How do I save money on groceries? How do I save money when I don’t have time to implement some time consuming and complicated strategy? What if there was a simple way to save money on groceries? Would you be interested? Imagine saving hundreds of dollars a year while freeing up more time as well. Well you probably can save such a figure by shifting your grocery shopping strategy. Now what I am sharing is really quite simple but many people do not put it into practice. There are three main reasons that is the case. I suspect that some just aren’t aware of how much savings there is potentially. While others may be aware of some savings, they perceive this tactic as being less pleasant than their typical shopping experience or as leading to the purchase of less desirable products. I intend to address these three issues today.
In an upcoming post I will share more grocery saving strategies that are a bit more involved but this will suffice for many who have little time available. If you are a college student and want a simple strategy or parents with young children who need to save money, but do not need one more thing that brings complexity to life, then this is for you. Here is a super simple and easy way to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on groceries each year. Simply go to Wal-Mart (or if you can find a store with better prices and products then that is fine, but in my search Wal-Mart has proven to be the most economical). So, as I was saying, go to Wal-Mart and purchase your products. If the item you are looking for is available with the store brand of Great Value, Sam’s Choice or Equate then choose that option. That’s it! We now address those three potential concerns associated with such a simple strategy.
Concern #1: The Less Expensive Product is Inferior
We frequently buy Great Value, Sam’s Choice and Equate products at Wal-Mart. The products can be significantly less expensive than their name brand counterparts and while there are a couple of exceptions I can think of, typically the products taste the same as their name brand counterparts. So we regularly buy Great Value Crunchy Nuggets cereal (Grape Nuts), Woven Square Crackers (Triscuits), Equate medications (read the ingredients list and compare to name brand) and such. The reason for the indistinguishable similarity between many of these products with their name brand counterparts became obvious to me several years ago when purchasing peanut butter.
For most of my life I have consumed peanut butter regularly. Over the years, Peter Pan has been my go-to favorite. A few years ago Peter Pan issued a recall. It was removed from store shelves and temporarily unavailable. I went to Wal-Mart to try and select an alternative. I looked up and down the shelves and found that two brands of peanut butter were actually removed. Can you guess the other? Yes, it was Great Value. Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butters were both removed when Peter Pan issued a recall. Now, I suppose it could just be coincidence, but based on my observation that day and now my daily consuming of the Great Value alternative, I would say they are the same product. The only differences are the name on the jar, the advertising budget needed to promote it and of course, the retail price.
Concern #2: The Store is Too Crowded
I have been in Wal-Mart when it is indeed quite busy; that’s why we try to avoid visiting the establishment on a Saturday afternoon. But there are reasons so many people shop at Wal-Mart, one of them being savings. Now if you go in the morning (before 9 a.m.) or even at night, the conditions are much less crowded, and the experience much better, especially when you figure how much you can easily save. Now I’ll admit that my wife and I enjoy shopping at the local grocery store more as there is greater customer service with the store even providing sackers who will carry the groceries to your car. The surroundings seem a bit more pleasant as well. But there is a cost for extra conveniences; that is why we buy a lot at Wal-Mart. Again, I will share more details concerning grocery shopping strategies in the future; today it is a simple strategy to save money.
Concern #3: Will I Really Save That Much Money?
Now if you wonder if there really is much of a cost savings, I have compared three items below that we recently purchased. I could have compared hundreds of products, but hey, I have other matters to tend to as well. The prices I quote are from my nearest grocery store and nearest Wal-Mart. As you will see, when comparing the name brand product at a local grocery store to the store brands at Wal-Mart the savings ranged from 26% to 64% or more. Now that is a significant savings!
Peanut Butter – 28 oz.
Peter Pan at local grocery store – $4.49
Peter Pan at Wal-Mart – $3.88
Store brand at local grocery store – $3.79
Great Value brand at Wal-Mart – $3.32
So in buying the Great Value brand at Wal-Mart we save $1.17 (about 26%) over the local grocery store’s Peter Pan peanut butter.
Grape Nuts at local grocery store – $3.39 for 20.5 oz. = 16.5 cents per oz.
Grape Nuts at Wal-Mart – $3.12 for 20.5 oz. = 15.2 cents per oz.
Store brand at local grocery store – $2.99 for 24 oz. = 12.4 cents per oz.
Great Value Crunchy Nuggets at Wal-Mart – $2.50 for 24 oz. = 10.4 cents per oz.
A person can save over 36% by simply buying Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand over the Grape Nuts brand at the local grocery store.
Excedrin Extra Strength (100 tablets) at a local grocery store – $10.49
Excedrin Extra Strength (100 tablets) at Wal-Mart – $8.98
Store brand (100 tablets) at a local grocery store – $6.99
Equate Extra Strength (4 – 24 count bottles for 96 total tablets) at Wal-Mart – $3.76 – or if you purchase the 200 count bottle it is $4.00
So when comparing the cost per pill, if you were to buy 4 of the 24 count bottles of Equate at Wal-Mart that would be a 64% savings off of the name brand at the local grocery store. If you were to buy the 200 count bottle of Equate at Wal-Mart the cost per pill would present an 81% savings off of the smaller bottle of the name brand product at our local grocery store.
A Simple and Easy Strategy
At Wiser Dollar we are concerned not with just saving money but also in freeing up more time for other important matters. By following this strategy no coupons are needed to clip, organize and then find. There is no need to compare sales flyers and strategize what sales are occurring at different stores. Simply drive to Wal-Mart (preferably at a time when it is less crowded) find any product you need and see if there is a Great Value, Sam’s Choice or Equate alternative, pull it off the shelf and purchase it. That’s it! If you need something simple and currently you are primarily buying name brand products at a grocery store then this strategy can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year.
- Receive a free $10 Walmart or Target gift card when you make your first purchase through Ebates along with cash back bonuses at your favorite stores. Click here to sign up.
- Become a member at Sam’s Club for just $45 and then receive great savings throughout the year. The Savane dress slacks I wear today were purchased at Sam’s Club with at least 50% savings. The savings can quickly make up the cost for a yearly membership.
- Purchase discounted checks through Extra Value Checks. I recently purchased checks with them and received about 50% off what banks would typically charge!
- Access Walmart’s online clearance site for huge savings on thousands of items, plus receive free shipping on purchases over $50!