The past month or so I have made a change in where I do my bulk of grocery shopping. I have been shopping at Walmart for probably 8-10 years - ever since they came to town and then added a grocery section. First I had to drive about 5 miles (which where I live takes a ridiculous 20 minutes), but then a few years ago they built another one a mile from my house. Comparing prices to the regular grocery stores I had been shopping at Walmart's prices were quite a bit cheaper on most things and I estimated I was saving 20% off my weekly grocery shopping trip. Occasionally I would shop at the other big grocery stores for specific items, if they were having a good sale on items that would be cheaper than at Walmart.
Even though we live in a nice suburban type town and this Walmart is new and nicer than most Walmart's I've been in (I've been in quite a few traveling across the country a couple of times) it's still big, and crowded and long lines and you always see quite the odd assortment of people. I always try to shop at less crowded times, but it really helps me to have Dd shop with me and she can't always go with me during their uncrowded times. I love her company and she helps carry the heavy stuff that my back doesn't like to lift. Also, at Walmart you have to put the bags into your own cart as they get filled up by the cashier and for some reason it seems so much easier for me when Dd is along to do that while I get my coupons together and pay.
We were both kind of getting tired of Walmart's atmosphere. With trying to find the best deals every week, I found myself shopping more and more at another store, picking up their sale items. When they have stuff on sale it's usually ends up better than Walmart, which rarely puts items on a sale price. So, we have been making the bulk of our weekly shopping trip at this other grocery store and I'm really trying to plan my weekly grocery list around what they have on sale, along with coupons I have and I've also noticed a trend of when the items I use go on sale. For example they have Pepsi products 24 packs for $5 about every 4 weeks, so I buy the limit, which gets me through to the next $5 sale. No more paying $8 each, which is Walmart's price, almost always. They also have our laundry detergent on sale for $9.99 ($2-$3 cheaper that Walmart) every couple of months, plus I had a $1 off coupon. I buy steak for dinner, probably every other week or so, and it's about the same price, BUT oh so much better and tastier than Walmart's steaks! Not even close to quality and taste.
This store also offers a store savings/coupon card. I just go online before I shop and add coupons to my card on things I buy. Sometimes they have a specific sale price I can add and also a coupon to add on top of the sale price. If I have a manufacturer's coupon on it, they take that, too! I'm getting some items pretty darn cheap. For the past month I've been getting gallons of milk for $2.29 and cases of water for $2.69. I've also received some other rewards this past month. $.10 cents off a gallon of gas per $100 spent (this is where I usually buy gas anyway). Last week it was an extra $.30 a gallon when you spent $75, so I got $.40 cents off per gallon last fill up. The week or so before it was a $10 off your next order for spending $75. This week I got another $10 off your next order coupon plus a $2 off your next order coupon to use next time.
Other benefits this store has that we are liking is that they have grocery baggers to help the cashier and put the bags in the cart. I went shopping by myself Friday morning and when he asked if I needed help out with my groceries I said yes! It was so nice not having to lift the cases of water and pop into my car, as I would have if I went to Walmart. I actually think I am saving money shopping at this store. Minimum, we like the atmosphere better (you just don't see all those "strange" people you see at Walmart, LOL. I'm not a snob who won't even set foot in there, like some people I know), the quality of their meats and produce is better, and I like the extra help they have. Oh....and they have a Starbucks :) (our very occasional, favorite treat) It's a little farther to drive to - about 3 1/2 miles away. Which seems like nothing, but 7 street lights in between on very congested road kind of gets on my nerves. Walmart is still cheaper for most non-food items and the closest to me for a quick trip for milk or bread, but I think I'll stick with my new plan for awhile and see how it goes.