Sticker shock

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  #1  
Old 07-17-12, 12:50 PM
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Sticker shock

I do the grocery shopping, mostly at a Navy commissary. I seldom look at prices in the commissary because I know that typically they are the best in the area.
There's just the two of us so I buy what we want and don't worry much about the cost. Today I bought a 6 pack of Charmin TP. It was $8.08 in the commissary. Eight dollars for toilet paper!

Wheree's the Sear's catalog when you need it?
 
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Old 07-17-12, 12:52 PM
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TP is like gasoline - I need it when I need it and I don't look at the price.

Now I'm going to have to the next time I'm at the store. Thanks a lot.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 12:55 PM
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The catalog is still in the outhouse

My wife will only use certain brands of TP so she takes care of buying it. She seems to always know which stores have them on sale. I haven't bought any TP in over 15 yrs...... unless she thru it in the buggy when I was paying for a bunch of other stuff
 
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Old 07-17-12, 01:11 PM
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Only us sutherners call them "buggies". To the rest of the world they are "carts". It has nothing to do with Wayne's post, but it stuck out.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 01:42 PM
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Wayne...did you mean a true 6 pack? 6 rolls? Either double or single size?

Hate to tell ya...but Commissaries can't compete with Wally World. I can buy a 24 pack of the fancy Cottonelle, Charmin, whatever for about $13-14 there. The buying power and WM purchase policies will beat patriotism every time when it comes to a few cents on a can of beans.

When I lived near an AF Commissary...I only went for stuff I just couldn't get out in town. Certain ethic foods and such. Sometimes they carry stuff that just doesn't sell in quantity on the town. Their seafood was normally pretty good...but of course it was an AF Commissary at a major base...had to keep the Generals wives happy.

Depending on your local tax rate and if it applies to food...the Commissary surcharge brings their prices up to the local price. And then of course there's the bagger tips?
 
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Old 07-17-12, 02:21 PM
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Vic - I'll admit that I haven't priced TP at Wally World but I have to disagree with you when it comes to commissary prices in general. My daughter does all her regular grocery shopping at WW and they don't come close to commissary prices. She is always amazed at the prices in the commissary.

When I first started buying the family groceries I did a lot of comparison shopping. The commissary was typically 20%-30% cheaper than the local supermarkets. I understand WW is giving supermarkets stiff competiiton but my guess is that they aren't in the same ballpark as the commissary. It's funny though because I go to local supermarkets for ethnic foods and buy everything else in the commissary.

Next shopping trip I'll post some comparison prices of items in my shopping CART.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 02:48 PM
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Well...remember..though they are all on the same system (I think), my experience has always been with AF commissaries. I never lived close enough to a Navy base to make it worthwhile except a few small places...but their selection was like a Mini-Mart.

I did go 70 km from Latina IT to Gaeta to hit the little commissary they had there. Couldn't get US style ribs and hamburger on the local economy. Now THEY were cheap!

I still think with the tip and surcharge...the difference isn't worth more than a short drive.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 03:34 PM
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CART - Championship Auto Racing Teams, but I like NASCAR better
 
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Old 07-17-12, 03:46 PM
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BUGGY.....Big Ugly Grocery Getter, Yum!!
 
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Old 07-17-12, 03:57 PM
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Grocery pricing is often wildly different at different stores for the same item. I buy a particular brand of rye bread at Wally World for a bit less than $4 a loaf and the same bread at other stores might range as high as $4.85 a loaf. Conversely, I can buy Skippy peanut butter at most stores (on sale, but it is usually on sale somewhere) for significantly less than WW. WW has the best price on Orville Redenbacher 45 ounce jar whereas most of the other stores charge as much, or more, for the smaller sized jar.

One local chain (but owned by Kroger) usually has high prices on everything but items on sale are often lower cost than every other store, including Wal*Mart. I shop the ads diligently. Luckily, all the stores are within a few miles of me except for WM which is about ten miles.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 10:27 AM
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Vic - Today was grocery day. It's been a long time since I comparison shopped so I stopped at our closest supermarket and compared prices with the commissary. Incidentally, the Navy commissary is closer than the nearest supermarket and the SuperWalMart is about 25 miles away.

I compared 12 identical items ranging from canned soup to the $8.08 toilet paper ($8.99 in the supermarket). The commissary prices were just over 20% less than the supermarket. The biggest savings was in the meat department. More than $7 savings on just 3 items. Including the surcharge and $3 bagger tip I still saved nearly 20%.

I did buy brand names and I suspect that buying the store brand would have made the supermarket more competitive.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 11:05 AM
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Thanks for the update Wayne....you're lucky you are that close. Even back in VA I was about 10 miles from a base and only 2 blocks from a supermarket. Maybe 2 miles from a WM.

Now I'm less than a mile to a WM, 5 blocks to a Safeway, and 130 miles (one way!) to a Commissary.

If you ever get a chance...take that receipt and check a WM (not that it would be worthwhile for you of course). WM here is normally at least 20% less than a regular grocery store on many items. Sometimes even more than that. I know that same WM $13-14 TP I mentioned runs about $16-17 at the Safeway unless they have a sale.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 11:37 AM
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Our nearest WalMart is sandwiched between a Home Depot (adjacent) and a Lowe's. I get there ever so often. I just put the list in my wallet and my next trip I'll give it a shot.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 02:14 PM
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Let's face it, the store brands aren't always as tasty as the name brand.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 02:41 PM
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True that! All depends on what you will be using them for. I buy generic beans all the time for chili...same with pasta that will be sauced. Anything that will be cooked for a long time or covered with something...it normally doesn't matter.

I try to buy frozen vs canned (except for corn) as I think the canned stuff always tastes bland and soft. My wife loves canned carrots and I just can't stand them. Of course that's if I can't get fresh or just don't have time.

Out here our closest grocery has their own dairy farms and they make their own cheeses...... much cheaper than any of the name brands and close to the generic WM stuff in price. Their cottage cheese, pepper jack, cheddars, etc are very good. They even have an emmentaler that is good and none of the big brands have that. You have to go for the $4 for 8oz stuff otherwise.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 02:44 PM
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Let's face it, the store brands aren't always as tasty as the name brand.

I disagree. Often the store brand is the same product in different packaging.

I buy all store brand stuff.

When my wife worked at Prestone they packaged brake fluid in the Prestone bottle. When that run was done they then packaged the same product in a no name bottle for the auto store brands. A couple dollars less for the no name.

Food is the same way IMO. And if they do change the batch for the food stores the ingredients are often better because less processed ingredients.

Thats why name brand may taste better, but its probably worse for you.

next time your in the store compare ingredients.

Name brand, MSG? Store brand, no MSG?....Hmmmmmm......


 
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Old 07-20-12, 02:53 PM
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Let's face it, the store brands aren't always as tasty as the name brand.
And some times the store brands taste better.

In the pacific northwest we have a grocery chain called Albertsons. They have a house brand of vanilla wafer cookies similar to Nabisco Nilla Wafers. Being a house brand they are a bit less expensive but I think they taste a whole lot better than the Nabisco. We have a department store that also sells food, Fred Meyer (owned by Kroger) that sells a house brand of pizza snack pillows similar to Pizza Rolls. Safeway also has their generic version. Both of these taste better and are less expensive than the original.

Just my opinion.

Here's some more interesting facts.

We have a regional grocery store, QFC (used to stand for Quality Food Center but I doubt many people know that anymore). QFC used to be independent just like Fred Meyer but both are now owned by Kroger and both will sell Kroger-branded products along with national brands. Since Kroger is one of the largest grocery retailers in the country they obviously have tremendous buying power and can negotiate some pretty good deals from their suppliers.

So WHY do the same national products, and often the same Kroger-branded products, have such a huge price disparity between QFC and FM? Sometimes the disparity is as much as a buck or more on an item that sells for less than ten dollars. Conversely, while FM is usually the less expensive store when an item is on sale at QFC it is often less expensive than the same item's regular price at FM.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 03:36 PM
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My FIL says much the same thing as what Mike said. He worked at both a pasta plant and a soup factory when he was younger. But he worked the end of the line...not the mixing area. All he saw was the same cans/packages with different labels.

A friend retired from the Navy and got a job at a major bakery as a maintenance supervisor. He knew the process from beginning to end. His take was much different. They used cheaper (and less) of certain ingredients...but still produced bread, rolls, etc for the store brands.

Bread...prob not that big a deal, but I'd have to say...open a can of generic soup vs one of the name brands....lots of water and not much substance. As to the salt/MSG/additives...well...yeah..read the label.

I bought some store brand black beans for a side dish one time....very poor quality and taste. Same with green beans and corn. For stand alone dishes...I buy the big brands.

Things like brake fluid, anti-freeze, etc...have to meet certain testing standards...I would never buy name brand if a generic is available. If the store oil at WM says it meets the requirements...then I'll save my $1 over the name brands.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 04:11 PM
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I don't think food is quite the same as brake fluid. I think you will find far less generic food products being relabeled name brand products. There are definitely a lot of generic items that I like. But some things just don't work out. I tried the generic cheerios. No thanks, my friend.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 04:27 PM
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I've been eating for a long time - often too much. One thing I know is that most of the "store brand" foods that I have tried are inferior in quality to the name brands.

Some examples that come immediately to mind - soups, canned tomatoes (yuch), ketchup, soft drinks, BBQ sauce and cheese. Since I buy most of my groceries in a commissary store brands aren't available, but I stll shop in supermarkets and I still pass on the store brands.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 04:28 PM
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I tried the generic cheerios. No thanks, my friend.
Because cheerios uses a modified corn starch. Food store brand I buy does not.

Consumers are used to eating modified foods and when given real unprocessed foods they think it taste bland.

What consumers think tastes good is most likely bad for them.


You wanna talk sticker shock???? I by all organic so I can tell you about that.


Oh but that's a whole different thread and/or debate.


 
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Old 07-20-12, 04:29 PM
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Well, SOMEONE likes the generic cheerios sold by Wal*Mart as they NEVER have them on the shelf. I actually prefer the generic because they have less sugar (and consequently less calories) than do the genuine General Mills product.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 04:47 PM
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Mike, I agree on the organic price thing. I think much of that is the certification cost to get the label. If they don't use pesticides and chemical fertilizers...shouldn't they be cheaper? I'm sure there's more product loss...maybe? But sometimes the prices are crazy. I really miss the farmers markets that we used to have when we lived in larger places. You could watch them unload from the back of their old pickup trucks. If I had more land and better soil...I'd try to grow something...but all I have is sand and high water prices. Bout all we can easily grow is gourds....not good eating.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 06:21 PM
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We buy quite a bit of organic too. Mostly my wife's desire. We go to Stop & Shop and their Nature's Promise brand (store generic) is pretty good. That's usually the store brand we get when we do get the store brand. The Stop & Shop brand stuff just isn't as tasty on most items.

Organic is a premium product so it is priced that way. Some of the pricing is from lower yields, but I agree that a lot has to do with the certification. The best example of that are the Nature's Promise eggs. They sell about 4 "different" versions. I contend that all 4 are exactly the same egg, but I will discuss the two highest priced items they sell. They both have the same exact information on the box. Things like pesticide free, hormone free, and cage free. These are things that describe what an organic product needs to qualify as organic. The only difference is that one has the USDA Organic logo on it and the other doesn't. The price difference between the two is 50 cents. I tell my wife that they are the exact same egg. The only reason it is more is because they have to pay for that USDA Organic label. She won't listen and insists on buying the most expensive box.
 
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Old 07-20-12, 06:58 PM
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They sell about 4 "different" versions. I contend that all 4 are exactly the same egg, but I will discuss the two highest priced items they sell. They both have the same exact information on the box. Things like pesticide free, hormone free, and cage free. These are things that describe what an organic product needs to qualify as organic. The only difference is that one has the USDA Organic logo on it and the other doesn't. The price difference between the two is 50 cents. I tell my wife that they are the exact same egg. The only reason it is more is because they have to pay for that USDA Organic label. She won't listen and insists on buying the most expensive box.

All the eggs from the store are the same. There is no difference. I buy eggs whatever is cheapest. Your just wasting your money.

IMO. You are only paying for the welfare of the chicken. Thats it. The egg is the same egg.

If you want the best egg you need to raise chickens as I am. Free range off the land and whats available in my Pesticide free Yard/garden plus plant based feed.

Plus you will be ready for the great food shortage this word will face very soon.


I cant find the better link but this will generalize my opinion about eggs.

Supermarket Angst Part II: What Eggs Should I Buy? | Wise Bread




 
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Old 07-21-12, 12:08 AM
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The last time I bought any fresh eggberts was to watch to see what the raccoons did with them. Funniest thing I'd seen in years.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 04:15 AM
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All the eggs from the store are the same. There is no difference. I buy eggs whatever is cheapest. Your just wasting your money.
I know. I have no interest in the organic eggs. I prefer the taste of white eggs over them too. Unfortunately, I'm not the one making our egg decision.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 04:20 AM
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Let's face it, the store brands aren't always as tasty as the name brand.
A lot depends on what you get used to. If you always eat the store brand, the name brand might taste a little funny.

I tried the generic cheerios. No thanks, my friend.
I like the generic cheerios, IMO they taste better than the name brand..... but my wife is just the opposite.

Our grandson raised 25 hens thru 4H. Won first prize! Care to guess where we get our eggs?
 
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Old 07-21-12, 04:29 AM
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She won't listen and insists on buying the most expensive box.
Droo, are you sure you aren't married to my wife??? I rarely let her go shopping with me. I do the cooking, so I like to buy what I need. Organic when I can, and when the pricing isn't twice the price of regular. I don't buy into the extra cost just because it is "organic". That's crap. Fresh eggs from the henhouse can't be beat. Examining the yellows is the tipper. Ours are almost orange, while the store bought are pale yellow. Our gals free range on about 4 acres.
 
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Old 07-21-12, 04:51 AM
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Drooplug - It's interesting that you mentioned organic eggs. A couple of weeks ago NGO had a program (can't remember the name) that had a segment on egg production. They covered three different egg farms. One was a mega factory site with tousands of chickens producing thousands of eggs daily. The eggs were in the $2 a dozen range.

The second site was a large "free range" chicken ranch where chickens were fed a controlled diet and allowed to roam a large penned area. Production was much lower than the factory.The eggs were in the $3-$4 range.

The third site was a small, certified organic farm that catered to subscribing customers - pay a monthly fee and get a certain number of eggs. The chickens were fed a controlled diet and the egg production was very limited. The eggs were around $9 a dozen.

What got my attention was a comment from the state (California) egg expert scientist. She said that there was no difference in the chemical and nutritional content of the eggs.
 
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