New Ways to Save at the Supermarket
Yonkers, NY - There’s no debating that today’s grocery bills are out of control. Sadly, snagging a deal on household staples such as cereal and toilet paper can be as much of a thrill as hitting a great shoe sale these days.
However, there is some good news: Deals on groceries are getting easier to find as competition is heating up. The September 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports¸compiled a simple guide to the new world of grocery shopping and how to take advantage so that you can stretch your grocery dollars to the max.
“The price of groceries today is through the roof,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Luckily, the number of great deals and special incentives that grocery stores and other retail chains are offering is also on the rise, as these places try to encourage you to spend more of your grocery dollars with them.
Changing The Way You Save On Groceries
Between free shipping for online orders, an ever-expanding catalog of mobile apps and deals, and a slew of other incentives offered by grocery stores, the era of coupon clipping just doesn’t cut it anymore. ShopSmart suggests trying out these money-saving techniques:
- Coupon Sites and Apps: The biggest selection of coupons is still found online. Sites such as Coupons.com and SmartSource.com usually have up to 100 deals at any time, compared with no more than 30 coupons in newspaper circulars. Additionally, CouponMom.com and SmartSource.com have new mobile versions that let you scroll through offers and pick the coupons you want from your phone without downloading special software or apps.
But don’t stop there: More stores and manufacturers are loading their websites and smart phone apps with great deals. For instance, Grocery Smarts Lite, a new app for Android smart phones, tracks items and prices from the latest store circulars from CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart, then cross-references all possible manufacturers’ coupons with the circulars and show you the bottom line for each item.
- Social Network Offers: More grocers are using Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter to lure customers with deals. You can use Foursquare on your phone to get deal alerts when you’re driving near a store. Walmart uses Facebook to post coupons as well as specials at the store closest to your ZIP code. Whole Foods offers one-day sales, recipes, and more through Facebook and Twitter. Though a deal might not put dinner on the table, it could get you a break on a bag of chips or deli potato salad if you buy a pack of ribs.
- Store Sites: With dozens of sites and apps for finding and managing coupons, even veteran coupon clippers can feel overwhelmed. The solution? At the very least, focus in on the store or two at which you do your weekly shopping and check its websites and circulars for list builders and downloadable apps to organize your trip. Also, make sure to ask the store whether it accepts other stores’ coupons.
Must-See Supermarket Sites
A lot of supermarket websites can help you find a recipe, generate a shopping list, and print coupons. But some chains have morphed their sites into personal shoppers and diet coaches, with shopping lists and menu advice from nutritionalists. They’re also using social networking sites to make special offers. Here are a few standouts:
What’s New: It has always been a great site for healthful, budget-friendly recipes, cooking videos, and solid nutrition. (Click on “Health Starts Here” for advice.) But now you can connect with your local store on Facebook and Twitter to access exclusive deals and in-store events, such as craft-beer happy hours, lunchtime cooking classes, and tastings of new products.
Don’t Miss: Connect with your local store (at the home page enter your ZIP code and select the store you like) for daily deal alerts and other special events.
What’s New: Even though Wegmans is a regional chain with stores in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the site is worth checking out for diet and nutrition advice no matter where you live. Under “Eat Well Live Well” you’ll find great meal-planning tips if you’re cooking for people who have food allergies, diabetes, or gluten sensitivity. The company has also pledged not to raise prices on 40 of their customer’s favorite products for the rest of 2011.
Don’t miss: Click on “Eat Well Live Well” and check the “Daily Meal Template” to see what your breakfast, lunch, and dinner portions should look like. Also check out “Kitchen View” for full-screen recipes—for reading without scrolling.
If You Do Nothing Else…
Ok, you have a life, but you still want to save. We’re with you on that. If you do nothing more than these basics, you’ll still score plenty of deals.
- Start clipping:Get multiple copies of the local paper for extra coupon savings. Also, check in-store dispensers, receipts, and products themselves for coupons.
- Sign up:Registering for websites such as CoolSavings, Coupons.com, and GrocerySmarts.com is free and gives you access to tons of downloadable coupons.
- Always carry your store loyalty card:If you keep forgetting, try the free CardStar mobile app, which stores all your loyalty cares electronically in one place.
- Watch the register!: Make sure that you’re getting the sale price and that all your coupons are scanned.
About ShopSmart magazine
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon Consumer Reports’ celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. The magazine features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. ShopSmart is ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.
TopicsBarnes & Noble, BOrders, Consumer Reports, Coupon, CVS, Facebook, Foursquare, Grocery Stores, Kroger, LIsa Lee Freeman, Publix, recipe, Rite-Aid, Safeway, ShopSmart, Supermarkets, Target, Twitter, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Walmart, Yonkers NY