Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The grocery test: Walmart vs. Publix

Last week when I went grocery shopping, I seemed to have very little in my cart, yet left with a larger than normal bill. We have been going to Publix since we moved down to Florida, as I am a self-proclaimed Walmart hater. I would rather support the little guy...because I am a little guy, er...gal..myself. However, I decided to give it a go and head to Walmart this week and see if we could save anything on our growing grocery bill. I just returned and am undecided. The total was about the same, actually, and I am not sure if I got more food for my money. Here's why....

First, Walmart has bigger carts. They want you to fill 'em up. Publix carts are smaller. I did notice the meats were cheaper at Walmart, but had to wait a lifetime to get any help at the deli. As I expected, as I walked into Walmart, I was greeted by a chorus of screaming children that seemed to be sounding off in unison from different parts of the store. There are always unattended children running around in there. I won't even put a guess at that one. Another way it makes it harder to tell if you got more things, is that Walmart totally over-bags. They will put 1-2 items in a bag, then go on to another one. Looking in my trunk as I was unloading it, you would've guessed I had enough food for 5 people, not two. The one good thing, is I found Malto-Meal at Walmart, and they don't carry it at Publix. My grandma used to make it for me as a little girl and called it "porridge." However, I got my one-donut-a-month today, and Publix donuts are far better. I also found I had to buy weird named brands I haven't tried before, and don't know if they will measure up to the Publix brands I am used to.

So, as you can see, I am undecided. I do know one thing for sure. I am 99% more likely to have my car dinged by a misplaced shopping cart at Walmart, because the shoppers and the workers seem to be too lazy to put them in the right cart return and round them back up.


Katie said...

I too, am loathe to shop at WalMart (the "Super" one in Hibbing, 30 minutes away), but if I buy some of the generic name brands, I spend less money. Their brand Great Value can be okay, and there are some things I always buy, like, twelve of when I'm there.
1. brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts
2. fake sugar free drink mix (fruit punch and cherry flavored)
3. 14 oz. mac 'n' cheese (I have to add more cheese to make it really palatable)
4. 96 oz. apple juice

I agree about the screaming children and big carts. I stick my screaming children in the cart and there's usually enough room for both of them (and they're rather large, hence the sugar free fake kool aid) and my stuff.

Cool post, Lori!

funky bag freak said...

Paper goods are about all I buy at Wally-World. Oh and hair products. The cart thing drives me nuts though! There are carts everywhere you go here, people are too stinkin lazy to even walk 20 feet to the cart return. Grrr

Well that's my extremely important input. LOL

Cindy said...

I too am a Publix shopper, but I do go to Walmart for instant oatmeal, as they carry Kashi and Publix doesn't.

Lori said...

Just to add on to my other thoughts, I had some of the lunch meat today for lunch, and it wasn't very good. I like Boar's Head at Publix better. Yup, I may just go to Walmart for Malt-O-Meal. The people at Publix are so nice, and some of them even know me on a first name basis. They notice if I don't come in one week. I feel like a traitor! LOL