Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grocery Game vs. Super Walmart

Ok, first I have to get this off of my chest. Walmart is evil. There, I said it. That being said, I still shop there. We live less than a mile away, and at $4.29 a gallon for gas closer just wins sometimes. After Super Walmart, the next closest stores are Target and Dominicks (Safeway for some of you). Those stores are just too expensive! Then comes my local Jewel. Here's where it gets interesting for me.

The Walmart Supercenter has consistent low prices. They take coupons but they never double and they never have sales. None of my local stores double, actually. That's the disadvantage of living in an area where they decided some time ago that we were "booming" and they could make money off of us. We're definitely not booming anymore, we're slowly busting due to the housing bubble bust and the tough economy. So I am hoping that at least one store will go back to double coupons. But for now I have Jewel. I have again started saving ALL of my coupons from both papers that I get. (Our local Sunday paper and our big city Sunday paper) Most of the time, Jewel has a "buy one get one free" sale on selected items. You CAN use a coupon on the second free item, so I can usually end up getting a pretty good deal on lots of stuff.

I am not really good about sitting down with the paper and comparing my coupons to the sale prices. That is why I have re-subscribed to "The Grocery Game". For a small subscription fee, the grocery game tells me EXACTLY what I should buy to get the best deals with my coupons. I know, I know. Paying money to save money sounds a little silly. For those of you who don't want to pay, I hear the Coupon Mom (www.couponmom.com) has a similar service for free. But I like not having to think about it and having an instant printable list for my store that I can customize if I want to, so I pay the fee. (It's only about $10 for 3 months and I more than make up for it as long as I follow the system.)

I know some ladies in the area who shop only at the Walmart Supercenter. I just can't do that. Walmart doesn't always have what I want and I am just not fond of all of their meats. So what works for me is to buy my non-sale items at Walmart, (preferably with a coupon), and shop the sales with The Grocery Game at Jewel. I also occasionally hit Aldi and I shop at Food4Less instead of Walmart when the girls are in school. Food4Less actually has better prices than Walmart, but they are about 7 miles up the road on my way to and from school. It sounds silly, but I hate to drive that far when I'm not already on my way like I am when I drop the kids off at school.

And I am still holding out on ordering The Couponizer. I am so proud of myself! I keep hoping that I can find my old beloved coupon organizer, and that is what keeps me strong.


Anonymous said...

You know, I am not a Wal-Mart fan either, but I give them my money every two weeks or more. Why? Because the grocery store is astoundingly expensive by comparison, and I don't have any other option. I live in a rural area. I'd have to drive 20 miles or more to get to any other option. And, there aren't even a lot of them since Roundy's cornered the market on grocery stores years ago. We don't have any national chains in our neck of the woods at all. There are a few Aldi's scattered throughout the two main cities I am near, but none closer to me than probably 30 miles, at least. So, it's Wal-Mart or Pick N Save, which is the Roundy's grocery store.

Wal-Mart is a good 20% less than the grocery store. That is significant dollars. If it were 5% or less, I may still go to the grocery store, but that's not the way it is. We do go to the grocery store for perishables: meat, produce & dairy. And, their store brands for certain things that we like and there are a few things that Wal-Mart doesn't sell at all. About 70% of our grocery budget is spent at Wal-Mart, the rest at the grocery store.

We do it because it is what our family can afford. For all the people that go into the Wal-Mart hate and tell me how I am just hurting the poor employees and the local businesses, I tell them that when my local community gives me options besides Wal-Mart, that I can afford, I will use them. I don't make these particular decisions based on taking a moral stance, I base them on the finances of my family and what is best for us.

Just as I think most other people who shop there do. I know all of Wal-Mart's evils, but even knowing them, I can't afford to be politically correct or self righteous about it.

KitKat said...

"Just as I think most other people who shop there do. I know all of Wal-Mart's evils, but even knowing them, I can't afford to be politically correct or self righteous about it."

I totally agree with you - that's why they get so much of my money as well. I only shop Jewel with coupons. I know that I am supposed to hate Wal-Mart, and I do for a wide variety of reasons, but I have no choice but to shop there in order to keep my food budget in check. I do get awesome deals with "The Grocery Game" and coupons, but it doesn't cover everything that I need. So Walmart it is for us too

a soldier's wife said...

Good luck with the grocery game. Update when you can and let us know how it's going.
Ooohhh, I don't like walmart either. I'm so glad I have the comissary to shop for groceries, which helps me with savings.

KitKat said...

Hi Soldier's wife! I must admit that I am truly jealous of your comissary. We are good friends with a couple who's oldest son is in the Air Force. They are in the area visiting for a little over a week (he's stationed in Italy), and his wife was talking about the vast difference in prices between the "real world" and the comissary. (She had to go shopping and was shocked at how much prices have gone up here in the States since they went over to Italy about a year ago.) But I truly believe that you military families deserve every bit of help in supporting your family that you can get, so I am happy that the comissary can at least help you save some money. But the prices do sound nice enough to make me a little bit jealous! LOl!

Denise said...

Thanks KitKat! You are so sweet:)