So with dwindling income in this ever-increasingly expensive economy, how can I save money? I need a short-cut--obviously less eating out and driving unnecessarily, but I also need something tangible, something I can look at and see: I just saved money here I normally would have spent.
I used to coupon. I had a friend who did and we would encourage each other in how much we saved. I "borrowed" the coupon pages out of the newspaper from my in-laws and the savings really did rack up. But then my friend moved away (and took her encouragement with her) and my in-laws stopped getting the paper, so I went back to Walmart grocery shopping.
Last week we went to Aldi. (If you look at their sign, you will notice a clear lack of an "S" at the end of their name--Aldi, not Aldis. Just fyi.) Anyway, we don't normally go there because they close early. But last week we were near one and had plenty of time and we were going home right after, so we did our shopping there. I was amazed at the total at the bottom. We bought 21 items, and they cost $32.69 (before tax). My husband said something about how much more we would have spent had we gone to Walmart, so I decided to see how much more exactly.
I went to Walmart, armed with my Aldi receipt and a pen. I couldn't find 2 things, and I had absolutely no idea what a third item was (on my receipt, it says "Bal Vin/Blu Cheese"--except we didn't buy any cheese). So I found and price compared the remaining 18 items. Without fail, every single item cost more at Walmart.
Here is a list of what we bought, with Aldi's cheaper price first, then Walmart's price.
Water: 2.29, 2.50
Apple Juice: 1.39, 1.98
Grapefruit Juice: 1.89, 2.00
Gallon of Milk: 2.99, 3.98
Can of Yams: .99, 1.18 for a smaller can than we bought and 1.48 for a larger can
Pk of 4 Fruit Cups: 1.69, 1.88 (we bought four different fruits; Walmart only had 2 different fruits at this cheapest price--there were more options at 1.98)
Pop Tarts (the off brand): 1.99, 2.68
Fruit snacks: 3.99, 3.28 for a smaller box than we bought and 5.28 for a larger box
Pkg Fig Newtons: .89, .99 (we bought two packages)
10 pk Tortillas: .99, 1.98
Cake Mix: .99, 1.18
Frosting: 1.29, 1.48
6 pk of Tomatoes: .99, 1.94
3 pk of Zucchini: .99, 2.20 (Walmart sells them individually, so I weighed and calculated the price of three about the same size)
Totals: Aldi 29.32, Walmart 36.86, for a difference of 7.54! So if we average 7-8 dollars in savings every week, that's $350 for the year! That's almost a dollar a day in savings. Normally, I wouldn't buy cake mix and frosting, but I would buy a package of frozen chicken breasts or hamburger meat. I think no matter what I buy, the savings will always be better at Aldi. Now we just need to find a time when we can go that they'll be open!