Saturday, May 19, 2012

Price Chopper: All the Ways to Save

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I was very excited to walk through my Price Chopper store this week to see all of the new pricing changes. I am in there so often I had prices memorized and I could immediately see that there really were changes made throughout the store. As someone who regularly coupons, I have a different shopping strategy than most people that I would like to share with you step by step - here in this post and I also have a video I made as well. Where you see words bolded and in this color, you can look below to get further explanation. And so we begin!

When planning my weekly trip to Price Chopper I always start with the ad to see what special offers they are running in their grocery & non-grocery departments. I first look for any Catalina offers or Special Gas Rewards Deals. If these are items I use and/or need, I include these in my plan. Next, I look for BOGO Offers or 1/2 Price Deals. These items are so deeply discounted that the stores usually limit how many you can buy. If I can pair the sale with a coupon the savings are exceptional. Lastly, I scan the ad for any advantedge sale items priced low or items that I know rarely go on sale. 

Now that I know what I would like to buy, I then search for coupons to stack with the sales. A coupon + a sale gets me the best discounts and value. Searching for coupons includes checking my email, using Price Chopper's Facebook page, Website and Price Chopper's e-coupons available right on their website. These coupons are great since I don't need to print them or clip them. I just click them and they are added to my advantedge card, coming off at the end of my transaction at check-out. 
No fuss coupons, I like 'em!

Okay, I've got my coupons and my list so I'm ready to go to the store. First stop inside - the iSave kiosk machine near the entrance. I always scan my advantedge card to see what coupons I will get. Generally there will be manufacturer coupons and store coupons for brand name items. But what I love are the store brand coupons that are geared specifically towards me. Meaning, when I scan my card, I get coupons for Price Chopper Bread, Price Chopper Juice, Price Chopper Vegetables, Price Chopper Fruit Treats - all items I purchase on a regular basis. I LOVE that they give me another way to save with coupons on their own brand and stuff that I buy all the time.

Right across from the iSave kiosk is a huge display of Ragu on Price Break for $0.99. A really really good price for Ragu and pasta sauce in general. I bought these earlier this week when I did my main shopping trip. 

I tend to head to produce next to pick up any specials I saw in the ad or anything I may want to complement my meals for the week. This week, the Dole Salad Blends are on sale 1/2 Price for $1.99. That is the best price around the area for bagged salad. Plus, I found a store coupon in my Summer Cheers magazine from Price Chopper for $1.50 off. That makes the salad $0.49 and a really hot deal. 

I make my way over to the meats department so I can take advantage of another great 1/2 price sale this week - Split Chicken Breasts for just $1/lb. Such a great deal. I noticed signs up this week too that say you can bring any meat to the meat counter and they will add a rub to it for you for Free. I can't wait to try that out this summer! I grabbed a 5 lb package of chicken so it cost me just over $5. But, I also had a coupon from the Cheers magazine which took $2 off - so, 5 lb of chicken for $3.19. SO awesome. 

I'm gonna need BBQ sauce for my chicken and this week many condiments are on sale for the upcoming holiday, including the BBQ Sauce. I pick up KC Masterpiece because it is 1/2 price, plus there was a $1.00/2 coupon in the Sunday paper. The price is then $0.59! I grabbed 4 bottles ( they were well stocked) since I bought chicken earlier this week as well.

I head over to the dairy section next to pick up a box of the new Kraft Milk Bites. I had a $0.75/1 Printable Coupon (which will double to $1.50 since Price Chopper doubles coupons $0.99 and under) plus another $1 off coupon from the Cheers magazine. The Milk Bites are Price Chopped at $2.99, so with my coupons the final price was just $0.49 for the box. 

I'm also grabbing the Heluva Good cheese that is on sale 2/$4. I have a $0.50/1 coupon I am going to use, plus a $1.00 off coupon I found in the Cheers Magazine making one brick of cheese Free. Then, I am going to buy 2 more bricks of cheese and use the $1.00/2 coupon I found in the paper to get 2 more free with a tripler coupon.

On my way through the Frozen foods department, I noticed that McCain's Purely Potatoes are Price Chopped for $2.69 (reg price $3.99). These aren't on my list and I know that there is a coupon for them available on the McCain's site, so because they are Price Chopped I know the price is good through July 14th. I can wait til next week or longer to bring my coupon in and get a great deal.

I am almost out of coffee and if you know me, you know I like the instant coffee single brews so I head to the coffee aisle to get my Nescafe Tasters Choice fix. I don't have a regular coupon for these, but I do have a Target coupon for $1.00/2. My Price Chopper takes Target coupons as competitors coupons so this helps to save a little on an item that normally doesn't often have coupons. In addition, Price Chopper is offering a $1 catalina when you buy 2 of the Nescafe Taster Choice. This prints out at the register after I have checked out.   

Besides coffee I happen to love Iced tea and rarely treat myself to it. This week there is a Bonus Coupon for (2) Lipton Brisk Iced Tea 128oz Jugs for 2/$4. These are regularly around $4 each so this is another great deal!

Walking through the Juice aisle I note that the Price Chopper Cranberry Juice flavors ( we love the Cranberry Strawberry) are all now on Everyday Low Price for $2.49. That alone is a fabulous price for juice, and I remember that last week it was $2.99 - so the price really is lower. When I came shopping earlier this week I received a coupon for $1.00/2 from the iSave machine making the juice just $1.99 each. Now that is what I call value.

We use a lot of paper plates in my house and I cant resist getting the Hefty Plates that are 1/2 Priced this week. The cups are also on sale and I picked up a couple of those earlier in the week. I have a coupon from the Sunday paper which takes $1.00/2 and with the sale price of $1.49 + a Tripler coupon - I get the plates for free.

Each store also has a rack of clearance bakery items and I saw a box of bakery Red Velvet Cookies for $1.99 - I can't resist treating myself and my kids!

How can we have picnic type foods without ice-cream? Perry's Ice-cream is on sale for 3/$7 (Reg. $3.99) plus there is a $1.00 coupon from the Sunday paper and again I use a Tripler coupon with it to get 1 1/2 quarts for $0.50. Yeah Baby!

My last items involve taking advantage of this week's Catalina offers from P&G. Earlier this week I bought some Charmin bath tissue (which is Price Chopped through 7/14) and diapers, and I am going to buy more plus some Bounty Paper Towels. At home I selected the e-coupons to load to my card, but I did forget to print my list of which coupons I added. I pick up (1) package of Pampers Diapers with my $1.50/1 Printable Coupon, and (1) package of Bounty paper towels and (1) package of Charmin bath tissue. I have an e-coupon for the Charmin, but the size is wrong for the Bounty paper towels so that e-coupon won't work.

I now head to checkout and purchase my items in a particular order so I can save the most. If there is a catalina offer, I generally will buy these items in one transaction, and then use the catalina to pay for the second transaction I do that day. I shop at a very busy store, and typically limit myself to 2 transactions/day so I don't disrupt other shoppers.

So, I already said I shopped earlier this week and had one P&G $5 catalina, so I use that towards today's P&G catalina deal and end up paying $24 for diapers, and big packs of Charmin and Bounty. I receive another $5 coupon at the end of that transaction. Not too bad. 

My second transaction is the rest of my items in my cart. I have my coupons arranged carefully with my triplers attached so things will be easier for the cashier. Now, one thing I neglected to check - to make sure that each coupon could be doubled or tripled. The Heluva Good cheese - said "Do not Double", so I couldn't use my tripler on that. I had also picked up a bottle of Minute Maid orange juice that I was going to use a tripler on, and instead found out that on the back it said "Do not double". Instead, the cashier used my tripler on my BBQ sauce and Hefty Plates and while I wasn't able to save the entire amount off, I was able to get 2 of the BBQ for free and the plates for free. Free works for me!

My (2) transactions' subtotal was $97.78. After AdvantEdge card & coupons my total was $41.36. Remember, $24.07 of that alone was the paper towels, bath tissues and diapers. The rest of the items were $17.29. Pretty fabulous for Coffee, Orange Juice, Iced Tea, Ice-cream, 5 pounds of chicken, granola bars, BBQ sauce, paper plates, Cheese and Salad and bakery cookies. Not too bad at all. :)

Plus, I am half way to earning my 10 cents off a gallon of gas too from this trip! (My shopping trip earlier this week plus this one put me over the $100 requirement so I was able to earn the 10 cent once and am on my way to earning another!)

If you are more of a visual learner, check out this video I made of this shopping trip:

Need the terms explained a little better? Here is a quick summary of how the pricing works at Price Chopper:

Price Breaks

Items that are on Price Break each week are very deeply discounted ( generally more than 1/2 off). You can expect stores to have a large quantity of these items available for purchase.

Prices Chopped

Look for these signs throughout the store to signify items that have been Price Chopped - meaning the price stays chopped for 4 weeks, 8 weeks or 12 weeks. There are thousands of these items in the stores, and unlike in the past - they are continually adding products to the Price Chopped list. Personally I like this concept because I can easily plan my budget for each week knowing ahead of time what the price will be. 

Every Day Low Price

Items marked with the Every Day Low Price are items that are just that - the same consistent price for several weeks on a variety of staples. Today, tomorrow, next month or 4 months from now the price remains low. In the video below I note that Price Chopper brand Cranberry Juice used to be priced at $2.99 for a 64oz bottle. This week I was pleasantly surprised to see it lowered to $2.49, plus when I scan my Advantedge card at the iScan machine I sometimes get a coupon for $1.00/2 Price Chopper Cranberry Juice. I was able to get juice that we love for $1.99/bottle. That really rocks for me!

BOGO Free Specials or 1/2 Price Sales

These deep discounts each week present a huge value to shoppers. You can spot these deals clearly within the ad each week. Centering your weekly meal plan on these items can really help to bring down your weekly bill. When a Buy One get TWO Free Sale happens - run, don't walk to the store. If you can pair it with a coupon, the savings are unbelievable.

AdvantEdge Specials

These are all the deals you can find in each week's ad that lasts only a week or two. A temporary reduction in price, if items that you love go on sale - grab not one, but a few to get you through until the next sale.

Bonus Coupons

Bonus Coupons are found either in the ad each week, at the Price Chopper site or on their facebook page. Bonus Coupons generally give you a deep discount on a variety of products. You can only use one of these a day and if it says "Store Coupon" at the top - you can pair it with a Manufacturer Coupon and save even more.

Before heading to Price Chopper, I always check to see if there are any e-coupons I can use. Not having to print saves me ink, and not having to clip saves me time. Many of the coupons are for P&G items and are actually better than the coupons we get in the paper. In the video below you will see I was able to score a $1.00/1 coupon for Charmin - typically the newspaper coupons are $1.00/2. I like when I can save more money easily.

Competitors Coupons

If your Price Chopper store is around other similar retailers, they may take competitor coupons. What competitor coupons each store takes is up to the individual stores - one store may take a Target coupon while another may not. The competitor coupons cannot be used with (stacked with) another Manufacturer or Price Chopper store coupon. 

Double Coupons

A long standard in CNY, now ALL Price Chopper stores double coupons $0.99 and under. If the doubling of the coupon exceeds the price of the item, you get it for free, with no overage. We are very lucky that stores like Price Chopper double coupons - this is not the reality of stores across the country - a great benefit to living in this area. 

Don't forget to get your Price Chopper coupons from their facebook page or their website. You can view the entire Price Chopper Coupon Policy Here.

*Disclosure:  Price Chopper gave me a $100 Gift Card to use while exploring all the ways to save. All opinions expressed are my own.
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