Becoming Debt Free in 2009

January 2, 2009

I Saved A Ton Of Money On…

Filed under: Food,Shopping — ambercouric @ 1:40 pm

Wasn’t there a commercial a long time ago that said “I saved a ton of money on my ….”?  I can’t remember what the commercial was advertising but this was the only title I could think of.

Back in November, I asked about shopping at Wal-Mart.  Up until this point I really didn’t have a need or desire to shop any Wal-Mart.  But since the new Wal-Mart is only about a mile from Harris Teeter (my normal grocery store) I decided I would give them a try.  I had heard from several neighbors that shopped how much lower the prices were.   I have severe food allergies and shop brand specific at least 95% of the time. 

I went in with my $100 (my budget for the week) and vowed not to spend a penny more.  I also had no intentions of “checking out the store”.  I needed groceries and that was all I planned to purchase.  I had a list and although I didn’t keep to it completely I was pretty close.  I was SHOCKED at the prices.  SHOCKED!!!   My rice milk was $1 less for double the size, rice noodles were $2.23 less, coffee was $2.89 less. Most items were only 50 cents to one dollar less but still that is a huge savings.  The only item that I bought that was more was Jimmy Dean sausage.  It was 38 cents more than Harris Teeter.   My total bill was $40.83.    I didn’t use coupons.  Most of the items I buy don’t have coupons.  I added up what the bill would have been at HT and it would have been around $79.

Some of the items I can get cheaper at HT when they are B1G1 but otherwise there is no comparison on the prices.   But most of my allergy specific items don’t go on sale or if they do it is usually on 20 cents off. 

I think this year while I’m on a cash only system and trying to reduce my debt I will shop more at Wal-Mart.  I will still buy meat at HT.  I just didn’t need any this week. 

The real key to saving money at Wal-Mart is not to venture over to all the departments.



  1. I believe the commericial is for geico??!! =)

    Comment by PJ — January 2, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

  2. I don’t like buying fresh food at Walmart, but I have bought other canned foods and staples. I haven’t found a nice Walmart store yet.

    Comment by Movingonup! — January 2, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

  3. My Walmart has a discounted bread rack. You can get loaves of french bread for .90, and cookies and cakes for cheap.

    They do have some things that are cheap. What an awesome trip you had.

    Comment by cheryl — January 3, 2009 @ 1:30 am

  4. My small town has two super Walmarts. One is only a few months old and the other is just a few years old. Both are pretty nice.

    I love my super Walmarts! Some of the produce isn’t the greatest but the canned and dry goods can’t be beat.

    Comment by Krista — January 3, 2009 @ 2:01 am

  5. Hi there-well done on these savings!! the key to it like you say, is to take a list of what is needed and stick to it!! Well done for this, its a great achievement and a real motivator in sticking to cash and to your budget! happy new year and thanks for all your support too!

    Comment by sharon rose — January 3, 2009 @ 6:32 am

  6. When I lived in Charlotte I used to shop at Harris Teeter, which I loved too. The store was always clean, the meat and produce looked fresh, and yep, the prices were a little high. There are no Harris Teeters where I live now but Publix would probably be the equivalent. I shop mostly at Wal-mart, Kroger and Aldi’s. Congrats on your savings! What do you plan on doing with the extra money that will be available now?

    Comment by Ms. MoneyChat — January 3, 2009 @ 10:45 am

  7. The thing about walmart is that you aren’t actually getting the same quality product. Most companies have a special version that they manufacture only for walmart. Even packaged foods.

    Comment by Stephanie — January 3, 2009 @ 10:49 am

  8. @ Stephanie – are you saying that Kraft or Pillsbury or other companies like that manufacture versions only for Walmart? I can see if it was a special size or something but to change say the box of rice noodles if they are going to Wal-mart – I have never heard of. I would love to hear if any one knows about this.

    Comment by Debtfree2009 — January 3, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  9. You have made incredibly good progress since October 2008. I am looking forward to following your blog over the next year.

    Comment by JW Thornhill — January 3, 2009 @ 1:23 pm

  10. Yes, that is correct. Obviously I don’t know about every specific product from every single company, but many companies have what is basically a different product for walmart stores. I didn’t think this made any sense until I moved from a tiny town to a big one. Here, Kroger probably does a lot more grocery sales than Walmart, but yet their prices are still lower. If Walmart is going to use the volume argument to explain the low prices, why doesn’t Kroger have even lower prices? You should check the ingredients and product numbers on the items you buy at Walmart. Chances are at least a few of them won’t match up.

    Comment by Stephanie — January 3, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

  11. Do you think grocery prices at Target are comparable? I don’t have a Walmart anywhere close, so Target is really my only option (besides the normal grocery stores, of course).

    Comment by Sunflowers — January 4, 2009 @ 5:05 am

  12. I’m glad you were able to find your allergy foods at a cheaper price. My youngest daughter and I also have severe food allergies. I have not found much of anything that we can eat at Walmart. I have found great deals at Krogers. Do you have one nearby?

    I agree with Stephanie. Did you ever see the Walmart movie? Basically, companies compete over who will make it to Walmart’s shelves. Walmart sets the price and the companies bend over backward to make it happen at that price. Sometimes it’s by reducing the package size or ingredients.

    Comment by calina — January 4, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  13. I have never noticed Wal-mart having a different quality of food, but I suppose it wouldn’t surprise me. Honestly, I hate going there for the mere fact that I usually have to wait in line for at least 15-20 minutes longer than anywhere else because they have many lanes but no one working. If I have the time though, I usually go because I can’t stand paying $1 or $2 more for the same product somewhere else (things like soap, tp, etc.). I’d never buy anything that wasn’t boxed or canned though…the fresh fruit and veggies I’ve seen on display…yikes!! 🙂

    Comment by bonebrokeandblessed — January 5, 2009 @ 12:43 am

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