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Walmart to save grocery $?


Ann.without.an.e
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I am not a walmart fan.  In fact, I avoid it pretty much like the plague.  Several ladies have told me that they save grocery $$ shopping there and I really need to cut our budget.  I always thought that shopping sales is cheaper than walmart but then if you add savings catcher it might save more to just shop at walmart.  Any experiences?  Does it really work to lower costs?  I buy a good bit at Costco once a month too.  

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No I wouldn't say the prices at Walmart are anything special (around here).  In my area there is lot of competition though.

 

Where I used to overspend was when I shopped at those warehouse clubs.  I couldn't get out of there without spending $150 and I wouldn't have what I needed for the week.  I don't have a big family though.

 

 

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No I wouldn't say the prices at Walmart are anything special (around here).  In my area there is lot of competition though.

 

Where I used to overspend was when I shopped at those warehouse clubs.  I couldn't get out of there without spending $150 and I wouldn't have what I needed for the week.  I don't have a big family though.

 

 

I can't get out of costco for less than $300 but there are six of us and I only shop there once every 3-4 weeks.

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I find I save more not going to Wal-Mart, because I'm not reminded of all the other stuff I "need" that Wal-Mart carries and my grocery store does not. I even price checked some items that I used to buy at Wal-Mart to save (feminine, soap, shampoo) and the savings (maybe $0.50/item) isn't worth the trip.

 

Now, when we move we'll have an Aldi, and that's a huge money saver!!!

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The only thing I save money on at Walmart is milk.  For everything else, it's comparable shopping at other stores.

 

 

However, the best advice I ever got was to make a price book and keep my receipts.  I started writing down the prices of staples in this house and then referencing it when things went "on sale" at the various stores.  The receipts helped me to really examine what I was buying and I highlighted purchases that were impulse buys and not on the list.  Understanding my shopping habits helped me to shop better.  Now I feel successful if the fridge *looks* bare by Sunday morning - it means we're not overbuying, we're using up leftovers, and we have our meal plans going.

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Our walmart is the most expensive place in town to buy groceries except for HyVee.  But we have a lot of grocery stores so the competition is high.  Most recent example.  Butter at Aldi's 2.39 a pound, my regular grocery store and costco both were 2.49 a pound.  Walmart 3.88 for the Crystal Farm brand but the generic Great Value butter was 4.97 a pound!!!!  I don't shop at Walmart much but the few times I was there for something else and thought I'd pick up some grocery item to tide me over, every single time it was higher than my regular grocery store. 

 

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Our food store choices that are very close are Walmart and Super Target. Everything else is a bit of a drive. I think Walmart is slightly less expensive, but we rarely go there. I don't prefer their choices re: paying employees/benefits, so I will pay a bit extra to go to SuperTarget. But I also don't think it's a substantial difference, on food. Aldi is our next closest, but I can never get everything I need there, so going is sort of an extra.

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I do like Aldi a lot for freshies but I won't eat their meats and they don't have much of what I need so it is definitely an extra trip but it is literally across the street from where I work so I really need to buckle down and go in once a week.  I am just so ready to go home. haha

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I used to shop at Walmart but I stopped because I didn't like traveling to another state (and paying a $1 toll) to do so. However a Walmart just opened near me (I can walk to it) and it has grocery. We have Aldi here and Costco. I have no plans to stop shopping at both. However I find that Walmart is better then the store I was going to prior in that things are located in logical places. I live in NJ and Shoprite drives me NUTS. The same item could be located in 3 areas of the same store! And if you are looking for a specific brand, it could also be in one of 3 areas of the store! FORGET trying to send your husband there! He would never get anything specific unless it was milk or something basic. 

 

I will say, although I have yet to get produce at my Walmart (it has been open less then a week, have yet to go shopping), I do remember the produce at the last Walmart to be fairly high quality. Better then Costco or Shop Rite. Aldi has good produce but it can be hit or miss. Never had that issue with Walmart. 

 

Don't know if I helped or not but I do agree that Aldi is where you want to go if you want to save money. I have seriously filled my cart there and not thought about prices (you know those trips) and walked out spending less then $130. In fact it used to be a running joke for me that I would spend $110 anytime I went there. Didn't matter what I got, it was always $110. I thought that was funny. 

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I've had better luck shopping sales at other grocery stores. I check the flyers for the other stores near me on the day they're posted (it's one of my weekly to-do items) and if anything's discounted enough to make it a bargain I go there. They are more expensive than Walmart but their sales are cheaper. 

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In my area I've found Walmart's prices aren't that much better than Kroger's for most things I buy. And for me, Kroger is a more pleasant shopping experience than WM. Aldi has still lower prices but it's over 20 minutes for me to get there and Kroger is only 7. Publix is 7 the other direction but their prices are generally the highest. Target is 20 mins away and prices there are higher than Kroger but lower than Publix. I have not tried the savings catcher so I don't know if that would save enough to be worthwhile.

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Walmart will save you money IF:

 

1. You can stick to your list.

2. You compile all the ads for the local area, and ad-match at Walmart. This only works if actual prices are listed. If the sale you want to use is a "buy one get one free" or "50% off" (without the actual price after mark-down listed), you won't be able to use it.

3. You will buy generic rather than name brand if the generic is less expensive.

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Our food store choices that are very close are Walmart and Super Target. Everything else is a bit of a drive. I think Walmart is slightly less expensive, but we rarely go there. I don't prefer their choices re: paying employees/benefits, so I will pay a bit extra to go to SuperTarget. But I also don't think it's a substantial difference, on food. Aldi is our next closest, but I can never get everything I need there, so going is sort of an extra.

 

Target and Walmart pay employees very similarly.

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Walmart is quite a bit cheaper here than the other grocery stores, especially if you buy store brands. Name brands are across the board cheaper by a few cents to a dollar which adds up surprisingly quickly. In this area, Walmart has started carrying local produce and local milk and eggs. For other produce and meat, we hit up Sprouts but only when the sale flyer matches with what we have planned.

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Target and Walmart pay employees very similarly.

Thank you! I just looked it up to compare, and they are very similar. You could have knocked me over. I must have projected Costco onto Target. Maybe? Oops.

 

Though... Eh. I still prefer Target for other reasons probably better not mentioned in this thread. Those reasons have no financial consequences re: grocery bills.

Edited by Spryte
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Thank you! I just looked it up to compare, and they are very similar. You could have knocked me over. I must have projected Costco onto Target. Maybe? Oops.

 

Though... Eh. I still prefer Target for other reasons probably better not mentioned in this thread. Those reasons have no financial consequences re: grocery bills.

 

 

Costco is very good to their employees, so I have heard. 

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I shop a combo of Walmart and our local (independent) grocery store for our groceries.  I know what prices I pay for things and will buy wherever is cheapest - or where they have the item I want as sometimes it's at one store and not the other.  Walmart's Savings Catcher will catch all other sales for me, so I get the cheapest price.  They don't catch our independent store.

 

Whether Walmart is "good" or not really depends upon the individual store for many things.  Ours is clean, produce is fresh, and employees I know IRL enjoy working there.  We've traveled elsewhere and found stores in other conditions that would not inspire me to shop at them if we lived in the area.

 

One huge plus with Walmart is their Great Value brand is often quite good and inexpensive.  I will choose that over name brands often (like for cereal, etc) because we like them better.  I can't say that about any other store brand on a regular basis (some are good, some aren't).  The store brand my independent store carries, "Best Yet," most definitely isn't for most items.

 

I tend to not like many of the off brands at low cost stores.  I also recall seeing a news story not too long ago about how many of the products at those low cost stores (in off brands) aren't even what they advertise.  One item (of many) that they focused on was their 100% Parmesan cheese having exactly no Parmesan in it.  This could be why they don't taste all that great.   :lol:   But it's annoying that places get away with mislabeling and selling their products.   :cursing:   The news focused on how it's nigh onto impossible to prosecute such things and hardly anyone is even trying.

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Though... Eh. I still prefer Target for other reasons probably better not mentioned in this thread. Those reasons have no financial consequences re: grocery bills.

 

I'll say it. In our area, Target employees are pleasant, and Wal-Mart employees are surly. It even held true for a couple I knew--friendly husband worked at Target, grumpy wife worked at Wal-Mart.  :laugh:

 

Company culture is determined by more than just wages. I have worked at minimum wage jobs where everyone hated it (food service), and minimum wage jobs where the employees loved working there and it showed (bookstore). 

SaveSave

Edited by mellifera33
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I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart.

 

I dislike (hate) a lot of their business practices.

 

I like (love) the convenience of one stop shopping and their prices. They're by far the least expensive place to shop for groceries in my area, and that's particularly true if you use the savings catcher app. Walmart's every day prices on most of the items I regularly buy beat any other store around, and the savings catcher takes care of any that don't beat current sale prices at other stores.

 

However, I don't buy much meat at Walmart. Most of their beef isn't USDA choice (or better). They have started carrying a small selection of organic, grass fed ground beef so I do buy that sometimes. And they have one brand of chicken that is antibiotic/hormone free and hasn't been filled full of salt water. But mostly I get what meat we eat from a local grocery chain.

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Walmart will save you money IF:

 

1. You can stick to your list.

2. You compile all the ads for the local area, and ad-match at Walmart. This only works if actual prices are listed. If the sale you want to use is a "buy one get one free" or "50% off" (without the actual price after mark-down listed), you won't be able to use it.

3. You will buy generic rather than name brand if the generic is less expensive.

 

The savings catcher feature on the Walmart app will do the ad matching for you. All you have to do is open the app and scan the QR code on your receipt.

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Walmart will save you money IF:

 

1. You can stick to your list.

2. You compile all the ads for the local area, and ad-match at Walmart. This only works if actual prices are listed. If the sale you want to use is a "buy one get one free" or "50% off" (without the actual price after mark-down listed), you won't be able to use it.

3. You will buy generic rather than name brand if the generic is less expensive.

Agreed. I rotate between WalMart, HEB and Kroger depending what is on my list that week. Then a once a month trip to Sam's for paper products, trash bags and the like.

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It's amazing how much this varies. Walmart is significantly cheaper here on everything. I pay about 50% more for my total grocery bill at Kroger (Safeway), and Randalls (Tom Thumb?) is easily double. Randall's sales prices are sometimes still double Walmart's normal prices. HEB is awesome and comes close to walmart prices, but they closed the one near my house. Aldi has wonderful prices but it's an extra trip in addition to a normal grocery trip because selection is so limited.

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Wal Mart is our only choice in this town.  And it is a terrible version of WM.  I love the one 45 minutes from my house and make a big trip there sometimes especially if dh can come with me.  But either way, WM is much cheaper than other stores in this area.  I especially know because I shop at a nice grocery store in the city for my boss and I can't believe the differences in prices.  Sometimes while there I will pick up a few things for myself if the produce looks great or there are good sales....but to shop there all the time would be very expensive.

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Though... Eh. I still prefer Target for other reasons probably better not mentioned in this thread. Those reasons have no financial consequences re: grocery bills.

 

For me, Target gives a better shopping experience because it's a quieter store. Walmart always has loud fans blowing and they used to have those screens blaring ads at you while in the checkout line or at random areas in store. All that noise just makes me feel a bit frazzled when I shop there. Target's noise level is much lower.

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Aldi is the cheapest for me.

Walmart is the next cheapest. I buy a lot of store brand.

Between Aldi and Walmart, most of the things I buy are cheaper than other store's sales prices, often by many cents or even dollars per item.

 

When I had a membership to BJs, the items I bought with the BJ's coupons (would come in the mail once every couple of months) were cheaper than Walmart. I stuck to just buying from coupons, plus just a few other items. However, this was before I started shopping at Aldi, so I don't really know how Aldi compares to a big store.

 

Note; I always, always, always go to all of those stores with a detailed list and I never deviate. Well, I might deviate a few times a year, but it's a rare thing for me. That's a big part of saving money in those big stores (like Walmart and BJs, and even that aisle at Aldi with all the non-food items.)

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A Walmart Market recently opened near our house.  It is fairly new, so it is clean.  I have been super impressed with the staff.  I also like that it is only a grocery store, so it is much smaller and easier to navigate.  I still have a few things that I would rather get somewhere else, but over all, this is the closest and least expensive place for me.

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As Pawz4me pointed out, you don't need to check sale fliers for many items if you use Walmart's Savings Catcher app or website. I've been using it for less than 2 years and have received back almost $140 so far for our small family. From their website:

 

If a local competitor offers a lower advertised price on an eligible item you purchased at Walmart, Savings Catcher allows you to get back the difference on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card or a Bluebird by American Express Card. Amounts credited to these Cards can be used to make purchases exclusively in-store at Walmart or online at Walmart.com.

 

Savings Catcher currently applies to:

  • Groceries such as pantry staples including cereal, chips, rice, yogurt, milk, and frozen foods (must be identical and match UPC to UPC)
  • Consumable items such as paper towels, bleach, and trash bags
  • Health and beauty items such as shampoo and makeup

Savings Catcher currently does NOT apply to:

  • Any food, consumables, or health & wellness items that do not meet the eligibility criteria above
  • Items purchased and paid for with WIC benefits
  • Produce
  • Items sold in the Bakery department 
  • Fresh or variable weight meat
  • Items sold in the Deli department 
  • Seafood
  • General merchandise items 
  • Non-branded items
  • Tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gasoline, tires, prescription drugs, optical and photo products and services, or products that require a service agreement such as wireless, automotive or financial products
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We split our shopping between Wal Mart and Publix. Meats and produce we get at Publix. Inner aisle stuff and frozen foods we get at WM unless Publix had a good sale. We are brand loyal due to severe allergies. We do savings catcher at WM. Aldi is being built, we'll check it out when it opens. Occasionally we pop into Winn Dixie but it's out of the way. We don't have any other options.

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I made a price list to compare everything in town when I found out about BountifulBaskets.org.  They were cheapest and highest quality for the price.  Aldi matched their prices in terms of volume and type of food, but had less variety (IE: Bountiful Baskets will give you purple potatoes, whereas they are not sold elsewhere, etc).

 

Walmart was 20-30% more expensive than Aldi, with the exception of a few loss leader items (bananas were cheaper), but the quality was far less (much more likely to see moldy mushrooms and buy lettuce with the red mold on the bottom, or baby carrots that were so rotten they were halfway to alcohol when you open the bag.

 

Other stores in the area were 30-50% more than Walmart, but some of them made up for that by having amazing loss leader sales (great if you have a freezer to stock up), or offering something like double or triple coupon day once a week (great if you buy a lot of processed products and have the time and energy to be an extreme couponer).

 

Costco is probably the same price as higher end regular grocery stores, but has much better produce, and organics are cheap.

 

Whole Foods is nicknamed Whole Paycheck for a reason. 

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I despise Walmart but I do shop there occasionally for some items.  I'm a big fan of Aldi, but they just don't carry everything I use.   I try to wait to make a Walmart trip when I have a bunch of stuff I have to buy.  This time it was condiments.  Yeah, we needed vinegar, olives, Tabasco, stuff like that.  For that type of thing I find Walmart is much cheaper than anyplace else.  If Aldi carried Worcestershire sauce I'd buy it there, but they don't.  Oh, a certain tea my son likes is cheaper at Walmart too, even on sale at other stores.  So I buy 3 boxes when I'm in there, so I don't have to go so often. ' I don't buy meat or produce at Walmart.

 

I think I saw a sign in the store recently that said the savings catcher program is ending.   

 

I would love to find one store to give all my business too, but there isn't one that has everything I need at the best (lowest) price. 

 

 

 

Edited by marbel
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We have a very small Super WalMart and two smallish grocery stores in town.  Costco is about 75 minutes away.  For our location, WalMart is a few cents cheaper on many things.  I do not buy WalMart produce, as we have not had good experiences with it when I have (in a pinch, don't want to make two stops...always regret it,and should have just made that second stop!).

 

I work in the bakery at one of our grocery stores, and even if I pay a few more cents for an item, it means I don't have to drive across town to WalMart - so I save time and money by just picking up a few things on my way home from work (it helps that that's the store with the best produce, so I don't have to stock up).  Costco prices are similar to WalMart prices, BUT the quality of Costco items are better - like getting organic at Costco for the same price as non-organic at WalMart.  We go to Costco about once every 4-6 weeks (depending on when we make a trip in that direction), and often spend $400-500.  We get a lot of staples - dairy, produce, some chicken.  The processed foods can eat up a good chunk of your food budget no matter where you buy them. so we try to avoid them.

 

For meat, I buy it when it is on sale at the smallest of our local grocery stores.  I don't pay more than $2 for chicken boobies or ground beef.  I buy 20 or 30 pounds of each and freeze them in meal-sized portions.  This lasts until they go on sale again.  Boneless skinless chicken thighs are cheaper at Costco, and sometimes stew meat is.

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When I compare prices, there are very few things that Walmart is cheaper at. Maybe meat? I've considered going once a month to stock the freezer with meat.

 

Walmart certainly is more expensive that our small mom-and-pop produce shop when it comes to produce! And there I get cheaper prices, better service, etc.

 

Emily

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I just started shopping Walmart for groceries.  It's not close to me...a good 20 min ride in traffic/highway.  However, my 2 local stores will killing us to get enough food for the month. 

 

I started 2 months ago.  YES, it has saved me money.  I also signed up for the Savings catcher and I get about $5 back each visit.  

 

I found prices were way better on everything.  I found some things in larger sizes/better price overall on foods we were buying multiples of at other grocery chains.  I do not like the meat offerings as much, but I'm making do.  I'm committed to saving food money and we will keep shopping at Walmart. It has saved me over a hundred each shopping trip...so at least $200 a month, but sometimes more if I make the effort to go there and not my close store.  

 

Only downside for me has been a few items they do not carry I need/want in a certain brand name.  (gluten free item)  However, they had other selections my local store did not carry.  

 

I can't say I like going.  The crowds, the traffic to get there.  But there isn't one in my area.  So we are doing this.  And saving money.  

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Walmart is quite a bit cheaper here than the other grocery stores, especially if you buy store brands. Name brands are across the board cheaper by a few cents to a dollar which adds up surprisingly quickly. In this area, Walmart has started carrying local produce and local milk and eggs. For other produce and meat, we hit up Sprouts but only when the sale flyer matches with what we have planned.

That is true where I live also.

Walmart is almost always 20-25% less per item than Albertsons or Kroger. That's a big difference on a loaf of GF bread.

 

I have a couple local grocery store chains that are better for meat and produce.

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I don't generally shop at Walmart. Two exceptions:

 

-they are are only store that I can find picnic table tablecloths that aren't thin one use party type table covers. As such we usually stop there on our way out of town for longer camping trips and get at least a tablecloth and possibly some.

 

-when we won a fairly large WalMart giftcard. I did a big grocery stock up with part of the money. I noticed that somethings were cheaper and some things were not. The stuff that was fairly expensive was produce, hot dogs, bacon, butter, yogurt. For example they they wanted $3 for a 12 ounce bag of conventional broccoli florets. What?

 

That said, to shop at WalMart I have to drive past more than a dozen other stores, including Safeway, QFC (Kroger), Grocery Outlet, a co-op, Trader Joes, an Asian Market, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Costco, Cash and Carry, Winco, Target, and some local independent stores so it's not anything that I think I need to drive out of my way for. Many local suburbs discouraged Walmart and, aside from a Sam's Club, there is not actually a WalMart anywhere in the city limits either. There's a lot of competition here. Winco and Trader Joes are the cheapest. Fred Meyer (which is a one stop shop chain similar to WalMart with everything from groceries to bedding to clothing to toys, now owned by Kroger) is also pretty cheap for groceries but they are about 4 blocks off my regular drive and I usually end up going to Safeway instead.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Walmart is pretty cheap compared to other regular grocery stores. I'm not a huge fan of supercenters but I actually really like neighborhood markets. They get rid of everything I don't like about walmart for the same prices. That said, Aldi is way cheaper than even walmart. I'm talking like a dollar or more on many staple items. So I do 80% of our shopping at Aldi and the rest at our neighborhood market.

 

Another thing I love about Aldi is that grocery shopping there takes less than a half hour. The downside being they never have everything I need so I have to hit up 2 stores every time. Still, it only takes me an hour and fifteen minutes a week to grocery shop for our family of 6, so that's pretty good, I think.

 

In fact, one of the things dh and I looked at as we were applying to fellowships for him was whether the town had an Aldi or not. This was going to equate to about $200/month difference in cost of living for us.

Edited by Meagan S
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In our area Walmart is cheaper than local groceries. I do 90% of my grocery shopping there because: 

 

1. we tend to buy the same foods and I know Walmart has them

2. We buy Great Value generics on a lot of items. I've found them to be mostly as good as name brand

3. I don't have time to grocery shop at multiple stores, although there are a few items we will run to HyVee to get because only they carry it.

4. I have a very strict food budget. I can't afford to spend $20 more a week because I didn't want to stop at two places 

5. I have a pretty good idea of what prices at Walmart are, just from shopping there more obviously, but it makes it easier to plan

 

I don't love Walmart, but I'd rather keep more of my money and do other things with it. Walmart allows me to do that. 

 

We have an Aldi, but I haven't tried to do a weeks worth of shopping there yet because I have so little time, it's on th eother side of town, and I'd probably still have to go to Walmart anyway. 

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What makes Walmart cheap is the price-matching.   So, you can get everyone's sale price at Walmart.  Unless of course the grocery stores do that stupid reward card silliness.  I prefer to get the price at the cash register.  

 

One other thing you might want to do is to keep a little notebook with prices in it.  I used to have a tiny 3-ring binder so I could reorder the pages.  You write down the price of stuff as you buy it, including where.   Over time you can figure out where to buy what, and also what the three threshold prices are for each item:

1) Average price

2) stock-up price

3) Buy only what you immediately need price.  

 

There might be an app for tracking that.  it is time consuming the first few times, but eventually many things will be price-stable.  

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