For over 3 yrs, I avoided Walmart. My specific reasons aren’t important to this post. However, in an attempt to have the lowest grocery bills possible, I had to concede that sometimes I needed to shop there. I have a very short list of things I buy at Walmart if I cannot get a better price at Publix.
My list includes:
The recent reports of Walmart (by Walmart to the MSM) lowering prices intrigued me. I have been shopping my short list at Walmart for about 6 months now and I have documented some very interesting trends. Prices fluctuate weekly, since they don’t mark many things, if any, as “sales”, one who is blindly buying will never see the cost change right before their eyes.
Over the winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s), butter was cheaper. In January, it became less of a great buy for me. I can get a better deal & better butter by waiting for a name brand at Publix to go on sale and use coupons to boot. Milk has been relatively lower by about 30-50 cents, but recently that gap has closed significantly. Frozen pizza…which was one of the first things that drew me back to Walmart was at a stable price for several months. Then it shot up by nearly $2! And it seems to move from day to day.
What’s most intriguing about this latest report is that the most significant increases I have seen in the past 6 months have been since this news of “lowering prices” came out. Suddenly, the hot cocoa which was 96 cents was now $1.28…making it cheaper to buy the name brand in the bulk box than the GV brand in the smaller box. The name brand hot cocoa had been only $1 per box of 10, but was recently $1.48. The GV hotdog buns are now the same price or more than the Publix brand hotdog buns. Water is always, always, always poorly marked at my Walmart. It’s still cheaper, even in the name brand, than when on sale at Publix, but it’s annoying that it’s not clearly marked.
My short list is only a small sample, but there is a reason my list is not longer. Walmart isn’t always cheaper! It was my journey into couponing that showed me this. I priced my staples list and found Walmart to be the same price or even higher on most items. For example: I am much better off waiting for sales at Publix for paper goods & cleaning products.
This report of “lower prices” really bothers me because I know many people who shop at Walmart because they feel they can’t afford to shop anywhere else. Couponing does take effort…a lot of effort most days, but even without couponing, just knowing your prices at your grocery stores & watching a few circulars can save you a lot of money over Walmart alone.
So, don’t be fooled by this nonsense that Walmart is lowering prices. It’s just a marketing gimmick. They raise and lower prices every day of the week! And rest assured, if I discover that they have truly lowered prices, I will let you know (and someone else will likely even beat me to it).