Friday, March 2, 2012

Doesn't Wal-Mart always have the best prices? Maybe not...

I love shopping. Just ask my husband. Heck ask the people at Target - they know me. They know my kids. They ask about the kids when I don't have them with me. My 3 year old has favorite cashiers. I love me some Target, and other shopping places too, but mainly Target. Why? Because as much as I love Target, I HATE grocery stores more than I love Target. .

Is it bad when you leave Target and all your 3 year old talks about is "Mommy, can we come back to Target tomorrow?"  Yeah, okay, I might have a problem.

My Target addiction has only gotten worse since the addition of the Target Red Card debit card.  My husband is pretty opposed to store credit cards.  Yes, some of them give great deals, but lots of open lines of credit make him (and me) nervous.  Now, you can get a Target card that comes directly out of your checking, and it saves you 5% off your purchases.  That's addicting right there - scanning your debit card and watching the price drop right at the register.

Still, I wasn't even putting Target into play when I was doing grocery shopping.  There are a few things I religiously buy at Target - their up and up brand toilet tissue, paper towels, and trash bags, for example. Groceries though? Surely Wal-Mart is cheaper, right?  There are a few things I only buy at HEB (Milk, for example - Matthew is a milk snob and he has R.J. brainwashed already). So it's usually paper goods at Target, milk and produce at HEB, all others at Sams and Wal-Mart.

What got me thinking was the arrival of my 5% off pharmacy rewards card in the mail.  This is a card I get in the mail every time I fill five prescriptions at the Target pharmacy using my Target debit card.  The last one just happened to arrive on payday when I was about to do my grocery shopping. So I got to thinking.  Surely Wal-mart is cheaper.. but is it really 5% cheaper on everything? I started researching online to see if anyone had done a cost comparison and found someone who makes a list and shops her list at both places. Target wound up being cheaper by like a dollar, but there was no mention of a 5% off in there.. and there was no mention of an extra 5% off pharmacy rewards card either. Hmmmmm....

So I made a list of food and non-food items. Honestly, I thought it was super interesting, and I could go on and on about it all darn day.... but I doubt anyone would actually finish reading it!  So I'm going to give you the totals and then at the end of the entry I'm going to post the items.
First the raw totals:
Target: $85.58           Wal-Mart: $86.81

For a non-Target card holder who shopped my list, you would have saved $1.23 shopping at Target.

Now, I have a Target debit card and I get 5% off, so my Target total was $81.30, which is a $5.51 savings over Wal-Mart.

AND I had my 5% off savings card from the pharmacy rewards. My final total was $77.24, which is a  $9.57 savings over Wal-Mart!

Is that really a big deal? Well let's see.  Cost of open gym at Gymagic: $5. I could almost take my big boy twice.  Cost of a ticket to the zoo? $5. Children's Museum? $3.  I just earned us multiple trips out to do something fun!

 Of course there were things that were cheaper at Wal-Mart, like canned foods (and I mean they hammered Target into the ground, way more than 5% cheaper).  But I buy a lot of that stuff in bulk at Sams. I am thinking I should also cost compare Wal-Mart and HEB for those items.

I had fun doing this and will probably do it again and drone on and on about it on here.  Not as much as I drone about Target.  Have I mentioned how much I love Target...?

So, if you're interested, here's a list of the items. 
Green beans - Target had Del Monte only. They were 99 cents per can. Wal-mart had Del Monte for 82 cents and store brand for 68 cents.
Corn - Same for both stores.
Spaghetti Sauce - Target had Prego Traditional for $1.84. Wal-Mart had Prego for $1.83
Pretzels - Target had a 3lb bag for $3.99 (store brand), or $1.33/lb. Wal-mart had a 1 lb bag for $1.48
BBQ Sauce - Target had Kraft original for $1.27, Wal-Mart had the same for $1.26
Cream of Mushroom Soup - We use Campbell's Healthy Request. Target was $1.57/can, Wal-Mart was $1.22. For the regular Target was 1.27 and Wal-Mart was 98 cents. For store brand Target was $1.02 and Wal-Mart was 62 cents.
Lucky Charms - 16oz @Target is regular 3.29 but was on sale for $2.99, Walmart had 16 oz for 2.68
Chicken Nuggets - both were store brand, 1lb 13oz bags. Target $4.44, Wal-Mart $4.47
Bread - Mrs Bairds for both, Target was $2.39 and Wal-Mart was $2.38
Granola Bars - Quaker Chocolate Chip, Target had them for $2.00, Wal-Mart for $2.12
Goldfish - Large Carton, Target had it for $6.99, Wal-Mart didn't have it marked but I've bought it in there for $6.98 before so we'll go with that
Frozen Broccoli - Target 97 cents, Wal-Mart 73 cents
Cereal Bars - Nutrigrain Target is regular 2.79 but their sale right now is $2.50, Wal-Mart is $2.54. Both have store brands, Target's is $2.54 and Wal-Mart's is $2.00
Applesauce - Motts Natural, Target $1.67, Wal-mart $1.98
Special K Meal Bars - Target 5.99, Wal-Mart 5.98
Cheerios - Target 3.29/17 oz on sale for 2.99, Wal-mart 2.98/ 18 oz

On to the few non-food items I compared:
Diapers (Huggies Pure and Natural) $19.79 @ Target, Wal-Mart didn't have them in store but the same size is $19.79 on their website
Nursing pads (Lansinoh) Target 7.99 for 60, Wal-mart 7.98 for 60
Shampoo (Herbal Essence), Target and Wal-mart both had it for $2.84
Downy: Target regular 6.99/90 loads on sale for 5.99, Wal-Mart 5.98/105 loads
Cascade Complete: Target regular 6.99/26 loads, on sale for 5.39; Wal-Mart 5.97/26 loads