Thursday, November 6, 2008

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Saving $ on your Grocery Bill

Last night I went to a free seminar by Sue Stock, retail reporter for the News and Observer, to learn about couponing. Several people asked me to share the information with them so I decided I should write a few posts about it. Over the next couple days I'm going to blog about a few points she shared.

Master the Basics

Where do I get coupons?
  • Sunday paper (check Parade sometimes they have coupons.)
  • Store fliers, Web sites, e-mail lists
  • In-store displays and "blinkie" dipensers in the aisles
  • "Catalina" coupons
  • Packaging of products you buy
  • Friends, co-workers, neighbors. Start a coupon train
  • Online (,,, etc.)
What is a "blinkie"?
Blinkies are coupons distributed in stores by SmartSource Coupon Machines; the nickname "blinkie" refers to the machines blinking light designed to attract your attention while walking down the aisles. Machines typically provide a coupon directly in front of the product.

What is a "Catalina"?
Catalina Category Marketing (CCM) rewards purchases of promoted products with “catalinas”, also known as “check-out coupons”. These offer incentives good on your next shopping trip to that retailer. There is usually a 4-week window on any given program/incentive promotion.

When do the stores run their sales?
Each store has it's own sale cycle, with almost all of them lasting a week. Knowing when they begin and end can be key to helping you maximize your savings.

  • Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods and Food Lion put their circulars in the Wednesday Paper
  • Kroger puts it flier out on Sunday, though it sometimes runs a smaller flier on Wednesday as well.
  • The drug stores (Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid) all put their fliers in the Sunday paper. Kerr Drug runs it's flier on Sundays, though Kerr does not run one every Sunday.
  • Wal-Mart often, though not always, runs a circular on Sunday.

1 comment:

Lauren Piper said...

You probably already know this.... HT and Lowes will send you their weekly specials when you sign up for E-vic and the Lowe's Green card online. They even track what you buy and show you those specials first.

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