Eat, Drink & Be Happy

A Trip to the Grocery Store

Like many other college students, my grocery-shopping budget is small. I often buy the least expensive product from the collection of offerings and frequently use coupons.

Most of my shopping is done at the local Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart. I thought it would be beneficial to compare the two stores’ prices on basic staples I need as a vegetarian. Five hours later, this is what I found:

– Overall, Wal-Mart has lower prices. However, Hy-Vee has a greater selection of items within a product category. For example, Hy-Vee has a large number of spices available, while Wal-Mart has a smaller assortment.

– Hy-Vee has a small section devoted to vegetarian foods. I couldn’t even find tofu at Wal-Mart.

– Most often, prices from the two stores were within pennies of each other.   

My tips for grocery shopping:

  1. Make a list and stick to it as best as possible. More times than not I come home with extra items, but a list helps keep the number of those extras down.
  2. Set a total for how much you are willing to spend, and keep track of the cost of items as you place them in your cart so you stay aware of your budget. Always round items to the nearest fifty cents—it makes keeping track easier and will help to cover the additional cost of taxes at the checkout.
  3. Set a time limit. The longer I shop, the more likely I am to add extra items to the cart or reason with myself to increase the budget. By limiting the amount of time in the store, you’ll limit your chances of buying too much.

For more grocery shopping tips, visit this site.


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