Big box stores advertise everyday low prices and claim that you can save money by doing all of your shopping there. Their prices are lower than smaller, specialized stores, but do you really save money? That depends on your shopping habits.
Stores that advertise low prices every day rarely offer sales, and when they do, the sales are not significant. Other stores charge higher prices every day, but they also offer great savings on several items each week. By stocking up on items when they are on sale, you can spend less than if you shop everyday low prices.
Most big box stores accept coupons, but some do not. Many high-priced smaller grocery stores double or triple coupons all the time or during certain times of the year. Although the shelf price of the item is higher, using a coupon often makes the final price lower, especially when the store doubles or triples coupons, especially if there are two or three of them.
Smaller stores often match sales with other promotions from manufacturers. When you combine a sale with coupons and a rebate, you can see significant savings on your groceries. Stores may also offer a free item with purchase or an in-store coupon for your next shopping trip.
Because only certain items are on sale each week at grocery stores, you need to stock up on items when they are priced low. Most stores follow a 12-week cycle with sales, so as a general rule, plan to buy three months' worth of an item to last until the next sale.
If you run out of an item at home or don't have time to clip coupons and visit multiple stores each week, big box stores may be a better choice for you. Prices are fairly low on all items every day, so you can save money if your grocery store does not have the item on sale.
Do you shop big box stores for deals?