I'm not exactly sure why I've never taken advantage of Walmart's price-matching before. I didn't really know how it worked, and it seemed like it would be a big hassle at check-out. And I HATED our grocery section at the Walmart in Globe (mostly because after they added it, the selection in the rest of the store suffered greatly). I tried not to shop there on principle.
Here, in our new neighborhood, there is a gorgeous Super Walmart less than a mile away (a real Super Walmart, not a regular one pretending to be "super"). There are also two Fry's grocery stores within 2 1/2 miles of our house. There is not too much else unless I go "into town," which is about 15-20 minutes away (Target, Kohl's, Joann's, Home Depot, etc, etc).
Anyway, last week, I was walking away from the egg section at Walmart, having just put a dozen in my cart, when a man said, "Basha's has 18-count for $1.88; you can price-match." I smiled and said, "Thanks!" then kept walking. It didn't really dawn on me what he was saying until I was nearing the produce section. I should have swapped my $2.00 dozen of eggs for an 18-count, and gotten the $1.88 price-match at checkout. That man probably thought I was an idiot. Well then, the woman in front of me in line at the register told the cashier she had several price-matches on produce. Then she proceeded to tell the cashier the best price she had found in another store for each item.
Customer: "37 cents a pound."
My jaw dropped. She didn't have an ad to prove where she'd found her prices! She didn't even have a shopping list or notes to reference! The cashier just trusted her (and seemed familiar with some of the best competitor prices already), and the process went quickly and smoothly. "I could so do that!" I thought.
So this week, armed with ads from Albertson's, Basha's, Fry's, Sprouts, and Safeway, I sat down and made my list. I also use CouponMom.com to help me find coupons from my newspaper or online to combine with stores' sales. I read over Walmart's price-matching and coupon policies, so there would be no surprises at checkout. And this morning I went shopping! I was able to stock our fridge and pantry with a ton of food for under $100. And this is real food I'm talking about. Not just fruit snacks and toothpaste like you see on those extreme couponing shows. I was not able to take an awesome picture of my purchases to prove my awesomeness (Bree and Mason were unloading the shopping bags right onto the pantry shelves like good little helpers). But here's a breakdown:
Walmart's already low prices:
10 boxes of Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta: $1.17 each
2 boxes instant brown rice: $1.72 each
1 box cheese crackers: $1.28
1 bottle pancake syrup: $2.50
1 gigantic bottle canola oil: $7.28
1 gallon milk: $2.56
3 lbs bananas: $1.78
1 loaf bread: $1.98
1 lb Jennie-O turkey breakfast sausage: $2.88
2 12-roll packages Quilted Northern toilet paper: $4.99 each
5 lbs potatoes: $1.50
1.25 lbs Jennie-O ground turkey: $2.99 (minus 50 cent coupon)
2 Freschetta frozen pizzas: $3.99 each
1/2 gallon Blue Bunny ice cream: $2.88
7 boxes Fiber One/Nature Valley Protein granola bars: $1.99 each (minus $1.50 in coupons)
1 cucumber: 50 cents
1 lb strawberries: 99 cents
3 oranges: 36 cents
1 head romaine lettuce: 88 cents
4 zucchinis: $1.50
4 1/2 lbs apples: $3.94
2 lbs red grapes: $2.01
4 Hunts ketchup: 88 cents each
1 jar Best Foods mayo: $2.99 (minus 50 cent coupon)
3 vine tomatoes: 83 cents
1 package Sargento sliced cheddar: $1.99 (minus 50 cent coupon)
18-count large eggs: $1.77
Grand total: $93.71
(bonus: this Walmart doesn't charge tax on food!)
I think I'm sold; this is my new way to shop. Can I feed my family of five on $100 a week? Heck yes!