Organic aisle in grocery store
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Here's How Much More You'll Pay for Organic Groceries Across America

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Organic aisle in grocery store
Keith Brofsky / UpperCut Images / Getty Images CC

Grocery Stores Are Cleaning Up

If switching to organic produce has been on your mind but you worry about the impact on your grocery budget, we have some answers. At Cheapism's request, the price comparison app Basket looked at the cost of organic and nonorganic grocery items from stores in 10 large metropolitan centers. Basket provided prices for some common fruits and vegetables:

  • strawberries
  • apples
  • bananas
  • raspberries
  • broccoli
  • cucumbers
  • cauliflower
  • squash
  • eggplant
  • green bell peppers

Basket relies on a massive community of more than 800,000 grocery shoppers to crowdsource prices across the country in real time. Consumers can download the app on Android or iOS devices to compare prices both in store and online, including sales and coupons, to make sure they don't overpay for the products on their shopping list, whether organic or not. 

Co-founder Andy Ellwood compares Basket with the services that point consumers toward deals on air travel or hotel rooms. Consulting the app can show you where to stop on your way home from work to get the lowest price for the products on your shopping list, or reveal that it might worth going out of your way to another store with better deals.

Related: 50 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store

New York, New York
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New York

No surprise that New York City charged the highest prices overall for either an organic or non-organic basket of produce — but the percent difference between the two kinds of shopping could also be startlingly high.

Acme Market
Organic: $46.29
Non-Organic: $25.43
Difference: 82%

Shop Rite
Organic: $41.88
Non-Organic: $24.57
Difference: 71%

Stop & Shop
Organic: $35.88 (Total excludes organic zucchini squash, for which prices were not available)
Non-Organic: $23.11
Difference: 55%

King Super
Organic: $53.25
Non-Organic: $38.33
Difference: 39%

Los Angeles
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Los Angeles

While having prices that are generally in range with baskets of goods in other major metro areas found across the nation, the markup for organic could get extremely low in La-La Land.

Vons
Organic: $32.41
Non-Organic: $23.18
Difference: 40%

Food 4 Less
Organic: $22.69 (No price was available for organic eggplant)
Non-Organic: $16.34
Difference: 39%

Ralphs
Organic: $27.29
Non-Organic: $21.55
Difference: 27%

Pavilions
Organic: $31.67 (No price was available for organic raspberries)
Non-Organic: $27.60
Difference: 15%

Albertsons
Organic: $27.64 (No price was available for organic raspberries)
Non-Organic: $24.59
Difference: 12%

Stater Bros
Organic: $22.49 (No price was available for strawberries or eggplant)
Non-Organic: $20.70 (No price was available for strawberries)
Difference: 9%

Related: 15 Things Not to Buy in a Grocery Store

Chicago
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Chicago

You can pay less for your produce in Chicago than many other big cities and apparently expect a pretty consistent markup for buying organic — which could save you from spending time shopping around for better prices.

Food 4 Less
Organic: $23.14
Non-Organic: $17.07 (No price was available for raspberries)
Difference: 36%

Jewel Osco
Organic: $27.15 (No price was available for organic cucumber)
Non-Organic: $20.03
Difference: 36%

Related: 22 Unique Farmers Markets Where You Can Still Get Fresh Produce Safely

Houston
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Houston

While being low-cost in general for a basket of non-organic produce, Houston's going to charge you plenty to upgrade — especially considering some stores don't bother to offer enough organic vegetables to make a simple salad. Again, though, at least the cost of buying organic seems consistent from store to store when available.

Kroger
Organic: $27.34
Non-Organic: $17.57
Difference: 56%

Randalls
Organic: $34.43
Non-Organic: $22.16
Difference: 55%

Fiesta Mart
Organic: (A comparable basket of organic produce was not available at this store, with only bananas, strawberries, and raspberries available for purchase)
Non-Organic: $24.04

Related: 24 Organic Grocery Bargains From Aldi

Phoenix
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Phoenix

Here it does matter where you shop organic, considering the big leaps in percent increases among stores.

Albertsons
Organic: $28.42
Non-Organic: $15.13 (No price was available for non-organic broccoli)
Difference: 88%

Fry's Foods
Organic: $27.21
Non-Organic: $16.71
Difference: 63%

Safeway
Organic: $28.62
Non-Organic: $19.57
Difference: 46%


Philadelphia
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Philadelphia

Philly – you'll pay a lot for that basic produce, then pay much more to eat organic.

Acme Market
Organic: $46.34
Non-Organic: $25.17
Difference: 84%

ShopRite
Organic: $41.75
Non-Organic: $23.66
Difference: 77%

Giant (Carlisle)
Organic: $36.31
Non-Organic: $22.59
Difference: 61%

Related: 23 Items That Are Cheaper at Whole Foods

Dallas
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Dallas

One chain in Dallas makes you pay less to upgrade to an organic basket … but via the unhelpful approach of charging more for the same foods in their non-organic versions.

Kroger
Organic: $26.96
Non-Organic: $16.71
Difference: 61%

Tom Thumb
Organic: $33.75
Non-Organic: $21.59
Difference: 56%

Albertsons
Organic: $36.14
Non-Organic: $27.01 (No price was available for raspberries)
Difference: 34%

Related: 28 Regional Grocery Stores That Shoppers Love

Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital is not a cheap place to live. Choose to eat organic and you'll remember it even more painfully.

Giant Foods
Organic: $39.06 (No price was available for organic zucchini squash)
Non-Organic: $21.98
Difference: 78%

Food Lion
Organic: $27.86 (No price was available for organic green bell peppers or eggplant)
Non-Organic: $17.14
Difference: 63%

Safeway
Organic: $44.41
Non-Organic: $28.49
Difference: 56%

Shoppers
Organic: $33.47
Non-Organic: $24.80
Difference: 35%

Related: Eat Seasonal and Save: When to Buy Fresh Produce Year-Round

Atlanta
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Atlanta

Organic in Atlanta? Expensive enough to make you question yourself. There's variation in the markup, but it's less about hot and cold than it is about the difference between boiling and blistering.

Kroger
Organic: $29.14
Non-Organic: $17.54
Difference: 66%

Publix
Organic: $36.22
Non-Organic: $22.95
Difference: 58%

Related: The Grocery Waste Chain: What Happens To Items That Don't Sell?

Miami
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Miami

More painful produce. When you pay an extra $10 to more than $15 just to eat organic, it better be delicious as well as virtuous.

Winn Dixie
Organic: $41.03
Non-Organic: $24.87
Difference: 65%

Publix
Organic: $37.85
Non-Organic: $26.05
Difference: 45%

Related: 21 Grocery Shopping Mistakes You Don't Want to Make