Monday, March 2, 2009

Grocery savings

Friday night's trip to Wal-mart made me realize what I had long expected.

Wal-mart is not saving us a dime.

The milk is more expensive than the milk at Kroger. Most of the other stuff is either the same or just a few cents less than regular price somewhere else. Plus if another place is having a good sale on something, it's cheaper to buy it there than to always expect Wal-mart to have the lowest price.

What a bummer!

For the last few weeks, I have been keeping up with the receipts from the shopping trips, just so I could compare. I have also been looking at sales ads like they contain the winning numbers for the upcoming lottery.

It takes some time, but it's starting to pay off.

I love to shop at Publix. I love everything about that store. The produce is the best, the meat is the freshest, and I just like it. Publix has Buy one, get one free offers every week. And those BOGOs are for good stuff that we use around here like cereal, bread, pasta, pasta sauce. It's not just buy one useless thing, get another.

Armed with coupons from the paper, I've started taking advantage of those BOGOs, more than I ever did before. I've also started finding out what's on sale BEFORE I plan a menu for the week. How elementary is that? Still, it's not how I did things before. I always just decided what we were going to eat and then shopped for what we needed. That's no way to take advantage of sales!

Last week, Publix had pork chops on sale. We had pork chops. This week they have ground beef on sale. We're having various recipes starring ground beef. They also have a good sale on canned chicken. I'm getting that for chicken salad. I usually buy Nature's Own whole wheat bread, but the honey wheat is on sale this week, so we're getting honey wheat.

Here's something I would never have thought about buying at the regular grocery store: HAIR COLOR! Boy, my gray is getting the best of me and I have a coupon for $3 off the brand I am partial to. Guess what? This month Publix has that brand on sale for $6.99, so I am going to get my hair color for just $3.99! I'm gonna wash that gray right out of my hair! Publix has a good sale on toilet paper, which beats the price I pay at Wal-mart. Plus, I have a coupon! Toilet paper is something else I thought I could never buy anywhere but Wal-mart.

Kroger has some good deals, but our Kroger is not the greatest as far as quality goes. Still Publix can't beat Kroger's price for a gallon of milk (Publix is the same as our Walmart -- $2.99, Kroger's milk is $2.59!), so we'll be getting the milk from Kroger. My husband passes right by Kroger every night, so picking up that milk is not a big deal for him.

While I am partial to Publix, I'm going to keep an eye on Kroger and might plan to pick up some other things there at some point. They do have the extra money off gas when you buy $100 worth of groceries at the store. That might make spending at least $100 there a month worth it.

CVS has a good deal this week. Buy $20 of products off the first page of their circular and get a free 6 pack of Charmin Big rolls. The products on the front page that I will be buying include Tide (their price beats the price I just paid at Wal-mart), Cascade, and Bounty Basic paper towels. I have coupons for all of those items as well.

Frugal Coupon Mom was on Dr. Phil today, talking about how she saves money. I checked out her website and I have a lot to learn. Still I'm doing better than I was! And in the next few weeks I hope to be doing even better still!


A. said...

We are OFF the Wal-Mart wagon, too. We saved over $150 dollars last month by staying out of Wal-Mart.

We have Meijer here which is like a Wal-mart but with fresh meat, local produce and they DOUBLE coupons. Not that I ever remember to bring them.

I think not only did we save money but we also go MORE food for the dollars we spent. And the store brands taste SO MUCH BETTER.

Nikki said...

I have found that I save more at Kroger, but I definitely try to stay away from WalMart. Even if you do save a little on your groceries, you spend more because you think of a hundred other things you "need." Besides, our WalMart is so big that I can't find anything anyway. I hate shopping at WalMart. (And I even work there!)