the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Monday, November 23, 2009

No, Walmart, Your Prices Are NOT Unbeatable

For some reason, Walmart's commercials are starting to annoy me, with their "we check other store's prices so you don't have to." Yes, they price match (if you have another store's ad in hand at the register, which is hella annoying to the person behind you in the checkout line). But some things just cost less at other stores, and since there is no print ad for regular prices, Walmart can't give you the lower price on those things.

In an effort to save money, I've been splitting my grocery shopping among three stores as of late: Walmart, Target, and Winn Dixie. Let me also note that I often buy store brands (but some name brands are just better, so I don't always buy generic). And sometimes there are big differences in the price of generics between stores. Often, Walmart *does* have the best price. But definitely not always.

Some items that I've found cheaper at Target:
  • Purina Healthy Morsels dog food (17 lb. bag $11.42 at Walmart, $10.99 at Target)
  • Del Monte sloppy joe sauce (only a penny difference, but still)
  • Hunt's canned spaghetti sauce ($0.84 at Target; Walmart now only carries Del Monte canned spaghetti sauce, which is $0.94)
  • Store brand french vanilla coffee creamer ($1.62 for 8 oz. at Walmart; $2.76 for 15 oz. at Target)
  • Barilla whole grain pasta ($1.23 at Walmart, regularly $1.19 at Target, I recently bought some on sale at Target for $1.03 - less than Target's Market Pantry brand)
  • Huggies Overnite diapers
There are also many items that are exactly the same price at both Target and Walmart, including a lot of Aveeno baby products, and a lot of things are only 1 or 2 cents cheaper at Walmart.

Things I usually buy at Winn Dixie:
  • Anything I normally buy elsewhere that goes on sale buy one get one free. I've saved a lot of money on things like snack foods by checking out the buy one get one free sales at Winn Dixie.
  • Chicken breasts or thighs - there is almost always some kind of sale on these, often buy one get one free; Winn Dixie also does a lot of Manager's Special coupons on their meats.
  • Cheese - again, it often goes on sale buy one get one free
  • Milk - the price of milk fluctuates a lot, but Winn Dixie's store brand gallons of milk usually cost about $0.50 less that Walmart or Target (1/2 gallons are usually cheapest at Walmart, but not always)
  • Produce - sometimes Walmart's produce is quite inexpensive, but it often doesn't look very fresh, so I look for sale prices on Winn Dixie's produce (exception - bell peppers; Walmart has 3 packs of multi-colored peppers for $3.50, which is much cheaper than anywhere else)
Sometimes the convenience of one stop shopping outweighs the small savings, but I don't mind shopping around a bit. Plus, my Walmart and SuperTarget are right across the road from each other, and Winn Dixie is on my way home from Max's daycare, so it's easy for me to hit all three stores on a regular basis.

I just wanted to put the fact that Walmart does not always have the best prices out there. Shop around, folks.

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