Try a New Store, Snag New Deals! Holiday Savings Tip #6

by on December 19, 2010 in Personal Experiences,Store Deals & News

12 Days of Christmas Tips to Help You Save!

On the sixth day of Christmas…

I want to encourage you to try a new store. You never know for sure what kind of savings you can get at a store until you do a little looking and compare some prices. If you have days off around the holidays, that is the perfect time to visit a store you don’t normally shop at.

Check out a new store and you may find surprise savings!

Before my coupon-loving days, I refused to shop at Kroger unless I was desperate to get supplies for an outing and that was the nearest store on the way to wherever we were going. Now though, that’s the first stop on my weekly grocery rounds!

I didn’t realize how much you could save by shopping at Kroger until I started educating myself about using coupons. There are many weekly deal sites out there that offer summaries of different store sales each week, and Kroger is a hot store to track. When you save your coupons and watch for their sales, you can snag items for dirt cheap or for FREE, allowing you to stockpile items for your pantry or food storage. It’s pretty awesome.

CVS Pharmacy is another store you might want to check out. You can grab a lot of deals on health and beauty supplies, but I have also used coupons with sale ads to get grocery items there, too. A few months ago I got two boxes of Quaker Oatmeal packets for $.50 each!

This year during the Black Friday hoop-lah, CVS offered crazy Extra Care Bucks (ECB) deals anyone would’ve been nuts to pass by! In fact, just yesterday I worked a deal stacking a CVS store coupon that printed from their Extra Care kiosk (always scan your CVS card when you get there!) with a coupon from online and matched them to a sale ad deal that snagged me two bags of Hershey’s kisses for $.50 each after the $2.00 back in ECB that printed after I checked out. Not bad!

Kroger and CVS aren’t the only stores where you can snag deals like these. Find a deal site that summarizes store sales in your area, or look for a high profile site that offers a weekly store deal summary for your store, even if they are in another part of the country.

It doesn’t matter what store, but look around a new one sometime. I went through a Dollar General once because I always see their inserts inside the Sunday papers here. They actually carry a lot of things, more than I thought, but I don’t have the time to add another store to my weekly rounds. Three is enough for me!

Do you think you might like to check out a new store?

When visiting a new store, consider these things:

  • Do they have regular sales and promotions? Many stores, if large enough, have weekly sale ads in the newspaper or on their website. If you shop at a store long enough, you learn what sorts of sales they have and how often they rotate promotions. If you wait for the right sale, it can really pay off! Also find out if they have store coupons they issue and if they will price match against other stores’ fliers.
  • Speaking of coupons, find out the store’s coupon policy! If they accept coupons, you need to know what kind of coupons and how many they will accept. Some stores only take coupons that are non-Internet coupons, and other stores will take those plus Internet coupons. Some might restrict how many of a certain coupon you can use at once, and other stores will take any and all coupons as long as it doesn’t make their register beep in error.
  • Check the prices of non-sale items, too. A store can have great sales on very specific items and make it seem like you could save a lot if you shopped there, but if you tried to shop there for regular, everyday items it could be very costly. Check out the meat department, produce section, dairy and freezer aisles and any other parts of the store you normally would shop. Unless you prefer to shop exclusively at one store every week, you can usually get the best bargains by splitting your shopping up between stores, grabbing the sales wherever they are and getting the lowest price on the other items you need wherever you can.
  • Find out if they have any Store Programs. Specifically, store loyalty card programs or other special savings programs that are unique to that store. These kinds of programs can be a real benefit! Without a Kroger Plus Card, shopping at Kroger would be expensive! The CVS Extra Care Bucks (ECB) program is the only reason I shop there. Most prices are too high, but they do run sales that give ECBs back. With coupons you can sometimes get items for very low prices if you factor in the ECBs you get back. They’re basically store credit, so as long as you return to redeem them in time, it’s free money! When I get ECBs from deals I do for things for my home, I use them to buy formula for my daughter. It allows me to get it cheaper there than anywhere in town!
  • Do they carry the items you buy? This is a big one. If you buy certain brands, or like to buy specific types of products, you need to know if you can get them at this store. For the items you buy over and over, you need to know if they carry your brand, and for how much. If you look at a single item, you need to try and find out the sale price, and if that sale price is cheaper than where you normally buy that item. If you can’t find your regular weekly items at the store, adding it might not be a good idea.
  • Try to determine how much you could save by shopping there. This is difficult because the only way to really assess this is to shop there for a period of time and track your savings. If the store has sale ads online or in the newspaper, you can easily watch the sales for a few weeks and see what you would have saved if you had gone to the store. Additional things to consider would be the time, gas and energy it would take to go to a new store each week.

I know this is a lot to take in, but deciding where to shop is a big deal!

After the 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Savings Tips is over, I have a Guest Post lined up from Mama Rizzo. I’ve asked her to share her Aldi’s story! She’ll cover why she shops there and what some of the deals are that she gets. I hope you’ll check it out!

And of course, I have to remind you that there is still time to enter my giveaway!

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