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Inexpensive alternatives to Market Basket exist

Low prices are a driving force behind Market Basket’s popularity, and as the boycott enters its fourth week, shoppers continue to complain about spending more money. But a survey conducted last week by Consumer World, a Somerville-based consumer guide, found that shoppers can save more than they would at Market Basket by shopping at some lesser-known, less fully stocked chains.

The survey compared prices for the same items from Stop & Shop, Star Market, Market Basket, Aldi, Price Rite, and Save-A-Lot. The results showed that the latter three stores had something in common: They cost less because they are “limited assortment supermarkets.”

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For the most part, these stores carry only their own brands, said Edgar Dworsky, founder of Consumer World. “If you can live without Heinz ketchup, you can buy these staples at lower prices than at Market Basket even, and certainly lower than Stop & Shop and Star,” he said.

However, shopping at one of these supermarkets may not be an option for some. Between Aldi, Price Rite, and Save-A-Lot, there are 35 Massachusetts locations, seven fewer than the number of Market Baskets in Massachusetts. These less-expensive supermarkets may be a haul for some; travel time and gas burned may cancel out the savings.

“It’s an alternative I think most people are not aware of,” Dworsky said. “What’s the worst that could happen? They could save some money.”

Nina Joy Godlewski can be reached at nina.godlewski@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @NinaJGodlewski.
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