Grocery Snob

walmart       VS      schnucks


This has become a new dilemma for Mr. A and I. Where to buy our groceries?

The town we went to school in only had a Walmart, a Kroger, and a small hometown grocery store. The hometown grocery store wouldn’t have everything we needed or wanted and Kroger wasn’t convenient and cost more than Walmart. I mean, I was in college. My budget was more focused on getting an outfit for the island party and cash to buy beer.

Yeah, I sure had my priorities in line.

So we shopped at Walmart. Also, it was the only place that was truly one stop shopping. Need shampoo? Walmart. Need batteries and ice cream? Walmart? Need windshield wiper blades? Walmart. You get my point.

I remember my first Sunday in this new town my freshman year. My parents had given me money to buy any little things I needed that we didn’t bring down and some food. I thought I would head to Walmart on my own and feel like a grownup.

Terrible, terrible idea. You NEVER go to Walmart on Sunday, if you can help it, and especially not on move in weekend. Talk about a mad house.

Also, the farm workers get dropped off at this particular Walmart on Sundays so they can do their shopping. But the boss doesn’t come back to get them for like 5 hours, so they hang out and it just adds to the chaos.

Most college students there hate Walmart, but at the same time, we don’t have many other options. The closet Target was 2 hours away and sometimes you had to buy food and toothpaste.

So when we moved to our new and current city, I was so freaking excited that we had a Schnuck’s about a mile from our apartment.

I grew up using Schnucks grocery stores, and I guess I’m just attached because I’m used to them.

But also? It’s not a Walmart. I feel more like a grown up when I do my grocery shopping there, list in hand, perusing the aisles and I pick up delicious food to make for our little family. I love the fancier selections of certain items, such as sauces and seafood and meats. I mean, I could get a live lobster if I wanted. Not that I want to hear it scream like a person as I drop it in boiling water and then have to cut its head off, but I could if I wanted to.

The problem? It costs more.

The husband and I try to keep our grocery bill to around $100 a week. We’ve been close most weeks. But shopping at Schnuck’s makes it more difficult. Their prices are higher on nearly everything and our $100/week budget doesn’t end up stretching as far.

So I’ve gone back to Walmart and it just breaks my heart. There’s something about that store that I absolutely hate an I want nothing more than to have a budget that I can shop at my pricier store and walk around with my head held high as I drink my Starbucks and shop. (Yes, sometimes I take a coffee with me. Grocery shopping is hard people! HA)

So where do you all shop? Do you choose the cheaper store to save money? Or do you go for the more expensive one just because you prefer it?

“I wanna be a billionaire, so freaking bad…”



Filed under Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Married Life, What to do?

14 responses to “Grocery Snob

  1. I HATE Wal-Mart. I don’t know what it is… The lighting or the layout or something just makes me feel anxious and depressed. This is true of pretty much every Wal-Mart I’ve ever been in!

    But if it’s cheaper, then it’s worth it!

    We have two national and one local grocery store chains around here, plus a Cost-Co… Some weeks, we go to three different grocery stores, which is really annoying. And if we happen to need to go to Target for something, we’ll do as much shopping there as possible. But for us right now, our time has more value than the groceries. It “costs” more to drive around to three different stores than to save a few bucks by buying Target brand canned goods or whatever.

  2. Most people get pretty excited about being either pro or against Wal-Mart. I personally refuse to shop there even with low prices, but there are plenty that do.

    I found two articles pretty quick though. One pro, and one against,

    People actively argue both sides.

    From a personal perspective of wanting to buy produce and meats from local farmers for environmental reasons, I tend to hit up my local Northwest, slightly more expensive stores. I find that paying more means I have better quality, more choices, and much better meat and produce. I can get my shrimp for MUCH cheaper at the big chain stores, but when you look closely you see they are shipped in from China. EEK.

    For me, those things matter a great deal. But that’s just me.

  3. Both. Well, okay, not really. Our grocery budget is substantially smaller than yours but I’ll still chime in. We do the lions share of our grocery shopping at Target which is the closest place and also the cheapest. I mean, salt is salt, and lunch meat is lunch meat. The other benefit of Target is that there are a HUGE number of coupons available online and they often coincide with things that are on sale. They also have excellent store brand stuff because they require a lot of name brands to let them be super close in order to keep carrying them (unfair, but good for consumers). This week we got one of the PF Chang’s meals for two for $4 with a sale and coupon. Throw some rice under it and you have a really yummy dinner for about $4.50. So that helps. They also have some nicer meats (Rancher’s Reserve). But we have a deluxe Target 2 blocks away which I guess is not the general rule.

    We go to the grocery store less lately because we find we just don’t need it. We go there more for “occasion” cooking, like when we’re doing a birthday dinner or my dad coming into town this weekend.

    I shopped at Walmart once. It was not great. I bought a $2 bottle of wine which I then drank in whole because I felt sad after wards. But if I had to do it, I would. The regular grocery store is just too expensive for us (but we live in DC and probably spend twice what you would in Illinois for rent). At least you can have a $2 bottle of wine after.

  4. I can’t do Walmart. I don’t know what it is, but everytime I go in that store I want to punch people. We do our everyday shopping at our local Albertson’s. It’s a good place for the basics and they even have nicer cheeses and breads. But, on weekends we run to Whole Foods or Central Market for our meets, wine, and specialty items. Plus, I’m addicted to the bulk foods aisle at Whole Foods. It’s a great way to get lots of food for super cheap. We hit up our farmer’s market too if the weather’s nice.

  5. I split my shopping between Walmart and HEB. It’s a little less convenient because I have to make two separate trips, but I look at the sales flyers, then try to shop accordingly at each place.

    I used to really dislike going to Walmart because it’s definitely a status type thing. But, I grew up in a town that was so small that the Walmart 15 miles away was a step up in the world, so I’ve decided to become more accustomed to it. Plus, both Walmart and HEB are near our house, so neither is out of the way.

  6. Ick. I hate W@lmart. I avoid it like the plague.

    Husband likes the selection at Schnucks so we usually end up there. When I’m really wanting to save some money, I hit up Shop N Save but I’m guessing there’s not that option where you are.

  7. Meredith

    If you plan it right, I think you can do really well with coupons and sales at the more expensive grocery store. I know I know, coupons and sales, what a downer, but really, my mother is the freaking QUEEN of coupons and sales (last week she saved 66% with coupons and sales), meaning, only buy stuff if it is on sale AND you have a coupon. Plan your meals based on what those items are. When a non-perishable goes on sale and you have a coupon, buy a bunch of it so it’ll last until it goes on sale again. My mom also found this great website that tells you the sale items at a particular store, then links you to a coupon that you can print. Unfortunately, this was local to the northeast, but I bet you can find something similar. Does your store double coupons? Where I shop, they don’t double coupons. But at another store, anything under a dollar they double automatically. Between sales and coupons, you can literally get items for pennies.

    Also, there are some great steals that people consistently forget about. Ex: sweet potatoes, SO cheap and healthy and delicious. Boneless skinless chicken thighs, so much cheaper than chicken breast. And those fancy sauces? You can make them. Seriously. Sauces are easy and cheap to make, plus healthier when you make them yourself. I use All right. I think that’s enough from me. Remember: you can make it work. You just have to be a bit creative.

    • Notes from the Fatty File

      I love couponing, too! The “fancier” supermarket near me doubles coupons up to $1 and sometimes even triples them. I went there during triple coupon week and made out like a freaking bandit. And we don’t eat Hamburger Helper or any real convenience foods. I’m talking about saving cash on toilet paper, dental floss, lady products, almonds, yogurt, cheese, organic milk, etc., etc. I never see coupons for things like quinoa or whole wheat pasta, of which we eat a lot, so it’s cheaper for me to buy those things at Trader Joe’s, though. (Sorry you don’t have that option, NTW!) Yeah for coupons! Oh and I don’t use coupons to buy cleaning products, either, because I use stuff like vinegar/baking soda/lemon juice, etc. to clean. Cheap and better for the environment, too!

  8. I feel like I wrote this post. I struggle so much with shopping at walmart but it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper. Then I think, that’s becase they pay their women 70 cents to the man’s dollar and don’t pay benefits…but when you are on a budget it is tough! Dan and I were actually talking about this last night and we decided we might to get a costco membership and start buying in bulk to help save money- but costco is great to their employees.

    • You were my 500th comment!! Woohoo!!

      Anyways, we only have Sam’s, and they’re owned by Walmart, so probably not much better in terms of treatment and such. I HATE shopping at Walmart, but I’m on a budget and we’re going to have to make sacrifices somewhere. I need to win the lottery.

  9. It’s totally okay to be a grocery snob. My method of shopping involves lots of drugstores (CVS, Rite Aid, etc.) to hit up their best sales with coupons, and then getting what I need/love at Target or Publix, or even Wal-Mart. I’ll go five places to make my money stretch the furthest!

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