Benefit: Gas rewards
How it works: Gas programs partner with grocery store chains to offer shoppers savings per gallon based on spending. Some grocers use a point system, so shoppers might receive one point for every dollar they spend. For each 100 points earned, for example, shoppers get 10 cents off a gallon of gas (up to 35 gallons). During the holidays, some retailers up the ante. For every 100 dollars spent on gift cards, shoppers receive 40 cents off a gallon of gas.
Where to go: Kroger, Vons, Safeway, Giant, Stop & Shop and others.
Benefit: Mobile apps
How it works: Many stores offer mobile apps that do the couponing legwork for you. Such apps provide instant access to the store’s weekly ad and in-store coupons. Some also allow you to create a shopping list, search for sale items and comparison-shop between brands.
Where to go: Safeway, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Kroger, Meijer.
Benefit: Online coupons
How it works: Simply visit the store’s website prior to shopping and type the word “coupon” in the search box. Alternatively, just Google the store’s name and coupon. Not only will you discover valuable savings on products you already buy, you may also uncover special prices on perishable items like bread.
Where to go: A variety of stores (both grocery and retail) offer online discounts to savvy shoppers. In some cases, you may not even have to leave your house!
Benefit: Personalized coupons/club memberships
How it works: Grocers provide shoppers with special savings on products they already buy. Buy the same brand of milk every week? Chances are, you’ll notice savings on future purchases since discounts are based on shopping history. You might even encounter big savings with discounts like “buy one, get one free.”
Where to find it: Kroger, Safeway, Vons, Martin’s.
Benefit: Double/Triple coupons
How it works: On specific days, select grocery stores will double or triple coupon face values. For example, on double coupon day, a $1 off coupon will be worth $2 off. Such huge savings are becoming increasingly difficult to find, but for savings that big, it’s worth a try!
Where to find it: Albertsons, Safeway, Frys, Kroger, Giant, Acme—but only available in some states, usually on specific days within certain limits. Check with your local store.