Comparison Shopping

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provisioning-sams

It’s getting close to go time and I’ve still been spending too much time thinking about how to properly stock our boat with enough food and alcohol to get us through the Bahamas where goods are notoriously expensive; and how to do it in the cheapest way possible. With neither of us having a full time job anymore, every penny we spend counts so I decided it was best to do a proper price comparison.

I started by downloading The Boat Galley’s provisioning spreadsheet and made adjustments for what Jason and I actually eat and use. Here is our work in progress list. I’ll update it with everything that I actually do buy so all the sailors out there can see how much a young couple and their dogs really consume. I have a feeling that I’ll completely overstock the boat. But hey, this is my first hurrah. Cut me some slack.

The contenders: Wal-Mart, BJ’s, Sam’s, Amazon, Total Wine (possibly the best store I’ve ever been to), drugstore.com and Publix. I expected Publix to be the most expensive, and for the most part I was right. Even their BOGO deals really couldn’t compare (with the exception of a Crystal Light BOGO deal). As for the cheapest, it really was a mix of them all! I literally went up and down every single aisle in Walmart, BJ’s and Sam’s documenting the prices and units in my spreadsheet to make sure I was getting the best deal possible. I was really curious to see if the wholesaler’s products were cheaper for the name brand items since I was buying so many of them, or if Wal-Mart’s generic product would be cheaper. I’m so glad I did the comparison because the price difference was really big in some cases, saving us a lot of money! Woohoo!

The biggest difference in terms of price was for razors. For 21.49 I can get 13 Schick Quattro razors and a handle at BJ’s where at Walmart 11.47 only gets me 4 razors. That’s a savings of $15.78 for the same amount of razors! I also realized that I’m going to end up buying a few products at Wal-mart even though they are more expensive per unit because the sizes sold at Sams and BJ’s were too large. Who really needs 160 ounces of vegetable oil?

Something I didn’t check prices on yet were fresh foods and perishables. Since the price per pound seems to fluctuate I didn’t bother checking this time around. I do know that my mom just bought a 10 pack of giant chicken breasts for about 10 bucks at BJs so I’ll definitely be going that route when the time comes. I got one of those Food Saver vacuum sealers so we can store a bunch of meat in our freezer. When you have a man that doesn’t count food as a meal unless it includes meat, I have to be sure I’m stocked in that department.

A few useful findings: Drugstore.com was great for Method (biodegradable) products. I managed to snag a bunch when they were 20% off. Outside of that deal their products were consistent across all retailers. Total Wine offers a very wide selection of boxed wine which I have dedicated my weekend to taste testing ensuring I have only the best on board. Amazon has a great deal on Scott’s Rapid Disolving TP which I have been told is best for boating plumbing.

OK, am I forgetting anything?

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