A common question I see posted on forum threads about moving to Hawaii is: “What are the grocery prices in Hawaii like?”
This question seems to spring from the common knowledge that Hawaii has higher grocery prices because most goods are manufactured or grown outside of the islands and need to ship over.
It’s a good question to ask if you’re considering a move to Hawaii. You’ll need to know how much of your household budget will need to be allocated to buying food and other groceries once you’re living on the islands.
Different people buy different types and amounts of groceries — the monthly grocery bill for a married couple with two growing teenagers will be vastly different from a single woman who eats a vegetarian diet for example. Anywho, Let’s dive right in!
List of Grocery Stores in Hawaii
Below is a list of the major grocery stores in Hawaii.
Walmart, like on the mainland.
Safeway, like on the mainland.
They sell everything! Like Costco, but more products, originally from Japan.
Hawaii’s largest locally owned and operated grocery chain!
Local supermarket chain with 24 locations, low grocery prices, and good service.
Which store has the lowest grocery prices in hawaii?
In comparing the grocery prices at supermarkets in Hawaii such as Don Quijote, Foodland, Safeway, and Times, for a general shop at most times of the year Don Quijote comes out as the cheapest option.
It is true that warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart have lower grocery prices in Hawaii overall, but these stores are not really ‘supermarkets’ and are not as comprehensive in their grocery offerings as supermarkets are.
This being said, with grocery prices being so high in general in Hawaii, the savings at warehouse stores like Costco and Walmart are just too significant to pass up.
Most people in Hawaii shop at Costco, Sam’s Club, and/or Walmart on a regular basis due to the generally high cost of groceries on the Hawaiian islands.
Are Groceries Expensive in Hawaii?
Well, it depends…. Generally speaking, Grocery prices in Hawaii are more expensive than on the mainland and this is because most major brands are made on the mainland or elsewhere in the world requiring them to be shipped over to Hawaii.
There are certainly some items which can be purchased are more regular costs such as fruits and vegetables in season that are locally grown. Hawaii has fantastic nutrient-rich volcanic soil that is great for growing food, as such many homeowners choose to do just this to offset their costs.
What is the Best Average Price of Groceries in Hawaii at Various Retailers?
This post was originally made in 2011, and since then it’s amazing to see the price increase of groceries including certain items which have dramatically increased such as Eggs and Ramen noodles! Surprising!
Costco has been deliberately left out as the grocery prices in Hawaii change frequently, are on a store-by-store basis, and are in bulk amounts not listed here, though you should expect the cost to be similar to Walmart for the equivalent items.
Groceries in Hawaii at Various Retailers
*Below updated August 2022
|Dairy and Produce|
|Whole milk, 1 gallon jug (cheapest brand)||$5.94||$4.79||$8.19||$8.99||$7.69|
|Carrots, 1 lb||$1.16||$1.29||$1.79||$1.99||$1.79|
|Eggs, 12 large, Grade A (cheapest brand)||$3.58||$4.29||$5.49||$6.49||$7.79|
|Broccoli crowns, 1 lb.||$1.46||$1.99||$3.29||$2.99||$3.29|
|Ground beef, Not More Than 30% Fat (price/lb.)||$5.24||$4.99||$6.59||$6.49||$7.69|
|Tyson Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless, Thin Sliced, Uncooked 40 oz||$14.14||$14.48||$13.19||$13.99||$13.19|
|SPAM, 12 oz. can||$4.77||$4.29||$3.99||$3.79||$4.19|
|Ball Park Hot Dogs 8 ct (15oz)||$5.62||$5.99||$6.59||$5.49||$6.59|
|Hunts tomato sauce, 15 oz. can||$1.46||$2.79||$1.89||$2.89||$3.79|
|Whole Kernel Corn, 15.25 oz Can||$1.27||$2.29||$2.49||$2.50||$2.99|
|Canned tuna, 5 oz. can (cheapest price)||$1.34||$2.29||$2.39||$1.79||$2.09|
|Budweiser beer, 6 cans (12 fl oz)||$8.49||$9.29||$9.49||$9.89|
|Coke, 12 pack of cans (12 oz)||$7.68||$10.43||$11.49||$10.49||$11.49|
|Coffee, Ground, Medium Roast, 12 oz||$9.77||$9.99||$14.29||$10.99||$14.29|
|Campbell’s® Chicken Broth 10.5 oz||$2.08||$2.49||$3.29||$2.99||$3.09|
|Calrose white rice, 20 lb. bag||$16.88||$24.89||$21.99||$22.29||$30.58|
|Ramen Noodle Soup, 6 x 3 oz||$1.50||$3.79||$2.94||$3.99||$3.99|
|Aloha soy sauce, 24 oz. bottle||$3.18||$5.49||$5.19||$5.69||$8.29|
|Best Foods Mayonnaise Real Mayo 15 oz jar||$4.63||$5.79||$5.39||$5.59||$6.49|
|Kids and cats|
|Friskies cat food, 5.5 oz. can||$0.80||$0.89||$1.49||$1.19||$1.49|
|Cheerios Cereal Box, 12 oz||$7.79||$7.49||$7.89||$8.69||$10.99|
|Gerber 2nd Foods baby food, 2 X 4 oz. packs||$2.00||$1.99||$3.49||$3.19||$3.59|
|Huggies Snug & Dry Baby Diapers Size 5, for children over 27 lbs, 22 ct||$22.29||$10.99||$16.99||$18.99||$16.99|
|This and that|
|Heinz Ketchup, 14 oz.||$3.82||$3.99||$2.39||$4.29||$4.29|
|Skippy peanut butter, 16.3 oz.||$3.33||$3.99||$6.59||$4.79||$7.59|
|Oroweat Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat Bread, 24 oz||$4.87||$5.49||$6.99||$7.49||$9.89|
|Scott ComfortPlus Toilet Tissue, 12 ct||$12.28||$13.99||$10.99||$12.49||$13.69|
Final Thoughts on Cost of Groceries in Hawaii
Walmart’s total grocery bill is the lowest of the listed stores but not by a great deal. However, the difference between Walmart and Times is fairly significant.
Your grocery bill is going to greatly depend on how you buy, whether organic or regular, local or big brand names, and of course which store you choose to go to.
If you’re a small household and can’t buy everything in bulk — for instance, buying a carton of 18 eggs at Costco/Walrmart makes no sense for me, because I can’t eat them all before the expiration date) — you’ll still want to shop at a supermarket for those items that you need to buy in smaller quantities.
Supermarkets definitely still have their uses in Hawaii, even if they don’t necessarily have the lowest prices.