Many of you have asked me about my thoughts on the new Wegmans store, so here it is.....
First of all, I HATE their flyer that they send in the mail. It highlights mostly Wegman's brand products. This makes my life difficult for two reasons. 1) It makes it hard to compare prices 2) It makes it super difficult to match manufacture coupons with sales. Also, they waste a lot of space on pictures that give no information, and there is a lot of wasted space besides.
I wrote an email to their marketing branch telling them these things. I have yet to hear back, but in talking with other couponers, I am not the only one that feels that way.
WITH THAT SAID... I decided to go ahead and visit there in person. They were running a few good sales, and I needed to do some grocery shopping.
My mom was going back home (after a three week visit - Thank you mom!) so I needed to do some shopping. I did it a little differently than I usually do. I made up my menu for two weeks and went to buy those ingredients. Usually I buy what is on sale with coupons and make my menus around that.
I will break down my observations into categories for ease of reading and writing...
Wear your walking shoes gals. This store is HUGE!! Also the layout is different than other stores I have been in so that threw me off. I am sure that after going a few times, I will become more comfortable with it. It was nice, but didn't seem over done, but I will be interested to see how this store ages. It also didn't seem like the highest quality either. However, in their deli/meat section it did get nicer. A marketing strategy I am sure.
Also, they mostly sell their own brand. This allows them to control their prices better, but makes it harder to use coupons.
The quality of the produce seemed good, not fabulous, but it passes in my book. The prices were really good compared to Giant (which has the best of the other stores). They had a bag of iceberg lettuce for $0.99, you can't beat that. They also had mini apples, perfect for the kiddos, for under $1/lb. if you bought them in a bulk bag. (The kids have LOVED these.)
I was amazed at their cheese prices. You can get pre-grated cheeses for $1.80/pound. You can get block cheese for around $2 per pound as well. Keep in mind that these are all Wegman brand things, but to save $ you can't be brand loyal.
I was floored at the prices on canned veggies. Way cheaper than you can get with sales and coupons.
A little bit better than other stores.
About the same, maybe a little more expensive
These were more expensive, but only by $0.15
Wegman Brand at $0.89 per bag. Again, this was an everyday price. The coupons that are coming out right now and the sales going on, you could maybe get them a little cheaper, but not my much.
This is another thing I was excited about. They had boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.69/pound and chicken roasters for $0.69/lb. I have noticed that this coming week each was raised by $0.10 but even then that would be a great price. This week they have 90% lean ground beef for $1.99/pound. That is way cheaper than even Costco. However, I heard from someone else that nicer meats were more expensive than other stores. We stay with the basics so I didn't take the time to compare these.
I usually grind my own wheat to make my own bread, but Wegmans bread was $1.49/loaf. The quality was good and my kids seem to like it.
From what I could tell, their national brands were comparable to other stores if not a bit cheaper. Their Viva paper towels were $1.99/roll. With the $0.85 coupons that were doubled, I got four rolls for $0.30/roll.
This is where it gets steep. They have to make their $$ somewhere, and this is the place. If you need really nice items, my suggestion is to shop at Giant.
This rocks! They double everything up to $0.99. No limit, and all in the same transaction (Giant, should take notice).
They also have a childcare center, which excites my chillens, and me. (I won't use it until after this awful flu season though. :)
So I bought groceries for 2 weeks worth of meals for $141.35. I will have to pick up fresh produce and milk in between, but I thought this was pretty good for planning from a menu. I am keeping a healthy pessimism though. They may be suppressing their prices to win customers and then raise them, so it is good to keep a good eye on that.
I will however, keep hitting the other store's loss leader sales and use my coupons. Right now all the stores will be fighting for your business so you are going to see some killer deals. Take advantage of them! Make them fight for your money, you worked hard for it and so should they.