I’ve been shopping at Market Basket over the past weeks and have been shocked at the price difference between it and Shaw’s supermarkets — something to which I’d been blind because there’s a Shaw’s literally across the street from me (although the entrance is around the block).

The cheapest toothbrush at Shaw’s costs $2.19. There are many at the Somerville Market Basket for 99 cents.

A pound of carrots at Shaw’s is 99 cents. At Market Basket, that money buys you two pounds.

And so on. It’s also nice to get cheaper prices on almost everything without having to hand over a “rewards” card, in which the reward is saving almost as much money as you would by shopping somewhere else. Chains use these cards to collect data on what sells best and to whom, but good managers could provide the same information without the intrusion, and my local Shaw’s has always been incompetent at stocking, cards or no cards.

My complaints about Shaw’s are legion — the nonsensical and erratic inventory, failure to label, near fraud in the packaged salads and other incidents as mysterious and inexplicable as the heads on Easter Island. Any complaints I have about Market Basket are small potatoes in comparison.

Small potatoes, by the way, are also much cheaper at Market Basket.