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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Comparing Publix, Kroger, Aldi's, Sam's and Wal-Mart for groceries

Which is your favorite grocery store in Snellville?

For me, it's Publix, hands down.

Best service, most knowledgeable/helpful employees - the prices are good on some things, not so good on others, but overall the service overrides everything else. But here's a list of what NOT to buy at Publix . If you combine coupons (most double) with the buy-one-get-one free deals, you can get lots of stuff free or almost free. They will ask you if you need help, you don't have to hunt someone down. I have never, ever had a bad shopping experience at the Snellville Publix on Scenic Highway in Snellville. As good as it is, the Publix store in Loganville at Cooper Road and Highway 20 is even more incredible, service-wise.

Kroger is okay for the things I don't buy at Publix. You can find some deals there if you pay close attention. Kroger also doubles coupons, but they don't double .35 cent coupons and Publix will.

Aldi's Snellville (Hwy 124/Scenic Hwy) - no name brands, can't use coupons, but they say their savings more than makes up for that. You can use a debit card but no credit cards. You need to bring your own bags. Bring a quarter for the shopping cart. I understand why they do all that, but it can be a pain if that's not what you expect when you walk in there. They buy older fruit and vegetables in order to save money and pass the savings along to you, and as a friend of mine (who is a loyal Aldi customer) told me, you need to plan to eat it right away if you buy it from Aldi's, because it will spoil fast. (Illinois)

Sams Club Snellville (Hwy 124/Scenic Hwy) you need to pay a membership fee. There's too much hassle involved for the savings...if you really know prices and compare you will see that they more than make up their money they save you on the "loss leaders." Loss leaders are the items that are super low, to entice you into the store...then they make up their money on overpriced items. I've always felt like the checkout process is like a cattle drive. (Headquartered in Bentonville AR)

Wal-Mart Snellville (Hwy 124/Scenic Hwy) - Savings on groceries, but if you have a problem like moldy bread (I did), expect a fight with customer service to get your money back. (Headquartered in Bentonville AR)

on Scenic Hwy in Snellville also has a grocery section. You can find some really good deals on cereal, dairy, and snacks sometimes. Avoid their condiments the prices on those are sometimes twice what they are from the regular grocery stores. Avoid their laundry detergents. Service: I was denied use of Target store coupons I printed out from the Target website. The Snellville Target would not let me use them, even though they were unexpired, valid Target coupons. It's no use to try to reason with a sales clerk, so I contacted Target headquarters for clarification on their coupon policy, and they never communicated with me.

I have none of these difficulties at Publix. I am very frugal, but good service is worth paying for. Another point for Publix is that if you want to help local people more, Publix is based in Florida and has a large warehouse in Lawrenceville, GA.