Which grocer has the lowest prices?

HOUSTON Randall's made its "new low prices" announcement last week, saying they would slash the prices on thousands of items. Eyewitness News wanted to know which store of the three had the lowest prices, so Stretch Your Dollar went to the stores to find out.

Yellow tags line the shelves at Randall's -- "X" marks out the old price and a "new" lower price is featured on thousands of items. It caught the attention of bargain hunters like Joseph Noto, who admits he doesn't usually shop at the store.

"My difficulty with Randall's up to now -- I have been in Houston for 30 years -- is the price," he said.

To test the new, lower price theory, Stretch Your Dollar randomly selected eleven products to be purchased at every store. The same size and same brand of every product was priced.

Kraft macaroni and cheese was $0.53 at HEB, and $0.69 at Kroger and HEB. A can of Del Monte green beans was $0.89 at both HEB and Kroger, and $0.99 at Randall's.

In the produce section, the prices really varied. Kroger's broccoli was on sale for $0.99, HEB's price was $1.49, and Randall's was almost a dollar more at $2.45.

A six pack of Mott's apple sauce is $1.63 at Kroger, $1.65 at HEB and $2.39 at Randall's. That is $0.74 more.

A half gallon of Breyer's ice cream was $3.99 at HEB and Randall's, but it was $4.89 -- almost a dollar more -- at Kroger.

Simply Orange Juice was cheapest at Randall's at $2.50. At HEB it was $3.32 and it was most expensive at Kroger's, costing $3.50.

"I have been in the business 27 years, and this is the about as competitive as I have ever seen it," Randall's president Tom Schwilke said.

The low prices in his stores are in direct response to requests by customers, he added.

"The prices you see today will still be here two months, three months and going forward," he said.

At HEB, they have scouts who literally go out and price compare the competition. The company's goal is to have the best prices in town.

Once Stretch Your Dollar priced the eleven items, HEB had the lowest prices at $24.86. Randall's was second at $26,23 and Kroger's was third at $26.66. But given there is only a $1.98 difference between HEB and Kroger's prices, it proves the stores keep their prices competitive.

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