Deal Diva

Super store vs. Grocery store: Which saves you more money?

It's a debate for the ages: Which stores can you save more money when buying groceries? At a super store like Wal-Mart, or at a chain grocery store like Harris Teeter? Our Hot Summer Savings bloggers Mary and Tara each have their opinion. Let us know where you fall in the great debate!

TARA:

I am a purist – I believe in buying groceries at a grocery store. As “super” as I think Wal-Mart and Target are, I do not buy my grocery items there.   Grocery stores specialize in grocery items.

Both Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter (two stores I’m loyal to) offer outstanding saving programs, and when coupled with coupons, consumers will save even more! If you are a coupon clipper, you will notice that typically each grocery store has a sale cycle. Use Cottonelle? Like clockwork it is BOGO or close to it about every six to eight weeks at Harris Teeter.

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Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter also DOUBLE manufactures coupons EVERYDAY! They sometimes have Triple Coupon Week and even Super Double sales when the store will double up to $1.98 of the coupon value!  

The private label or store brand products are a great value AND are of high quality! Harris Teeter offers more than 4,000 VIC items every week, and 1,000 “UnReal Deals.” If you buy a HT brand and are unhappy with it, you get DOUBLE your money back! Bi-Lo is so confident of their store brand that over the last few months they have offered a Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free promotion. Why not try it? And both stores offer great variety, quality and customer service.

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At the Super stores, you get everything from tires to dog treats to housewares and broccoli. Sure, they may offer some good prices on their cleaning products, but they also know that once you are in their store, most likely you will not just leave with a bottle of Windex. These so-called “hyperstores” depend on a consumer’s lack of control. Grocery stores are focused. Consumers can concentrate on the products and what they need.  

MARY:

Economic recessions are a great time to be a consumer.  Due to the economic slowdown, stores are pulling out all the stops to get you into their stores by offering "every day low prices" and super discounts and deals to entice you.  

I recently compared prices on groceries and household items, focusing primarily on my 2 favorite stores, Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart.  I shop at them both and take advantage of the best deals offered at each store. But, my contention is that on everyday items such as bread, eggs, butter, meat, frozen food, peanut butter, canned vegetables, and household supplies like aluminum foil, sandwich bags etc., you will almost always get lower prices at Wal-Mart.

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Sometimes, when Harris Teeter or the other chain grocery stores offer a Buy One Get One Free offer or triple coupons, you can get a better price. But I have found there are times where, even with a triple coupon, the item is still more expensive at Harris Teeter and is lower cost at Wal-Mart.   Items need to be judged individually.  

Many people are not aware that if you bring the Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo, Lowe's or Food Lion ad into Wal-Mart, they will match the price of any identical sale item at the checkout!  Just show it to the cashier and they will change the price at the register.  That saves me from making trips to 2 stores. Plus I can use coupons at Wal-Mart; granted they aren't doubled, but that saves me another shopping trip. And, it adds up to quite a savings.  

No doubt about it, Harris Teeter has a fancier store and very helpful customer service people.  But, I would rather have the additional money I save week after week at Wal-Mart. 

Get lots more money saving ideas on Mary's blog at FrugaltoRich.com and at Tara's regular blog at MomsCharlotte!

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