We are interested in comparing prices at local grocery stores/farmers markets to see how far one’s money can go on food and which ones are the most/least expensive.
We aim to build an interactive web application that allows people to put in their budget for food, select a basket of goods, and compare how much food they can buy in different places. The prices will be from data in various Boston area supermarkets.
Many news outlets and individuals have done their own stories to help readers determine the cheapest place to shop.We’d like to make use of that information, and allow people to find out what the cheapest place to shop for them is based on their own basket of goods. Even if one is committed to shopping where they are, the tool will allow them to quantify how much money one is saving/not saving.
We looked at various sources of data for supermarket prices:
- NH Public Radio: http://nhpr.org/post/how-low-are-market-basket-prices-really
- Farmers markets: http://thefoodproject.org/sites/default/files/lightner-2011.pdf
The data shows that for certain defined baskets of goods, some stores are cheaper than others. For example, the report on farmers markets compared the average prices in the farmers markets to those in other supermarkets. The report concluded that, contrary to the common belief that farmers markets would be more expensive, the prices in the farmers markets were competitive to those in the supermarkets.