Buy Cat Food By The Case At Walmart, Pay More

Comparing prices between different brands of canned cat food, Gabe made a discovery at Walmart: it’s cheaper to buy individual cans of Friskies cat food than to buy a case of 24 cans. Buying in bulk is supposed to be cheaper for the consumer, but maybe Walmart has imposed a convenience charge for encasing all of those cat food cans in cardboard.

Welcome to another installment of Fuzzy Math.

I am writing you today as this past Friday evening I went out to a Southern California WalMart to grab some canned food for our dog and cats. I usually just grab a 24 box of Friskies and a 6 pack of Iams. However I was open to changing brands and started comparing prices via a price comparison app on my phone.

What started as calculating prices between brands quickly revealed something altogether more interesting (to me at least). As it turns out, buying individual cans of the wet food was actually cheaper than buying a box of them. The individual cans and the boxed cans are of the same weight and even same flavors. I brought this to the attention of a passing manager who brushed it off and simply gave me the good ol’ “the price on the shelf is the price you pay”.

So I went ahead and grabbed the individual cans and it rang up just as I had calculated. In the picture I have attached, individual cans of Friskies are 42 cents each versus a box of 24 at $11.48. Apples to apples, this is a difference of $1.40 before tax and about $1.52 after. May not seem like much but I’m sure it adds up for WM.


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.