Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why I Only Grocery Shop at ONE Store


Can I I just say how much I dislike loathe Walmart?  I walk in that store and I immediately feel like a crazy person.  Droves of people are there, I am almost guaranteed to see someone I know-especially if I'm there without having fixed my hair or done my makeup, and there is just a general since of chaos.  But alas, if you live anywhere like we do, then Walmart has become a necessary evil.  If I need anything other than groceries, I almost always have to go there or drive 45 minutes to the nearest point of civilization.  About 99.9% of the time I choose Walmart because I don't want to spend the gas money to drive somewhere else.  While I don't have the luxury of choosing from many stores to shop around at for most items, I can at least choose a different place for grocery shopping!!
I have found that deciding on one place to grocery shop consistently really does make sense for us when trying to save money.  I don't have the time or desire to drive around to different stores trying to snag every little deal.  Time is money people!!  So here are my Top 5 reasons to stick with only one grocery store.  Drum roll please...

1.  You can shop faster.  

      I know where probably 98% of the items I need are located at Food Lion.  I can arrange my grocery list according to the path I take in the store and really streamline the whole process.  If I have ever been in say, Walmart (again, my own personal Hell) to pick up medicine or something else and decide to do my grocery shopping-it takes me at least twice as long!  I walk up and down the aisles, back and forth, crisscrossing my way between people in a desperate search for sugar.  I can't hardly stand it--wasting time is a major thorn in my side!  SO, when I shop where I know where things are located, I feel at peace.  I can concentrate on what I'm doing and get out of there rather quickly.

2.  You know the good buys.

     I have been in Food Lion no less than 500 times over the last few years and have become quite good at knowing their prices.  Because I only grocery shop here, I know when I'm getting a good deal.  If I was a good little frugal shopper, I would have a price book, but I don't, so I store it all right up there in my head.  If I see something on sale, I can quickly decide if it's worth adding to our food storage or stocking up on.  This wouldn't be possible if I was driving all over creation to buy things at five different places.

3.  Taking advantage of loyalty programs

    While anyone can get a store's savings card, if you frequently shop at a store, you can take advantage of their on-going loyalty programs.  Currently, Food Lion is running a deal where if you spend $50 a week for 4 weeks, you get a coupon for $10 off another grocery trip.  That would cover us for one whole meal!! Definitely worth it to me!  And, because I'm not spending the $50 just to earn the coupon--a tragic couponing pitfall--it really is a savings.  By remaining loyal to one store and combining this with other savings strategies, I'm further reducing my grocery bill.  I'm positive that other grocery stores offer similar promotions, research and see what your favorite store has to offer.

4.  Saving on gas and time

     For a busy mother with a full-time job, two precious children, and an actual life that I would like to enjoy, I'm not interested in spending the few "free" hours I have traipsing around town to save $.50 on deodorant.  I know my store and I can find a good deal there.  I'm also not interested in saving $.50 on deodorant only to burn it up in gas money driving to different stores.  Unless you purely just love driving around or maybe you need an excuse to stay out of the house a little longer, like you've been snowed in for 2 weeks or something, save yourself the time and headache and do it all at one store.

5. It's peaceful
    Well, as peaceful as grocery shopping can be.  Being familiar with the store, the cashier, where the bathrooms are for the inevitable "I need to pee, it's an emergency" from a 5 year old, the parking lot, all of these silly little things add up to reduced stress.  I'm not trying to figure out where to park to be near the cart rack, I know without thinking where to go in the store, so this leads to me leaving a whole lot less stressed than if I would try to make the same grocery shopping trip somewhere else.  

I know this may go against the frugality grain to be loyal to a place and not shop around for the best deals, but it really does work for me and my family.  I have tried it the other way and it was not so good.  I don't care what store you pick, you can even choose Walmart if that's your thing (just make sure you download the Savings Catcher app ;) ), just try picking one store and learning it really well.  See if it makes any difference in your grocery budget or even your state of mind.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Are you loyal to one store or do you change it up??

*Linking up on Works for Me Wednesday*

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