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It’s All About the Floors: How to Tempt Impulse Buys at the Grocery Store

I’ve been a loyal Safeway shopper for years. The stores are clean and well stocked. The employees are friendly, and the prices are competitive with similar stores in the area. So when I kept hearing from friends and family that a local discount grocery store offered unbeatable savings, I put it to the test.

WinCo is our local discount grocery store. It’s a bag-your-own-groceries store but NOT a dented-can type store where the product assortment varies widely depending on what their buyers can find at deep discounts. WinCo is a full-size grocery store stocked with the same products you find at Safeway, Von’s, Kroger, Publix, Wegman’s and others. russian store

I shopped at WinCo this week with grocery list in hand, just as I would have at my local Safeway. I then carefully compared WinCo’s cost for each item to Safeway’s cost as reported on their website, including Safeway’s club discounts. It was a fair analysis; I compared brand name to brand name and house brand to house brand as appropriate. My total at WinCo was $92.02. The Safeway total would have been $134.45, a difference of $42.43 or 32%.

Safeway’s prices for meats and cheeses were roughly the same as those at WinCo. The biggest savings came everywhere else in the store…pretty much across the board. The average savings per item was 72 cents. Imagine saving 72 cents on average for every item you put in your cart. Even with milk and eggs, where I expected Safeway to be very competitive, there were some significant differences.

A few examples: Gallon milk at WinCo was $1.98 and $2.49 at Safeway. 18-count eggs were $1.89 at WinCo and $3.35 at Safeway. A two-pound bag of carrots was 88-cents at WinCo and $2.00 at Safeway. Salsa was $2.73 at WinCo and $3.99 at Safeway. The list goes on.

WinCo, along with some other discount stores, offers an impressive variety of bulk foods like rice, beans, flour, oatmeal and spices at enormous discounts. The ethnic food sections contain varieties of Hispanic and Asian foods that are hard to find in regular grocery stores. There are some downsides. In most cases you’ll have to bag your own groceries. You may also have to drive a bit further. And most discount stores only accept cash or debit cards. That means no more credit card rewards points for grocery purchases.

So while you may not have a WinCo in your hometown, there are similar discount grocery stores in or near most major cities across the country. Look for one near you and put it to the test. This year my family will save just over $2,000 shopping at our local discount grocery store. I think I’ll put that extra money toward our next vacation…It’s well worth bagging my own groceries.

 

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