage free eggs looked to be the best deal at $2.29 a dozen (.19 cents per egg)
- Our next stop was Moser's. A little known fact...we actually buy our canned cherries packed in water from Moser's. The store manager is kind enough to offer us a significant price break on a product that is almost impossible to find from our food broker. Every six weeks or so, we head to Moser's to buy 10 cases or so of cherries, but never once had I ventured past the canned cherry section. (As a side note, did you know that have a restaurant inside Moser's? HUH.) But I digress...we both expected egg prices to be pretty good here, but a dozen of the Best Choice eggs is $3.87 (.32 cents an egg). Sorry, Moser's...apparently cherries are your only game.
- Next door to Moser's is Aldi's. Eggvestigation 2k15 marked my first visit to the new Aldi's store (though I think it has actually been there for at least a year or so). I hear great things about Aldi's and how it is like a generic Trader Joe's, but in the name of keeping it real, I'm just going to come out and say that I really hate bagging my own groceries. #FirstWorldProblems. But bag or no bag, Aldi's offers a dozen eggs at $1.89 (.16 cents per egg). (Not including that odd quarter they charge to "rent" a shopping cart.)
- Our next stop found us at the Gerbes on Broadway. This is the store that we shopped at when I was growing up, but I hadn't been inside in at least 15 years. It is in the middle of a major renovation and the eggs are 9,981 feet from the front door, but it does promise to be pretty snazzy in there once all the work is done. Eggs are $2.79 a dozen here (.23 cents an egg). New stained concrete floors aren't cheap, you know?
- Exhausted by our Eggvestigation, we headed to Schnucks in hopes of one of their delicious bakery cookies (the chocolate cookies with the tiny M&M's are d-to-the-licious). And after a cookie or two (or four), we followed all the "New! Lower Prices!" signs to the eggs. A dozen eggs here will cost you $2.88 (or .24 cents an egg). (The "Save! Low Price" sticker is just unfortunate here, since these eggs are actually pretty pricey).
- After fortifying ourselves with cookies, we headed to the Wal-Mart on Grindstone. It was a bit after 5 pm by this time and Wal-Mart was basically packed with after work shoppers and inexplicably, a long line of people waiting to buy fried chicken (yeah, I don't get it either). Eggs here are $2.27 (.19 cents per egg)...I guess the rollback prices don't apply to eggs?
- Our final stop was Hy-Vee on Grindstone. Our homeland, our mecca, the fount of our morning Caribou coffee...but not the epicenter for cheap eggs. A dozen will set you back $2.69 a dozen (.22 cents an egg). #Disappointed.
So, Eggvestigation 2k15 goes to Aldi's at .16 cents an egg. Of course, .01 per egg doesn't justify our time in driving there, digging up a quarter for the cart rental, loading up all their eggs, bagging them ourselves, and then driving them back to PJP Buttonwood and stacking them in our refrigerator. We will be staying with Springfield Grocery, but it is nice to know our options just in case.
But before I forget, butter is $1.87 a pound at Hy-vee. We will try not to buy it all...you are welcome.