Posts Tagged ‘couponing’

To Coupon or Not to Coupon

    I’ve spent the last week and a half scouring sale papers and internet sites, logging prices, printing coupons and making lists all in preparation for my new shopping approach. I made it to Target, Kroger, and CVS; sadly, the only Walgreens that I know of in my area isn’t open yet, so no $3.99 Quilted Northern for me :( It was a good three hour shopping trip. I keep a running tally of my purchases to ensure I stay under my grocery budget and A (my daughter, in case you didn’t know) just had to have one of those buggies at Kroger with a car attached to the front, which is like trying to drive a mack truck through Disney Land. Needless to say, it took a while. I had my Walmart receipt from the previous two weeks and decided to compare the prices of some of the items I buy on a regular basis. Here’s what happened:
“sb” stands for Store Brand.
Bold indicates the store that had the lower price.

Item Walmart Kroger Difference
Rotel Tomatoes .88 .92 .04
sb Black Beans .64 .67 .03
sb Tomato Paste .42 .59 .17
Toaster Strudel 1.98-.55 (coupon) 2.69-1.10 (store coupon+manuf.) .16
Orange Danish 1.66-.40 2.39-1.15 (store+manuf.) .02
sb Cream Cheese 1.67 1.72 .05
General Mills Cereal 3.24 2.69-1.05 1.60
Nutrigrain Bars 2.68 3.59 .91
Mini Raisins 1.98 2.49 .51
Fiber One Yogurt 2.00-1.00 2.69-2.00 (store+manuf.) .31
Ground Beef 2.78 5.28 2.50
Tuna Lunch 2 Go 1.72 2.09 .37
TOTAL 19.70 22.51 2.81 more at Kroger

    So, not exactly what I was hoping for. To give Kroger credit, there was a promotion going on that if you bought 10 certain items, you’d get $3.00 off (they were discounted .30 if you met the 10 required items) and I missed it by one item! So some items might’ve ended up the cheaper of the two had I kept better track of what I was buying (did I mention driving the Semi through there?). Still though, for all the work and extra driving that took place, I was hoping for a little more. Kroger isn’t that much further than my Walmart of choice, but it’s further.
    I have to admit that getting caught up in the coupon/sales paper hunting is fun for me. I’m a nerd, what can I say? But at the end of the day was it really all worth it? I did learn that Target actually has some decent prices on their dry good foods, cheaper than Kroger actually. I also learned that some of the sales at the drug stores can be worth it too (did I mention the $3.99 toilet paper?!). CVS also had Goldfish 2/$3 (way better than Kroger).
    So what’s my bottom line? I don’t think I’ll be leaving Walmart any time soon (groan with me everyone!). I think Kroger is worth it on some occasions, like when you have a store coupon uploaded to your Kroger card AND a manufacturers coupon. Or, even better, if Kroger is having a sale on something and you have those two coupons OR if you have a .50 coupon, which Kroger will double. But that’s only about 10 items, right? Is it worth it to me to make multiple trips to multiple places to complete my grocery shopping (what do you do with perishables when you’re hopping from store to store?)–I’m not convinced yet that it is. So, unless there’s a perfect storm of sale+coupons, you’ll probably find me at Walmart.