One of the blog entries I didn't get to last week, was an update on my financial goal of reducing my grocery budget. The first weekend in February I did my "big shopping" so it was the first time I got to see how much of an impact some of the things I'd been doing have had.
First, I was very surprised by what my newly resurrected price book told me. Mainly it reaffirmed for me that Wal-mart is by far the best value for the majority of my dry and canned goods. However, some things are still cheaper in bulk at Sam's. But a few things surprised me. I had been wishing Sam's would start carrying oats in bulk, but for years all they carried was big boxes of instant oats, when I wanted rolled or quick cooking. Well, last week, our Sam's actually had a HUGE box of quick cooking oats. But when I computed the price per ounce, Wal-mart was still cheaper! Also, that weekend the cheapest eggs (Large sized) were not at Sam's or Wal-mart but HEB! Go figure!
Second, I noticed that I didn't spend as much at Sam's because I had been watching the meat sales at HEB more carefully and had caught a few things that were cheaper than Sam's.
Third, the biggest difference I noticed was in how much I spent at Wal-mart. My grocery bill there went down drastically due to two things. The biggest was that I wasn't buying toiletries for 7 people there. In fact, the only non-food item I bought was generic allergy medicine, which is still way cheaper at Wal-mart than at CVS, even with all the CVS specials. Since I had been matching up coupons with the CVS deals (and a few from Walgreens) and buying toiletries for pennies, or sometimes for free from CVS, I cut almost a quarter off what I normally spend at Walmart. I also had about $10 in coupons, which helped as well. These were for the things that are not store brands that I would have bought anyway.
So I would say that so far the project has been a success, without my having to change the way we eat, though I could do that if we got really strapped for money at some point.