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Is It Cheaper To Buy Bagged Or Individual Potatoes At The Grocery Store?

person selecting potatoes at store
person selecting potatoes at store - Boggy22/Getty Images

Potatoes are a staple in many household kitchens because the versatile spuds can be used in many ways and in countless recipes like creamy garlic mashed potatoes and shepherd's pie. Another perk of the root vegetables is that they're relatively affordable, and the cost even slightly dropped in 2023 compared to 2022 despite the rising cost of groceries in general. But when you go to the grocery store to buy potatoes for a meal, is it more cost effective to grab a large bag or individual spuds?

To answer that question, we browsed websites of a few national grocery store chains like Walmart and Whole Foods. In general, a sack of potatoes will come out to be cheaper than individual ones by the pound, but you will obviously spend more money on the larger quantity compared to a single potato. And to be clear, our research was based on stores in the Queens, New York area and costs vary by seller and region, and there's always supermarket sales so be sure to keep an eye on price tags at your go-to grocery store. There are dozens of potato varieties like fingerlings and sweet potatoes, but we stuck to Russets because they're one of the most common and versatile types.

Read more: 14 Popular Chain Grocery Stores For Meat, Ranked Worst To Best

Bags Of Potatoes Tend To Be Cheaper At National Grocery Chains

Woman lifting bag of potatoes
Woman lifting bag of potatoes - Vladeep/Shutterstock

At Kroger, which also operates grocery chains like Dillons and Ralphs, an individual Russet potato cost 99 cents per pound, or about 74 cents each, compared to $3.99 for a five-pound bag. To get the same amount of potatoes individually, it would cost $4.95 — nearly a dollar more. At Trader Joe's, an individual Russet potato costs 99 cents compared to $3.99 for a three-pound bag of organic ones. Meanwhile, Walmart sells separate potatoes for 99 cents each, or about $1.17 a pound compared to $2.83 for five pounds. It makes sense why Walmart is one of the most affordable grocery stores in the U.S. after those numbers. To round out the trend, we checked out Whole Foods which sells Russets individually for $1.19 per pound or in five-pound bags for $5.29.

All of that is to say it's generally a bit cheaper to buy your spuds in bulk. If you don't need so many potatoes right away, the good news is that tubers have a shelf life of several months if you store them in a cool and dry place such as a pantry. However, if you don't have the spare storage space or won't eat them within a few months, buy them individually to prevent food waste. If you prefer to check every inch of a veggie for spots, it might be better to buy them separately since you don't have control of the quality of pre-packaged bags.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.