Hello, friends! I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I have, however, been busy busy with all the fun excitement of Christmas and the new year.
About two weeks before Christmas I headed to Wal-Mart for my weekly grocery shopping trip. While I get some great deals with couponing, my family can't always live off a cereal stockpile, so I typically use Wal-Mart to fill in the gaps, as they are all-around less expensive than most supermarkets. Well, as I began my shopping I noticed a definite increase in traffic in the store as compared to just the week before, and I couldn't help thinking, Holy cow, if it's like this two weeks before Christmas I don't even WANT to know what it will be like the next two, three, even four weeks!
I managed to fight my way out of the store with my groceries and my baby, and I thought, I must not set foot in this store until mid-January. At LEAST. I just can't take the stress!
And thus began my Wal-Mart Avoidance Plan. I decided that since I usually make a trip to Kroger for couponing deals once a week, I would simply make Kroger my main grocery store for the next month. I carefully scanned their sale ads, not just for coupon matchups that would score me rock-bottom deals, but for other staples that were priced comparably to Wal-Mart. I then made weekly menus that incorporated these sale items.
Well, let me tell you, I may never go back to Wal-Mart for groceries. What I discovered was that I was actually saving more money by doing it this way, because Kroger's sales are so much better than Wal-Mart's normal prices. And not only that, but they offer great discounts on perishable items that are close to their expiration date- last week I scored 3 gallons of milk at $1.50 each (it was right after a big snow). I had some milk from one of the gallons today and it's still good! I also put a gallon in the freezer, because I knew we wouldn't use it up in time.
This week I found chicken drumsticks for $0.99/lb, so I simply changed my meal plan so that I could incorporate them into a dinner. I also scored an 11.5 lb ham for our Christmas dinner- also $0.99/lb! Which made it so that I could invite extended family to come dine with us. :-)
The other bonuses of shopping at Kroger?
- I don't have to park a mile away
- I don't have to walk another mile through the store just to find what I need
- I get a discount for using my own bags
- I save $0.10/gallon on gas for every $100 I spend on groceries
- A very nice bagger brings all my groceries to my car for me, leaving me free to get Little Boo out of the cart and into her carseat without having to heave groceries into the car and try to find somewhere to return a cart.
- People at Kroger aren't as scary as people at Wal-Mart. Come on. You know what I'm talking about.
So to sum it up, I think I've discovered the light. I will be fair, though, I did stop by Wal-Mart today to check out their Christmas clearance items, because Starlet's birthday is coming up and I knew I would probably find some decent deals on toys, which I did. Now that it's calmer there, it's not so bad. ;-)