Wednesday, May 14, 2014

beginners price matching

This week I decided to dabble in the world of couponing & price matching.
I've had a good friend begin this venture and save a TON.
I figured it was worth a shot!
I love shopping AND saving money!

Note: I normally grocery shop primarily at Aldi & Costco, so never really paid attention to weekly circulars and coupons.

So here's how it began.
My friend gave me some ads from last weeks paper and I clipped away.
I then sorted them by category into an accordion file.
I also then wrote down in a little notebook each coupon I had, so that I could easily reference it.

Today, the weekly grocery ads came and I scoured to see if 1) there was anything we really use/needed and 2) any stellar deals.

Most were snooze-worthy for the Free household, except for the Price Chopper celebration ad.
It contained several things we constantly use at cheap cheap prices.

So this evening, I ventured off (alone!) to Target to scour the clearance, coupons in hand and to try price-matching for the first time.
I was a bit nervous!

So here was my set-up as I made my rounds:

Before I even stepped into the store, I checked Target's Price Match policy and coupon policy.
I then went around the store and only found deals worth purchasing we price-matching the Price Chopper ad.
My hope was to price match, plus manufacturers coupon, plus 5% off.
Reg. price $2.50, ad price $1.48 (limit 2)
Jif peanut butter and Smuckers grape jelly

Reg. price $1.59 ad price $.59 (limit 3)

reg. price $1.99 ad price $.89 (limit 4)

reg. price $2.99 ad price 2 for $3, plus manufacturers coupon for $1 off 2

reg. price $2.50 ad price $1.48 (limit 3)

So after grabbing my deals, I nervously headed to Customer Service, where you have to ring up to price match (annoying.)
As soon as I strolled up, they stopped me.
"We don't price match Price Chopper".
I asked why?
They said because it uses a loyalty card for their specials.
I told them the Target site said they would only not honor paid loyalty programs.
Price Chopper's is free.
They called in the manager.
The manager said the same thing.
But couldn't find it in their written policy.
Then said, they couldn't honor it because it was a limited time special
(aren't all ads limited specials?)
He did point out something to that effect in their written statement.
I told them I'd love to support them, but if they wouldn't honor it, I'd go to WalMart.
They said they wouldn't.
I left.

People, this is like the only time I've left Target sad.
Like, ever.

So I put my big-girl panties on, got in my car and drove to Wal-Mart.
I really don't like Wal-Mart.
There is one like 1 minute from my house, but it annoys me like no other.
The store is fine, but the lines....
OH the lines.
They are long, and annoying and take forever.

BUT I was determined to get my deals.

  Same set-up.
I quickly went through the store, snagging the same products and went to the check out, ad and coupons in hand.
(Score one for can check out at a regular register).
I again, nervously showed the ad to the cashier and she quickly and nicely matched all the prices.
Not a single hiccup.
So, $18 later, I loaded my car.


Here's what I learned:
*I will no longer attempt to Price Match at Target. Too much hassle and waste of time.
I will however keep scouring their own ads for deals that stack well with manufacturers coupons and their Cartwheel app.
* If I see an ad special that I'd like, I will immediately go to Walmart. Save time.
* Having a price book, with written list of coupons I had helped SO much. It really helped me streamline my shopping.

So, couponers and price matchers.
Share your best tips, secrets & deals! I'm a newbie and would love to learn more!