Friday, March 27, 2009

Shaw's--stock your pantry

While Shaw's supermarket does not have particularly good everyday prices, it does sometimes run awesome weekly sales. The key to buying groceries at Shaw's (or any grocery store) is to stock up on items when they are at their lowest prices. It's difficult to save money on staples, so if you can buy nonperishables and long-expiration products cheaply, the savings help pay for milk, bread, etc.

Shaw's often runs deals such as "Spend $20 on ConAgra products and get a $10 coupon good on your next order." There have been similar deals recently on Kraft, General Mills, and Kellogg's products. These promotions are great for stocking up on items very cheaply and sometimes even for FREE. The amount you have to spend is before coupons, and at many Shaw's stores (including mine), it is also based on shelf prices. The latter is not, to my knowledge,
advertised by Shaw's, but the registers are programmed that way and it is a giant bonus when doing these deals. I generally use the HCW coupon database to see what coupons I have that match up with the items included in a given deal. Shaw's doubles coupons up to $.99 in value, but the register will only double six of the same coupon, so be careful when planning your shopping trips. In the Shaw's forum, other HCW users often post the shelf prices for items as they buy them, so I use those numbers to preplan transactions. I try to get my OOP as low as possible for
the first transaction, and then an "on your next order" (OYNO) coupon prints from the catalina machine at the register. I then "roll" the catalina into another deal. At Shaw's, unlike Walgreens, you CAN roll a catalina back into the same deal.

Other than the catalina deals, Shaw's doesn't have many regular deals worth writing about. Every few weeks, Shaw's has chicken breasts and/or ground beef for $1.99 or even $.99 per pound, so we usually stock up at those prices. At least twice recently, there was a coupon in the circular to get free bags of potatoes, carrots, and onions when you buy a beef roast, which is a pretty good deal.

You do need a loyalty card to get the sale prices at Shaw's. The card is also used to track your purchases so that Shaw's can send you occasional home mailers with coupons for products you buy. There are also rewards programs for people with children (Ducklings Rewards) and pets (Pet's Club)--I do not have pets, but I signed up for the Ducklings program. There are offers such as "Purchase 20 jars of Beech-Nut baby food and receive a coupon for a FREE Beech-Nut Let's Grow Toddler item," but I do not have to buy all 20 jars at once, because my spending is tracked. I get an email every time I buy qualifying items so I know how close I am to earning a particular reward. These are year-round promotions, but the offers do rotate.

Right now, Shaw's is running a gift card promotion--buy a $250 gift card at customer service, and get an extra $20 added to the card for FREE; buy a $300 gift card, get an extra $30 added. It may take a while for me to spend that much at Shaw's, but gift cards don't expire and I can't turn down free money! You can buy as many gift cards as you like, and the offer expires on April 15, 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment