Skip to Content

Produce Prices at Caputo’s vs Jewel: A Snapshot

One of the ways I save on produce is by picking up most of my fruits and vegetables each week at ALDI and/or a local produce store like Pete’s Market or Caputo’s. I mainly shop the produce that’s on sale each week, but thought it might be interesting to do a snapshot price comparison of common items between Caputo’s and Jewel to see more generally how produce prices stack up between major chain and produce stores.

Since produce prices vary so often, these prices will be different next week, or even by tomorrow! Some items on these lists were part of an advertised sale (bananas at Jewel, green peppers at Caputo’s), while others… not so much. In the interests of fairness, I made my list of items to check before looking at the sale ads, and tried to include common and frequently purchased produce, not just items that are currently seasonal and/or on sale.

Note: Today I looked only at conventional produce prices in order to compare apples to apples (as it were, lol). Organic produce prices will have to wait for another day.

Fruit prices at Caputo’s vs Jewel (on 1/14/17)

I tried here to find as equivalent items as possible in each store (although the pineapples at Caputo’s were markedly larger!). So, let’s play a little game where we buy one of everything above and see how we stack up today.

If I bought every type of fruit I checked today, I’d save 23% on produce by shopping at Caputo’s — spending $28.16 at Jewel, and $22.02 at Caputo’s.

Vegetable prices at Caputo’s vs Jewel (on 1/14/17)

I was surprised that Jewel beat out Caputo’s on green onions today, but otherwise this list seems about on track for what I’d expect. Let’s play the same one-of-everything game with veggies. (I’m assuming a bunch of kale is about 8 oz, and doing a per pound equivalent price on potatoes & spinach because the bag sizes don’t line up.)

If I bought every type of vegetable I checked today, I’d save 28% on produce by shopping at Caputo’s — spending $23.42 at Jewel, and $16.81 at Caputo’s.

Don’t shop like this, though

“One of everything” is not a great way to shop — and I actually bought my avocados at ALDI this week, because they handily beat out the prices at both Caputo’s and Jewel at $.49 each. The price lists above are just for purposes of illustration and to give a general idea of how much you really can save on produce by picking up your fruits and veggies at a local produce store rather than trying to do it all in one trip at a major chain store.

One of the reasons I’m couponing less these days is that I’m trying to focus more on fresh produce and other real foods — I’ll happily also use coupons for produce when available (more on that in a future post), but if I can save around 25% just by switching stores? I’m down with that.

But what about quality?

I do shop for produce a couple of times a week because I like having fresh food in the house, but as an overall rule I have had much better luck with produce from Caputo’s, Pete’s Market, and even ALDI than I’ve had at Jewel. I did buy a tiny pineapple, bananas, and some spinach there today, but have learned my lesson on their strawberries… Maybe it’s just my stores, though: What’s your experience been?

Amethyst | One Sage Mama

Tuesday 17th of January 2017

What an interesting post. Where I live we have an Aldi but the quality of their produce is shaky sometimes. I can't deny the prices are awesome though. I usually shop sales as well. I think it's bettee to do that than have a strict list of what you plan to buy. Thanks for the post! #productivemomslinkup


Sunday 15th of January 2017

For me in the far north suburbs, I think Mariano's is my best produce bet. We don't have a local low cost produce store, but when Garden Fresh was in Northbrook, it was largely older produce unsold by other stores (and it went out of business shortly after Mariano's opened down the road). I don't have comparative prices for all the above items, but as of this (Sunday) morning strawberries (Driscoll) are $1.50, green onions are $.69, organic celery is $1, 8 oz mushrooms $1, big cantaloupe $2.50 and organic avocados $1.50 (oddly less than the conventional). I didn't price broccoli crowns, but organic regular was $1.50/lb and looks great. Head lettuce was $1.50 (good size) and seedless cucumbers are $.99 each and red peppers $.99/lb. Not everything is a spectacular deal. but overall, it is the surest bet in this neck of the woods.


Sunday 15th of January 2017

I agree that Mariano's has much better produce than Jewel and Aldi's. Their crimini mushrooms are usually I believe $2.99 a pound regular price, and are often on sale for $1.99 a pound. I just wish they had a Mariano's in Evanston. They considered relocating to the old Dominick's store on Green Bay, but they decided that there was not enough parking to suit their needs, and so Whole Foods moved in there instead. There is now currently 3 WF stores in Evanston, although I suspect they will close the South Evanston one when the lease expires. I don't go to Mariano's as much as I would like, because the closest ones for me are in Skokie/Lincolnwood and Northfield. BTW- I get red peppers at the Evanston farmer's market in the fall when they are on sale. I can frequently get them for 3/$1. I then cut them up and freeze them on cookie sheets. I never have to buy fresh red peppers in the wintertime. I can often get deals at the farmer's market if I get there around noon on Saturday when they are getting ready to go home..


Sunday 15th of January 2017

They're building a Mariano's in Lombard, so I'll check it out more often (and pick up those freebies) when there's one more convenient. It's out of the way for me now, whereas my Pete's is across the street from ALDI, and I drive right by Caputo's every weekend. That's the thing about Chicago, our grocery market is so fragmented here!


Sunday 15th of January 2017

I don't have a Caputo's near me but do my produce shopping at Walt's or Aldi's. Jewel's vegetable prices are sky high and even though the quality looks good, the product doesn't last like it should, even their carrots mold after a week. Their green beans are always 'brown' and forget about buying broccoli or cauliflower there, unless your a millionaire. I'd go to Pete's or Meijer if there was one closer. I've shopped at Walt's for over 35 years and always come out of there with bags and bags of produce for a fraction of the price I'd pay at Jewel.


Sunday 15th of January 2017

Caputos is my favorite store. I also like Tonys, but I don't live close to any of them. When I am in the neighborhood, I always stop by. Those two chains are the most competitive in price of a produce. Quality is case by case. My favorite Caputo is in Addison, the one in Downers Grove seems to have slightly higher prices some times.


Saturday 14th of January 2017

For years I would save my produce shopping for when I went to Jewel because I found the quality more reliable there. I think that has changed since they were bought by Albertsons. I don't have Caputo's or Pete's near me, but have been finding decent produce for a good price at Food4Less (Kroger). I also check Aldi, but don't like all the produce they offer. I usually just want one bell pepper, not a package of three, for example. But I do like their avocados, grape tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, bagged onions, and mushrooms (for a start).


Sunday 15th of January 2017

I agree that Jewel's produce used to be better -- they made everything prettier, but the quality has declined. :-/

(You can slice and freeze bell peppers. ;) )