Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Shopping Trip

Posted in frugal by Kathy on April 2, 2008

Yesterday when I was blog-surfing, I found a blog that talked about great deals at Kroger. We have a Kroger sort of nearby (about 30 miles away), so I checked out the deals. Pretty good, and they expired that day, so I decided to go. There are some things that I get (mostly cereal bars, which my husband has for breakfast because he doesn’t like to eat a lot first thing in the morning) that I can’t get at my local grocery stores–well, I can get them, but not at the price I’d like. The nearest place I can get them is about 30 miles away, so it’s not really a wasted trip. There are other deals I get, so I’m pretty sure I’m still saving money, even counting gas. Perhaps the prices of gas these days, I’m not doing that much better than driving 8 miles to my local stores. So, I spent 67.60 at Walmart, which included charcoal, fluoride-free toothpaste for the kids, and peat moss and compost for the garden ($19.96 plus 7% sales tax); and the rest was groceries (12 boxes of cereal bars, so I wouldn’t have to make another trip for a long time, powdered milk, eggs, and non-stick cooking spray). Then at Kroger, I spent $26.74, and my total savings was 49% or $24.28. That’s pretty good. They had a 10/$10 sale, and if you bought 10 of those items, you got $5 off, so I got 10 bags of Cheetos and Fritos for 50 cents apiece; plus I got grapes for $1/lb (excellent price!) and sweet onions for 40 cents/lb (another great price); plus oil, jelly, cocoa, feta cheese, popcorn and soy flour. I’ll have to compare the prices of these other items to my local stores to see if that’s really such an excellent price. I also went to the thrift store in that town (only got a few books for the kids [80 cents], because I didn’t see any shoes I wanted), and went to the salvage store ($3.93, for pectin, a box of cereal, some lentils, and some cans of refried beans).

The difference in mileage from my local stores to this other town was about 23 miles, which is probably a bit less than a gallon of gas, but for ease of figuring, we’ll round it to a gallon. I spent $3.09 per gallon of gas yesterday, so we’ll also round that to $3 to make it easy. That means that it costs me $6 to drive there and back, so I’d better save more than that in order to make it worth the trip — not to mention the time involved. So I technically “saved” $24.28 at Kroger (but I probably wouldn’t have bought all of those snacks–although we will eat them eventually, they’re not healthy) plus I probably saved a bit more, maybe a couple of bucks, by buying the other things at Kroger which would probably have better prices than our local stores. I also saved $6 by buying generic cereal bars at Walmart ($2 per box, instead of $2.50 per box of the brand name at Walmart, or even more at grocery stores — our local Walmart doesn’t stock the generic), and I was able to get the powdered milk, which is hard to find locally and is much more expensive. So technically, I probably spent $6 in gas to save about $30-35, which makes it a good deal.


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