It Came From The Aisles – Saving A Buck

On Sunday, the my wife, Cora, and I went grocery shopping.  Pretty standard weekend activity.  We grocery shop together every weekend.  It's kind of "our time" together.  One thing that's kind of cool is how we've gotten into saving money on the tab with about as little effort as possible.
We can't be like those "EXTREME COUPONERS" for a few good reasons:
  • We live in Chicago.  None of the stores double or triple your coupons, or allow for overages.
  • We live in a 2 BR condo & rent a mostly full storage unit.  Space is at a premium.
  • To quote my mother "I don't want to die with all my cash tied up in toilet paper."
  • Despite rumors to the contrary, we aren't freaks like that.
Our two main grocery stores, Dominick's and Jewel-Osco (Safeway & SuperValu vs. Albertsons, respectively) both offer their discount club cards.  Weekly discounts on whatever.  We normally shop Dominick's, and one thing I like is that while they usually advertise things like, "2 for $5.00" but it's really priced @ $2.50 each.


But now they've started something new, called, "Just For U" where you can load even more discounts "coupons" on to your card.  The trick is, you've got to go to the website, and put the deals on your card.  There are 3 sections: Coupon Center, Personalized Deals, and Price Match.  The Coupon Center are their deals for everyone.  Often, there's a deal for like, "$1.79 a gallon on milk, must buy 2".  Not shabby.  (The last two weeks, the milk is gone, but we've gotten a dozen free eggs each week.)
The personalized deals are based on your buying habits, and targeted at you.  I know that there are people out there who don't like the idea of the grocery store knowing what they bought, so the idea of getting tracked and targeted ads like this really bothers them.  But you know what, I don't care if the store knows that we buy their store brand of peanuts, and they offer us a deal on Planters peanuts @ 16 oz jar for $2.93 vs. the regular $5.99.  (A real personalized deal this week.)
AND, they've got a section where they price match some of the deals from Jewel-Osco and Target.  (Our local Target stores have been pushed by the city / county / state to offer more groceries, including fresh foods.)  This section usually doesn't have a whole lot, but it's better than nothing.
I know that sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't.  Maybe 10 minutes on the computer, then printing it out, and having it with you, so you can remember what the deals are.
But, as they try to make very clear, the savings do add up.  It's not always 39%.  Last week 'swas 29%.  The week before that 37%.  Not being Rockefellers, saving an extra $24 for a couple of minutes websurfing is a deal I'm willing to make.
Anybody else out there doing the "Just For U" thing?  How are your savings?  Does your store chain have a similar thing?
Next up:  It Came From The Aisles!!!


Cora said...

It's like a game! "How much are we going to save THIS week?" 39% was pretty darn good, I think.

I also like hoarding the paper coupons in my purse because sometimes they add up to great savings too. As you know, we got free bananas and dental floss at Target because of coupons last week. We got more free dental floss at Target this weekend. And I think if we play our cards right, we can get free toothbrushes later this month (I'm just waiting for the right sale to start up!)


Shana said...

Good deals!!
There is nothing like that where I live. Oh, I got a dollar off laundry soap a few weeks ago and thought I scored big!

Padded Cell Princess said...

So many of my friends in the States are crazy couponers and save tons on groceries. Sadly they don't do coupons here so we mostly have a process of learning which stores have the cheapest things and jumping from store to store. We have one butcher where we get chicken from, one butcher where we get beef from, one convenience store where we get canned tomatoes from, and so on and so goes. It's a bit frustrating since food is more expensive but we do whatever we can to cut costs. I'm amazed at how much you have saved! Now excuse me as I go cry into my discounted potatoes ;)

Ellie Mae said...

Haha, love the quote from your mother!
I shop much of the time at Harris Teeter--yeah, never heard of it either 'til '93 when we moved to SC and went to the NC beach w/friends--for 2 reasons: it's the closest and most convenient, of course we drive everywhere here, and they DO double coupons up to .99 and sometimes up to $1.98. I stock up, within reason, on things on sale plus a coupon because then it's even cheaper than going to Walmart. I also hit up Aldi and Walmart and occasionaly Food Lion and Lowes Foods. HT used to do a giveaway about 3X a year, but they've done away with that the last couple years. Giveaways would be for purchasing $40 (or 45) a certain number of weeks and then you'd get a gift card or a roasting pan, or a gazebo...very exciting stuff. I still have an aerobed in a box in the garage I got and have never used!

Ellie Mae said...

Oh, yeah, on Sunday I got free Dawn detergent plus another bottle for .49 and then received a $1 coupon off my next HT purchase. Woohoo. I really don't get that excited about grocery shopping, really. No, really. :)

Vodka Mom said...

Im sorry, but I am SO laughing about the
T"o quote my mother "I don't want to die with all my cash tied up in toilet paper."


Scope said...

Cora - It IS like a game. A game that pays off.

Shana - A Loonie's a loonie. Too bad more there aren't easier ways to save on food costs, eh.

Padded Cell Princess - And I thought we were crazy for stopping by the bread store to save $5. You run all over town to fill your shelf.

Ellie Mae - Yeah, great quote, until you realize you're down to a couple of sheets and there's no spare to be found!

Vodka Mom - See my response to Ellie Mae. The woman wasn't kidding.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Omg your mom is a genius!!!

"I don't want all my money tied up in toilet paper" is probably one of the best lines I have ever heard.

Padded Cell Princess said...

Since we have a shelf, and a drawer in a stand up freezer, we have to grocery shop in bits...at least every other day or so...without a car... And people think European life is so romantic ;)