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.