Friday, May 16, 2008

Food For Less vs Ralphs

I have been a Ralphs shopper for years.

It is clean, organized, convenient, friendly, and so I thought - reasonably priced.
Little did I know.

My sister, who is the most frugal woman you will ever meet, started talking about a Food for Less that just opened around the corner from our home. My sister lives a couple blocks away from me in our tract of houses. But, around the corner in the direction of Food for Less is a less than desirable location. It is also a store where many men sit around waiting for someone to drive up hoping to get hired for the day. Which is fine, but I don't want to navigate around them trying to get into this particular store - or so I thought.

Last week, on the morning news, I saw a woman named Terri. Years ago, I would go on her website and find out about the latest sales at the grocery stores. She would give tips and coupons trying to help people save money. Well, that morning she was talking about saving money on a GPS that was listed as $229 online, but at Best Buy was marked for $450 or so. They honored her printed copy of the add for $229 saving her a load of money.

This got me thinking again about all the ways God had spoken to me about being responsible with my money. How I was wasting so much money was amazing.

So, with fear and trepidation, I decided to do my shopping at Food for Less and see. I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the store and it was clean and organized. The shelves were lined with food labels that I normally purchase. To top it off, all the customers said hello to Austin, chatted with me, and the workers were very friendly. It was truly a great experience.

Then I went home, dropped off Austin and the groceries and headed for Ralphs - with my receipt. I went up and down the aisles looking up every item I had just purchased.

Yes, you guessed it. I had saved anywhere from .50 to 3.00 on EVERY item.

Claussen pickles at FFL $3.00 Ralphs $4.69
Coffee for my hubby FFL $2.29 Ralphs $4.49
Similac for Austin FFL $6.39 Ralphs $7.99

And on and on. I spent $97.60 at Food for Less. Ralphs would have cost me $179.20.

They happened to be out of Similac at Food For Less, so I approached the manager at Ralphs. He recognized me and said hello and asked how I was. I said I was livid. I couldn't believe how Ralphs was ripping off people. It took everything in me not to stand in the aisles and share my receipt with all the shoppers. I showed it to Mike, the manager. He said he knew, and more importantly, that he shopped at Food For Less also. I asked him to sell me the Similac for $6.32, and he agreed!

Well. I must say, I will not be frequenting Ralphs anytime soon, unless there is a major manager's giveaway.

It feels good being frugal, knowing I am saving my family loads of money. I encourage you to do a little comparison shopping in your area. And negotiate whenever possible!

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