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Grocery store review: Save-A-Lot

Awhile back Save-A-Lot contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in receiving a gift card and checking out the local Save-A-Lot store and sharing with you what I thought!  I finally had opportunity to go a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share my thoughts and pictures with you.

The Colorado Springs Save-A-Lot is located at 405 South Circle, on the southeast corner of Circle and Airport.  I’d never been before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Save-A-Lot reminded me a lot of an Aldi store – probably mostly because you have to bring your own bags and bag your own groceries.  (I think paper bags are around 10¢ if you forget yours and want to buy some.  I didn’t know you had to bring your own bags, so I just threw the groceries I bought in the back of my van.  I’m too cheap to buy bags!)

They mostly sell their own store-brands; there seemed to be a few “limited time only” type areas that had name-brand items, but not many.  So, even though they do accept coupons, there aren’t a ton of coupon deals here.

It’s been a long time since I’ve shopped primarily off-brands – typically, I can get name brands for the same price or cheaper than off brands if I’m patient and wait for the right sales.  Some of their prices seemed pretty good, and some I wasn’t sure about, so afterwards I went to Walmart and compared their off brand prices for the same items.  Here’s what I found:

Tomato Paste: Save A Lot 50¢ / Walmart 42¢
Canola Oil: Save A Lot $2.49 / Walmart $2.34
Eggs: Save A Lot $1.59 / Walmart – forgot to check, but I know normal price at King Soopers is about $1.29
Canned Beans: Save A Lot 65¢ / Walmart 62-78¢

So, overall, even though Save-A-Lot claims to beat Walmart’s prices, I didn’t find that was the case on most items.  The best deal I found was bananas at 33¢ per pound, but that was a sale, not a normal price.

I was able to purchase the following for $15.42:

2.3 lbs of bananas 77¢
Canola Oil (2) $4.98
Eggs $1.59
Great Northern Canned Beans (2) $1.30
Mayonnaise $2.19
Dry Roasted Peanuts $2.59
Tomato Paste (4) $2

One of the other disadvantages to shopping at a store brands only store like Save-A-Lot is that they carry a limited amount of selection.  I was able to find Great Northern canned beans at Save-A-Lot, but they didn’t have canned black beans, at least not that I could find.  Other things were similar, don’t expect to find 20 varieties of cake mixes, just several of the “main” ones.

Save-A-Lot does have printable coupons on their website, most of which are actually for their store brand, which is kind of nice.

The local store employees were friendly, but the store itself wasn’t terribly clean.  I’ve had hard time thinking of anything that would make me want to make Save A Lot another stop on my regular or even periodic grocery shopping trips – it just didn’t seem to offer much.

Have you been to the Colorado Springs Save-A-Lot?  What did you think?  I’d love to hear if you’ve find things that make it worth a stop!

32 Comments
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Comments

  1. I only stopped in there once for something that I needed and it was on the way to work back then. I wasn’t terribly impressed by it, and never went back.

  2. Thank you so much for this review – this is so good to know! I’ve been meaning to make a trip there for awhile. But now, maybe I won’t make the drive (it’s about 30 minutes away for us). I haven’t shopped there for years, but when I lived in Denver there was a Save-A-Lot near our condo that I visited pretty frequently. But they had mostly name brand stuff back then! I don’t even think they had a store brand at that point. It was awesome the deals you could get, like .75-100 for huge boxes of cereal and super cheap rice and beans. Sounds like things have changed.

  3. Tacy Melvin says:

    They had some sales over the summer that were really good prices–popsicles, and some produce I remember in particular. But I took the ad and price matched it because it was so much closer to my house.

  4. A few weeks back I received a coupon booklet from Save-A-Lot with P&G coupons. Did you get this coupon booklet and if so how are the prices with these coupons? Is it worth the trip to use them or just toss them?

    • The P&G coupons I have from Save-A-Lot were manufacturer coupons (only the logo was for Save-A-Lot). I would think you could use those anywhere.

      • Yes, you probably can – it will just depend on the cashier as to whether or not they’ll accept them since they have another store’s logo on them.

        I can’t really even remember seeing that many P&G products at Save-A-Lot, honestly. I remember that they had Luvs diapers, but can’t recall seeing other P&G products (though they probably did and I just missed them).

  5. I did go there with a friend of mine for a sale on pot pies for .25 each so we went. I was not impressed. The lack of cleanliness bothered me a lot. I have found that we don’t like banquet pot pies and it took 4 to fill up my son they are almost empty on the inside. We bought there brand of cereal and some cake mixes on sale. But otherwise I had my notebook with me. Wallyworld and KS sales or regular prices were still better. I did not touch the fruit and veggies because of the filth. The chicken breasts were on sales but I did not like the smell by the frozen section so I skipped it. I would love for an Aldi’s to open up here. I lived in Omaha, NE and I loved to shop there.

  6. I am curious about the quality of food from Save-A-Lot compared to Walmart. Thank you for this review!!

  7. I have bought their store brand canned fruit and vegetables and found the quality comparable to other store brand canned foods.

  8. Carrie, I am glad I came across this article. I have been teaching my pastor’s wife about using coupons and she just asked me about Save-A-Lot. One of the few other stores we have in our town. I had only been a couple of times but the prices did not seem that great comparatively to other stores. I did not remember specific items but this is helpful to know for myself as well as sharing it with others. Hope you are doing well!

    • I’d be interested to hear what it’s like in other parts of the country – I know it can vary widely! In Colorado Springs, we have at *least* six “big” grocery stores – King Soopers, Safeway, Albies, Walmart, Sunflower Market, and Rancho Liborio, and then Save-A-Lot. And Target. And wait a minute – I forgot Whole Foods and Natural Grocers! With all that to choose from, it’s hard to say Save-A-Lot is a recommended place to shop here!

  9. Carrie, did you mean to say you only bought bananas? You typed ‘I only bought pajamas’ in your last comment reply. I know exactly how that happens with kids around!

    I’ve been in the Save A Lot here a few times – it’s never been clean,but they also seem understaffed. Watch out for items that are past expiration too. Also, once when I was buying some things, I was looking at bags of dry beans, and they were infested with bugs. I told a cashier, and she got someone, and they removed them…but honestly, that’s pretty unusual.

    Back in KY where my parents live Save A Lot is one of the best deals in town, and beats the Walmart prices consistently. However, I think that’s because the walmart stores here have to be more competitive, because when my mom and I compare prices on the phone, her walmart prices are higher. Save A Lot back home is clean, busy, and you’ll see people wheeling around full carts of stuff, not just a few items.

    I used to go to Save A Lot for a few specific items, but I’ve since found them for the same or a better price, closer to home in a cleaner environment.

  10. PS – That button you have alongside the comment section for subscribing to the free email? I have had several times when I’ve clicked ‘submit’ but instead, it has taken me to the subscription form, and I’ve lost my comment. It may be causing the same problem for others. It’s kinda frustrating – just sayin’.

    Thanks,
    -Laura

    • Laura, what browser are you using?

      • Carrie,

        I’ve had the same issue a few times or when trying to click to print a post and it goes to the subscribe screen. I use Internet Explorer.

        • Heather and Laura, where is the subscribe button appearing? It should line up with the left side of your screen, even in Internet Explorer? Do you have small monitors?

          • Carrie, it does line up with the left side of the screen and my monitor is probably an average size not small. I just have to make sure that if I click on the print button or whatever it is a ways above that button because if it is next to it or even close it triggers the subscribe button instead of the print. :)

            • Heather, so do you actually *touch* the subscribe button, or it just goes to the subscribe page if you click in that area, *not* necessarily touching the button, though? I think I’m getting an idea of what may be happening but need more details to fix it. :)

          • This happens to me sometimes too! I also use IE and my monitor is not small.

            • Carrie, I did some experimenting. First, I looked at both my laptop and PC, interestingly enough my laptop which has a smaller screen then the PC doesn’t seem to be having any problems because the text starts about an inch away from the edge of the screen including the subscribe button. On my PC the text is right up agains the subscribe button so if I push the print or submit keys it seems to trigger the subscribe button I guess because they are so close to it. I use internet explorer on both my laptop and PC so I don’t think it is that but I don’t know. :)

            • Huh, weird! I’ll try to get it fixed or removed this weekend. :)

      • I use IE, Carrie. And I’m not ‘on’ the button…it’s happened enough that I’m very careful to make sure I’m not on the button…but sometimes it’d still take me to the page. (I’m already subscribing, just FYI :) )

        Thanks for your help, dearie!
        -Laura at TenThingsFarm

  11. Carrie, this is such a great article! Wish someone were doing these for my town.

    Came over to see the new header–so simple and clear.

    • Thanks, Meredith! I’ve actually got a *new* site design unveiling hopefully this weekend!!! Super excited about it, I think I’ve figured out a way to show more info with less clutter! :)

  12. I think the quality of Save-a-Lot varies quite a bit. I’ve never been to the one in the Spring, as it is totally not convenient for me. But the one down in Pueblo is decent. I’ve never had problems with stuff I’ve bought there. Though I always have people trying to sell me perfume, magazines or tamales in the parking lot.

  13. A Save-A-Lot just opened in our area. Stopped in and they had some good prices on some items. Canned veggies were $0.47-$0.50. Got some chips for $1.50/bag while full price is $3.99/bag at the larger supermarket.

    The store seemed clean, all food products I saw were manufactured in the US. The canned veggies are just as good as name brand and Kroger brand.

    I’ll probably be back, especially if I need to buy something in bulk. My suggestion is that they update their logo and store designs to a contemporary design. The physical look of Save-A-Lot reminded me of another, totally different discount store that sold expired goods and bad food.

    You don’t save enough to go too much out of your way, but if a Save-A-Lot is on you’re route, I think it’s worth checking out.

  14. ImJustAvg says:

    I finally tried the Save A Lot here in Colorado Springs, and can’t say I was all that impressed with the prices or quality.

    I received a flyer in the mail that had some really good prices. so decided to try it. First, I noticed that their store was dirty – but it was just before closing time. Hard to find some items/types of food; some of the items that seems cheap at first glance later turned out to be more expensive once I compaired the by ounce price. I.E. Cheese: potato salad, etc.

    I did buy the save a lot Raisan Bran and tried it this morning – box was have empty and the flakes seemed “spongy” even before I put the milk on.

    The bright spot was the banana! They were almost all green which is hard to find in larger stores. I like my bananas solid so if nothing else I will be getting that there in the future.

  15. I went to save a lot last month and bought 2 huge rolls of hamburger went home to wrap and freeze then I kid you not smelt like rotten eggs I will NEVER shop there again!

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