I just had a complete post written praising the buying power of Wal-Mart and their ability to keep prices low and then it disappeared. The whole thing!
My grocery list this week was about average. I had a few staples that needed to be replenished and I needed to purchase almost everything for this week's menu. Here's where I can get back into praising Wal-Mart and their low prices. My budget this week was $40. I spent $28. This includes all produce (not purchased at Wal-Mart) and yes, meat was on the menu.
One lesson I've learned recently is that block cheese is definitely the way to go. I needed to pick up some cheese for this week's menu and really, because cheese is essential in the Dean household. One large block of the Wal-Mart GreatValue brand was $2.50. That's it! For the same amount of pre-shredded cheese from the same brand, I would have paid $4.26. A mere penny cheaper than the name brand. Now that's what I call savings. Invest in a cheese grater or even better, a food processor and shredding cheese is a breeze.
What's that? You want to hear more? Ok...Whole Wheat Pasta! One 12oz box of whole wheat pasta (penne, angel hair, spagetti, farfalle, rigatoni, shells and small elbows) is $0.88. The last time I bought a box of name brand whole wheat pasta, it cost $3.99 for 16oz. Now if you're math whiz, you'll recognize a $0.17 savings per oz over the name brand when you purchase the Great Value brand. That adds up fast, even if you just eat pasta once a week or once every other week. And the best thing is, there's not a bit of a difference in taste. Afterall, dry pasta is pretty hard to mess up.
Do you have time for one more example? Frozen vegetables. I will not by fresh produce from Wal-Mart, it goes bad quickly, the selection is nothing to write home about and well, to be honest, the department is never stocked well (at my Wal-Mart at least). However, if a vegetable is not in season, rather than buying a mediocre fresh version of the vegetable, I'll look for a frozen alternative. Eating frozen vegetables is almost as healthy as eating fresh vegetables. Just stay away from those sodium-packed cans...ew! So, Wal-Mart offers "steam-in-the-bag" varieties of several vegetables, including broccoli, green beans, corn off the cob, peas, carrots, and several stir-fry blends all for $0.88. The best thing about this price is that you're getting the same quantity of vegetables as you do in the more expensive name brands. That's right, a typical savings over the name brand "steam-in-the-bag" frozen vegetable averages about $1.00 per bag. That's definitely something to write home about.
Now, you just have to be able to brave the crowds, or shop at 11:00pm on Saturdays, like we do!
So, there you have it! I will fill you in on my produce adventures next week. Sprouts was the market to go to this week, Sunflower won out the week before. Let's see who has the best produce prices next week. Stay tuned...