Store Hopping For Grocery Shopping

With the landscape of grocery stores changing in our area, my wife and I have been discussing the idea of visiting different stores to take advantage of the best prices for various items. But that begs the question of how many stores is too many and when does chasing the dollar end up costing you money?

Store Selection
We have a handful of grocery stores in our area to choose from for our regular grocery shopping, including stores such as Dominicks, Jewel Foods, Super Walmart, Woodmans and the newly opened Meijer.

For the majority of our grocery shopping, we (primarily my wife) have been going to the Super Walmart as their prices tend to be the best on most of the items that we purchase. The one item we do not buy at the Walmart is Diet Coke as they very rarely beat the price at any of the other stores and we do not buy it at all if it is not on sale.

However, recently my wife has become frustrated with shopping at Walmart as their prices are no longer that much better than the stores that are much closer to our home and she feels the store is starting to appear dirty.

One Store, Two Store, Red Store, Blue Store
Last night my wife opted to try out the new Meijer and was not overly impressed. While she did appreciate the cleanliness of the store, she did not feel the prices were much better than the other local stores. Due to the grand opening there were some very attractive sale prices and there were a few of our staples that were cheaper.

Another relatively new store to our area, Woodmans, seems to have competitive prices on most items but we haven’t really attempted to do our regular shopping at this store yet. There are a few things at Woodmans where their prices are much better than the competitors, however we have noticed a few items that they do not seem to carry.

As we evaluate our shopping habits, we need to determine what is the proper balance of shopping at multiple stores to take advantage of price savings while not going too far with buying only a handful of items at each store.

Finding a Balance
Overall it seems that the Super Walmart still has the most competitive pricing on the majority of items we buy. However, my wife has become so disenchanted with the experience at that store that we have opted to use a combination of the new Meijer, Woodmans and Dominicks for the time being.

We will be utilizing the weekly sale flyers to maximize our savings at each store and plan our shopping trips accordingly. But we do not feel this is an ideal solution to our grocery shopping needs.

In the not too distant future, there will be two new Super Walmarts and one Super Target opening within a few miles of our home. These stores will be closer than the existing Walmart and should offer a cleaner, more enjoyable shopping experience as well. Once these stores are open for business, I imagine we will revert back to the Super Walmart.

How do you approach your grocery shopping? Do you have a selection of multiple stores or are you limited to only one or two? How far will you go to chase price savings at various stores in your area?

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