Thursday, February 6, 2014

Grocery Store Pricing Showdown: Round 1

Where do you do your shopping?  For years, I've done the majority of my grocery and household items shopping at Walmart.   It's cheap, you can avoid crowds if you hit it at the right time, and I can get everything there (food, household items, paper products, etc) 

My usual routine was to go to Walmart about once a month.  I would stock up on items as much as I could, then supplement in the in between weeks at other places.  We have an Aldi about 2 minutes from our house, which is amazingly convenient and cheap.  Aldi is great for produce and some other common staples, so we hit that store once a week since my kids are fruit monsters. 

I have (no lie) 3 Targets within a 10 minute radius of my house.  Being able to hit a Target from any nearly directly made it easy to run in there while I was out doing other stuff to grab shampoo, paper towels, milk, whatever else I needed.  I would also go about once a month to Sam's Club, mostly to get meat.  I would use some that week, then freeze the rest, which would last us through that month or so.

So to recap, that was going to Aldi once a week, Target about every other week, Sam's Club once a month, and Walmart once a month.  It really isn't too bad, except there's one drawback: the closest walmart to our house is about 25-30 minutes away.

I don't know when it started to bother me, but at some point, it did.  So going once a month slowly turned into going every 6 weeks or so.  I would dread going there, and spending nearly an hour in the car there and back really started to bother me.  And since I was going so infrequently, my cart there was getting fuller and fuller to the point where it was almost, pushing this giant cart overflowing with groceries, probably looking like I live with 20 people.  Unloading the car and putting the groceries away was a marathon.  The last time I was there, loading up my car (in the rain, to add insult to injury!) I thought to myself that it was time to simplify. 

I've never made it a secret that I despise shopping at Giant Eagle.  The store closest to my house has a terrible layout, is crowded no matter when you go, and historically, has very high priced items. 


That store that I despise so much is about 3 minutes from my house. And, I had noticed that despite the fact that in previous years I know that store had ridiculous prices, recently when I would run in there for something or glance at their ad, it seemed as though maybe they were becoming a bit more reasonable.  They also double coupons up to .99 and you earn Fuel Perks.  Maybe it was time to reconsider? 

Stay tuned for round 2, where I compare some Walmart prices to Giant Eagle.....

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