Last week was my monthly food shopping trip to Kentucky.  It actually stretched out to six-weeks due to weather and other scheduling issues, but that is part of the beauty of bulk shopping, you don’t have to run to the store.  I go shopping in my basement.

My husband, 2077, and I joke when I grab my little shopping basket to head downstairs.  It’s like that movie Blast From the Past with Sissy Spacek, Brenden Frazier, Christopher Walken, and Alicia Silverstone.  During the Cold War the Dad, played by Christopher Walken, built a secret & huge underground bunker.  The ‘flag’ goes up and Mom and son, Sissy Spacek and Brendan Frazier, go underground…for 30 years.  She has a ‘store’ with a shopping cart to replenish the smaller pantry in the kitchen.  See the movie, it’s funny.  You’ll like it, I promise.

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Just before my shopping trip I learned that Wal-mart has bulk food options on-line with Auguson Farms.  In Florida I used to order bulk grains and foods through a food co-op, Bread Beckers.  They were great, but I haven’t been able to find a local group, so when I saw a Wal-mart option, I thought I’d give it a try!

I just picked up my order on Friday, so I haven’t opened anything just yet, but the packaging is just as I would expect, and the prices are very good.  I was particularly happy to get a hold of some whole dehydrated eggs.  One of my challenges of shopping once a month is that I tend to run out of eggs.  We run out of eggs, because being in the back woods means that we tend of cook, especially bake, a lot more and those items require eggs.  This will help me to keep on baking and have fresh eggs for when I really need it.  The plan is to have chickens, but we just don’t have them yet.

One side note, let me explain/rant on why I go shopping all the way in Kentucky when I live in Tennessee.  First, I’m very near the state line, so it’s within the feasibility range.  Second, the prices of the products are better…..much better actually.  I’m not sure why, but the prices at my local Wal-mart are – on average 25% more than other towns in Tennessee and Kentucky.  Third, is the taxes.  My county charges 9.25% on non-food items and prepared/packaged foods.  Frozen pizza? pay 9.25%  Ingredient type foods (rice, milk, meat, eggs, flour, fruits, veggies, etc) I have to pay 7.25% tax on those foods as well.  I THINK THIS IS WRONG AND PRICE GOUGING!! Kentucky has a REASONABLE 6% sales tax on non-food/prepared food items, and ZERO tax on ingredient type foods. This is how it was in Florida too, so it’s much more to my liking.  If I shop once a month it’s worth a very long day of hitting all the different stores for lower prices and lower taxes. I can save hundreds of dollars.  Yes, you heard that right….hundreds of dollars!!

As an example, I can shop at my local Wal-mart and spend $200-250 every seven to ten days, with tax that is around $215-270.00.  For this example, let say that I shop every 10 days, so for the month I would spend $645-810.00.  In Kentucky, I shop at Wal-mart and Aldi (this is another savings multiplier since my area in Tennessee doesn’t have an Aldi).  I will spend $200 at Wal-mart and $150.00 at Aldi, and because I don’t buy prepared foods, I don’t pay any sales tax.  For the month I can save $296-460.00 –  it’s ABSOLUTELY worth the trip!!

If Tennessee ever has a chance at significant growth, it needs to have a common sense, non-oppressive sales tax.