March 13, 2010

Price Matching Adventure

After planning a coupon class/party for this coming up Friday (which there is still room in for my local brood, by the way) and generally obsessing over the grocery bills, I decided to muster up the guts to take Wal-Mart up on their offer to price match. Yes, I said it. Wal-Mart. Contain your hate mail, friends. There is no other place in town that will price match competitor's ads, and I decided to give it a whirl.

I spent an hour or so over the course of the week circling ads, making notes, and then compiling a thorough list of items to match that was organized by department. I got up early, put on my favorite comfy jogging suit, piled my notes, the ads, and a calculator in my purse, and left everyone at home. If it weren't the fast month I would have had a big ole bottle of Gatorade there too. This was serious business!

I was so nervous about taking that much time at the register that I probably wouldn't have gone through with it if I hadn't been pretty sure that Wal-Mart's prices would be cheaper than the advertised prices anyway and I would only have to have them change a few prices. I was more than a little dismayed to find that ALL 40+ items that I had planned to price match, were cheaper in the competitor ads than at Wal-Mart and cheaper than the generic store brands.

I swallowed my fear, knowing that I had the potential to rack up big savings here. I had 4 coupons to use that were all pretty nice when combined with a competitor's ad. Now the moment of truth - and embarrassment. I approached the checkout. At that early hour on a Saturday, the lines were empty, which gave me a little more courage to go through with the plan. I warned the checkout girl that I was going to change the price of almost every item in my overflowing basket and she gave me a sarcastic, "Oh, goody..." and proceeded.

My experience was that the most difficult thing about price matching a mass of items like I did is unloading your cart at a reasonable clip while dictating to the checker the price you are willing to pay for each item so she can't get one scanned in at the higher price while you're not looking. I tried to arrange my cart so that the items she could just scan were all up front and I could unload the rest and get ready to dictate before she finished. But I was price matching so much that I just started unloading one item at a time and telling her the price as I did it.

It took a good 15 minutes in the checkout even with no one in front of us. I laughed thinking of Joe's embarrassment had he been there. I was a little uneasy as well, when a family got in line behind me, but I stuck it out and I'm glad I did.

Ready to hear the total and goods?
I spent $81 and got all of our regular groceries (except for our weekly bag of frozen chicken because I still had some left from last week) plus massive amounts of extras that will last us for another 3 weeks, plus bathroom supplies like conditioner and deodorant. I was floored! Last week we spent $120 for a lot less food.

Among my deals were family sized boxes of Honey Bunched of Oats for $1.75 each (I got 4), I had a coupon to get a free large Old Spice body wash with the purchase of the deodorant and I price matched the deodorant for $1.88 meaning I got the over priced brand of deodorant and the huge bottle of generally overpriced shower gel for what we normally pay for 1 bar of the generic stuff! I price matched to get a 10lb bag of potatoes for 99 cents! I thought, what am I going to do with 10 lbs of potatoes? but realized that I normally buy the 3 lb bag for 3X the price of today's deal so this means latkes, hash browns, and stews! I got 4 bags of the shredded cheese that we put on pizzas and black beans for just $1.25 per bag (about half what we normally pay) but we won't be putting any on pizza for a few weeks because I got 2 Freschetta Brick Oven pizza's for $2.99, what I normally pay for just the pepperoni for our home made pizzas! And now I don't have to get the counter a floury mess making the crust! SCORE!!! I also got a ton of food storage veggies at a ridiculous price and I stocked up on Corn chips for the elders. These days the missionaries look sad when we serve them anything other than chips and Joe's home made salsa and guacamole. The chips are the biggest expense there, and I stocked up on them today! I also got every produce item that I purchased for less. Broccoli, grapefruit, pears, asparagus. All for less.

I was so excited to come unload my loot and present the receipt to Joe like a prize! I secretly wanted to lay it all out and take a picture for this post, but I knew good and well that Joe would mock me for months if I had and I wasn't ready to endure that just to show you all what a winning day it was at the grocery store.

I am excited to see how much more I can save once I've taken the coupon class. I am actually starting to believe the claim that I could only spend $50 per week if I master the Provo lady's couponery (that's right! a new Skyla original word) with my gutsy price matching scheme. We have so much food stored up now that we could go an extra week without shopping for anything but produce! With my savings, we're gong to have to buy a freezer to go in the garage for all of my deals!


  1. Anonymous13.3.10

    You and Jeanine are two of a kind. I felt like I was reading about Jeanine's shopping. I can't do it, but hey, I'm happy to have her save us so much money. - Ted

  2. You men are so squeamish about taking people up on deals! I guess that makes you and Joe two of a kind as well! LOL!


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