Celebrate? Why celebrate? Well, I enjoy getting stuff for nothing, to me that is a victory worth celebrating. So, y’all can obviously tell I am going to be talking about Walmart, which is where we choose to grocery shop every 2 weeks. Why? Where we live, their prices are considerably lower in groceries than all the rest of the big box grocery stores. I will make this a short post for now, but will do my version of a “how to” save money post in the future, I have learned a few bad ass tricks over the years, and it all paid off today once again.
Before I begin this short speil, let me just say that we feed a bare minimum of 4 adults and one teenage boy having a growth spurt, so call it five adults for simplicity. We do not buy any meat, but if I do it is some chuck so I can grind it in to make hamburgers and canned tuna and/or canned chicken to make into sandwich spreads. Other than that, our meat (beef & pork) is purchased from a slaughterhouse/butcher in large precut packages. The other meats, such as deer (venison), wild turkeys, quail, prairie chickens, and wild boar, are provided by my son an I as we hunt the different seasons of the year. I have 5 stand up side-by-side freezers that don’t get bare very often. Sometimes, we are lucky and will have some gator meat (from family) and other goodies. 98% of our meat is provided this way annually. Enough about that for now.
Back to Walmart. In our 2 baskets we had everything else which was going to last us for two weeks which includes food, cleaning supplies, toiletries/sundries, and some back to school supplies for my son. Our total, before coupons and sales ads, was $348.88. After including coupons and sales ads our price was $39.31 with tax included. How? Everything that was on the list had a substantial coupon, meaning, as an example, something which cost $2.79 had a $2 coupon. Plus, everything we buy was the name brand and it is the things we use every day. On some things the coupon was actually more than the price of the item. Pretty much if I didn’t buy the school supplies I could have gotten out of there for under $10 like I normally do.
Now, no, this is not a simple way of shopping, but with a little effort, a little leg work, some planning, and a list, it is worth it. Here is the secret how. First, get a Sunday paper (this is when our coupons and ads are included). Second, get online and visit all the brands you use/purchase regularly and print their coupons. Sign up if you need too, its worth it. Third, go to the other stores. Get their current sales fliers, walk their asiles and get the in-store coupons for items. They are usually on or near the product in some kind of dispenser. Fourth, plan your meals for the week or two, make your grocery list based on the meals you will be serving. Put some thought into this, think outside the can or box. Fifth, head to Walmart because every coupon you clipped, printed, or got in other stores are honored. Does this take time? Yes, absolutely, but you get faster as you get better at it.
For people pressed for time, a slow cooker can provide a full meal which cooks on its own while you are at work or doing whatever you do to fill your days. Yes, I did everything the exact same way before I was laid off, but I have been doing it like this for a long time, so my prep time is usually under an hour over a two week period. For for those of y’all thinking we buy everything in bulk, you are wrong. We buy paper towels, toilet paper, soft drinks, and milk in bulk. I buy at least 12 gallons of milk at a time, a couple go in the freezer for week two, and the rest in the fridge. Why? At my house, we consume at least a gallon a day, and it never has an opportunity to go out of date. Like I said in the beginning, I will do a comprehensive post some other time. I will have to give it some thought so it makes sense. As well, if any readers have secrets they would like to share, I’m all ears. Quick sidenote, do not buy your tobacco products or alcohol at Walmart, those things are cheapest at the gas station and liquor store.
I know what y’all are thinking already because of other Walmart posts I have done, nothing has changed, I still hate the service, the slow speed, and the two out of fifty lanes actually having a checker, but my wait is usually worth the savings. Think about that for a while. No, I’m not some crazy extreme couponer either, I just like keeping my money where it belongs, in my wife’s wallet.