I just got back from my weekly trip to Meijer. I'm still getting used to going to the store with a specific (and smaller than usual) list. I am certain I would have purchased a lot more of the sale items - the kind still collecting dust in my pantry - and would have still scrambled to figure out what to make dinner this week. It felt weird, and some how satisfying, to walk past several aisles to head straight to what I need. I noticed that the actual price of a lot of the items I purchased were higher than what was listed for Walmart. It wasn't significant - only $2.76 in the end - and I had a catalina from last week that some one left at the register for $3.50 off the next order of $35 or more. I still can't understand why some one would leave "free money" like that at the register, but I'll gladly take it off their hands.
I realized some thing else as I shopped this week.... while Walmart has great prices that are often as low as Meijer's sale price, I need that feeling of savings. Last week when I entered the receipt in to my Budget Tracking spreadsheet, I had nothing to enter the "SAVED" column. I know I did. I had done some price matching and if I got better about it I probably could have calculated it, but I like seeing it at the top of my receipt. I like the satisfaction of seeing what I save. I especially like Meijer's receipts because they say the original price and sales price so I REALLY get a good idea where I'm saving.
I'm going to have to watch closely and see how this plays out. If there is enough of a price difference between the two, I may have to give up that feeling of satisfaction I get from my savings side bar. If it continues to only be a little bit, I'll probably stick with the store I prefer. (I like Meijer better for more reasons than just the receipt.) It should be interesting. I'm also really interested in seeing how much this program is going to lower my grocery budget. I've seen great progress in the past couple weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome of a full month of this.
For a full look at this week's meal plan and how much it really costs, read my post here.