Thursday, August 5, 2010

Grocery Store Savings - Part 4 (Retailers)

Every grocery store chain has its own coupon policy.  Also, individual regions and stores may have their own guidelines.  It is imperative you know where they stand or you could be missing out on some huge savings.  The best way to find out is to talk to the manager of the store where you shop.  They are more than willing to share that information with you knowing you are trying to act ethically.

After saying that, this is the perfect time to talk a little about coupon ethics.  By now you have probably received a .pdf file of coupons for FREE this and FREE that.  I can unequivocally say those are fraudulent.  How do I know?  Because reproducing coupons constitutes fraud.  Internet coupons have unique serial numbers that are used for each specific coupon in an attempt to combat fraud.  If you want to check if your coupon is valid, here is a running list of fraudulent internet coupons.  Will your average Walmart take them?  Probably, but if you use fraudulent coupons, you ruin it for everyone else.  Retailers will eventually refuse to take internet coupons.  Please take a minute to read "Coupon Ethics" by the CouponGal and make sure you are using coupons with a clean conscience.

While I can't list all the retailers here, I will try to touch on the most prominent ones to get you started.  If you know of any to add to the lists, please post them for everyone.

There are two national grocery chains I know of that price-match: Walmart and Target.  By far, Walmart is the most lenient, even price-matching produce (the policy cites "like" items).  Again, each store may have its own rules, so check beforehand.  Target is more strict.  You need to make sure it is for the exact same item, brand, and quantity.  Price-matching can save you time and money by only having to shop one store.  Just remember you don't get the advantage of double or triple coupons.  If you try it, make sure you have your items, sale papers, and coupons organized before you hit the check-out lane to prevent an all-out riot.  Okay, maybe not a riot, but at least a lot of muffled griping.

Coupon Doubling/Tripling:
These stores generally triple coupons in the $0.25 or less range and double coupons in the $0.50-$0.26 range, although I have heard rumors of some stores doubling $1 coupons.  Oh, that I should be so lucky!
  • Albertson's
  • Brookshire's
  • Kroger
  • Publix - in select areas (also takes competitor's coupons)
  • Safeway - in select areas 
Make sure you are a rewards member for every store that you shop.  Sign up with the store on-line as well.  Many stores send special discounts to rewards members, particularly through email.  If you are worried about email spam, simply set up a free email account specifically for in-store and on-line deals.

One store I particularly love is World Market.  I can often find gourmet and natural ingredients there that I can't find anywhere else, plus they have a great rewards program.  I don't have the luxury of living in Dallas or Atlanta where there are great stores on nearly every corner, so it is a God-send.  Check out my World Market Explorer post on why I love them so much.  Here's a hint: coffee!

Finally, I want to talk to you about shopping at drug store chains.  Each of the Big Three (CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreen's) has its own unique savings program, and they can be a bit complicated.  You can save a ton of money if you shop them wisely, particularly on toiletries and makeup.  To learn more about how to make the most of drug store sales, watch the CouponMom's tutorial.

Dindin Pictures, Images and PhotosTomorrow wraps up our Savings Series with a bonus:  Saving Money by Shopping On-Line!  How would you like to save a ton on your upcoming Christmas purchases and receive cash back when it is through?  I will show you how.  Tomorrow begins our Coupon Organizer Giveaway as well, so tune in!

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