How to save money on groceries by knowing competitor prices

Up until recently I always did my grocery shopping at Walmart because it was the least expensive place to shop within reasonable driving distance.  We moved to our current house almost a year ago.  Prior to the move there were only a handful of stores.  Either it was in town and really over priced, or it was a 20-25 minute drive away with good prices, or 40 minutes away with great prices.  I opted for the 25 minute drive with good prices option and that was Walmart.  Now I have the in town store that is over priced, and a variety or stores with good to great prices 25 minutes away.  The town I go to to shop has a Walmart, Meijer, and Aldi all on the same road.  In the opposite direction there is a Kroger and Walmart next to each other.  I can now comparison shop and shop at multiple stores because they are all in the same area.  

But how do I know which one has the best prices?  Are the sales at some stores really a good deal, or can I get things cheaper down the road?  The answer? 

Make a list.

Yep. Grab a notebook or a spreadsheet and carry it with you when you go shopping.  I have done this at Aldi first because it is a smaller store and quicker to get through.  I wrote down the item (no brand names because I always buy generic or a no name brand), the size, the unit price, the total price, and that it is at Aldi.  My next step is to take this info to Walmart and add items or alter items already on the list.  If an item on the list is cheaper at Walmart, I’ll update the information and change the store to “Walmart”.  I’ll do this for any store I go to on a regular basis so that I get my master list of prices.

Now when I make my shopping list, I know which store to go to for which items in order to get the cheapest price and largest savings.  Also, when I go to the Amish bulk store or down to Sam’s Club, I know if it is worth buying something in bulk or not.  And by having my list,me hen Kroger or Meijer run their sales for buy 8 save $8 or buy 10 for $10, I know if their sale price is the best price.

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