Why It’s Best to Shop Multiple Stores

 

Now that many of my friends and family have realized that I’ve became so {frugal} or {thrifty} or {coupon queen} or whatever you want to call it; they all want suggestions on how to save the most money.

My number one tip to them has always been to shop multiple stores. Don’t limit yourself to just one store, otherwise you’ll end up spending more money. And I have the perfect example that I don’t always save tons of money when I go to the grocery store.

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When I first got into couponing, like actually understanding how to get the best value for your money, I was spending over $100 a week to feed my husband and I.  This did include personal products, cleaning supplies and dog food. But then I realized that I was limited in stores to shop that would allow me to get the most for my money, in our average sized town.

I remember having this conversation with one of my friends many times, how the prices at the Wal Mart in my town were significantly higher than the prices at the Wal Mart in the town I worked in. The difference? Competition! Locally we only have one other major grocery store that they have to compete with, who are crazy expensive if you don’t find something on sale. Whereas the the town I work in has three other stores to compete with, including the expensive store.

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Now, I’ve been price matching at  Wal Mart since before many people even knew you could do that. I remember one Black Friday, I had to work and knew the items I wanted at Target would be out of stock, so I took the ad and stopped on my way home to get it and that was years ago {although I’m not even sure I’ve ever opened that movie I wanted so badly}.

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On a recent trip to Wally World, I used coupons for most of the items I purchased. I even priced matched the Chex Mix, and Milk and had coupons for both items. I used free coupons for hot dogs and found a coupon on one box of dog food I purchased that was unexpected.

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But when I got home I looked at my receipt to see how much I saved in coupons. I used over $20 in coupons and still paid around $76 for everything I purchased, including a bag of dog food. I was very disappoint, because had I shopped at multiple stores, I could have easily paid about $36 for all of this, if the store I shopped at doubled coupons. Thankfully, the expensive store has started doubling coupons up to 99 cents, which is great and allowed me to get ice cream for free yesterday that was on sale. But that’s just it, you save the most when the item is on sale and the store doubles coupons.

Most of the time, I only go to stores out of town, if I know that I have to do other things in that area or there is a super sale that I know I’m going to get the best bang for my buck when they double my coupon, verse price matching at Wal Mart and my time and gas to get to that store.

So my one piece of advice to new couponers, is always to shop multiple stores to ensure that you get the best deal possible and save the most money.

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2 thoughts on “Why It’s Best to Shop Multiple Stores

  1. Heather Tovey

    There’s no double coupon days around here, so it’s fairly easy to price match. And there are pretty strict rules on coupon use. We mainly shop at Superstore, but we also go to the local Asian store, local Italian store, and the local butcher for better prices on some things.

    Anyway, I totally agree with you. I just wanted to add that people should avoid going so many places that they waste a lot of time or money on gas. An item might be a few cents cheaper one place, but if that’s the only thing you need from a 2nd store, then it might not be worth going.

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    1. Amber Post author

      I totally agree that if multiple stores are not on your way, then it’s cheaper to price match. In my town we have Wal Mart, a local {expensive when not on sale} grocery store and three drug stores. Where as the town I work in has these same stores plus a few other local stores, that I will stop at on my lunch or after work. Otherwise I don’t make a habit of it to just go to another town for a few items that I could just price match. Although, once in a while, I will go to a town that has another superstore that has great deals and doubles coupons that isn’t that far from my work, and usually I’ll need some other things too. Otherwise I stick to what’s local.

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