Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Albertsons vs. Wal-Mart

When I was working full time outside of the home, I used to be a woman of convenience. When I went grocery shopping, I rarely had a list, much less a meal plan for the week. I would go to the closest grocery store (Albertsons) and grab what I thought I needed for the week. I didn't usually go to Wal-Mart because it was farther away and took MUCH longer to get in and out. (You'd think as much money as they make they could hire more people to work the registers).

Now that I am a full-time homemaker, the monthly budget is more important than convenience. I now have the time to clip coupons, plan meals, write shopping lists, and find the best bargains. This inevitably means I end up at Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store. Even with Albertsons and Krogers offering double and triple coupons, 95% of the time the item is cheaper at a discount store. The only time I go to a traditional grocery store is if there is a special discount that I just can't pass up that is worth the gas to get to the store. Yes, I know that grocery stores are cleaner, less crowded, and more pleasant to shop, but in order to keep me at home we need to cut corners wherever we can. It's sad that many grocery stores and smaller stores are going out of business because they can't compete with Wal-Mart, but I need to do what is best for our budget.

The other day I had to buy a few things to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies for a BBQ that we attended. I simply didn't have the time to go to Wal-Mart, so I sucked it up and went to Albertsons. It was almost painful putting generic items in my cart that cost 2 or 3 times more than they would at Wal-Mart. And, I couldn't bear to buy the "chocolate flavored morsels" that were 99 cents (and mostly wax), so I took a deep breath and bought the next cheapest Hershey's chips that were $3.99 for just 12 oz. I couldn't bring myself to pay $5.99 for 12 oz. of Ghiardelli chips that I normally buy from Sam's for a fraction of the cost.

All this to say: If you are out for the best bargain, Wal-Mart with coupons is your best bet. If convenience and a pleasurable shopping experience are your desires, head to your local grocer. Maybe one day Wal-Mart (or a grocery store!) will figure out how to give us the best of both worlds.


zusjames said...

Did you know most Wal-Mart stores will match the ads for other stores? Even the Kroger brand milk can be matched for Wal-Mart's own brand of the same milk same size. Ask the person checking you out how it works, since it varies from store to store- sometimes checker to checker. Even meat like pork steaks or ground whatever. It saved me lots in Texas. Now we live in a county with NO super Wal-Marts. It's painful!

Mrs. Sprinkles said...

How far away is your Walmart? The only super center near us is 11 miles away, making it a 22 mile round trip. Do you go every week or less often?