OK, so here's something you rarely see on my blog -- ALL my grocery purchases. I tend to only share my very best couponing deals, but I wanted to do something different this time. The reason for this is two-fold. First, I thought it would be good to show a more balanced and realistic view of the food that enters my household on a weekly basis. My family does eat regular food, afterall, not just the freebies and cheapies that I get with coupons! And second, I wanted to share my first price-matching trip to Walmart!!
You guys, I can't tell you how excited I am about this!! It was the easiest thing EVER!! I have to say, Walmart is really stretching in so many ways to make it easier for us to shop there. Their newest coupon policy now "officially" allows for overage, the managers and cashiers appear better trained and more friendly overall, and they're going even further now to allow price-matching at the register without the need for the ad!! Effortless!
Now, I have to admit something. Despite the policy, I don't think it's a good idea to go into Walmart and attempt price-matching without the ad. If you have the ad, take it with you. It's always better to be safe than sorry. If there happens to be a problem, you'll sure wish you'd brought the ad with you since no one likes to leave a deal behind. But as far as tonight's experience, I didn't even need mine! Here's how it went down...
1. Preparation. First, I looked through all the weekly sales ads I receive each week and chose items and prices I liked from each ad. Then I made a list and looked for coupon matchups at the HCW Coupon Database. If there was a good coupon that made the price even better, I clipped it and put it in my shopping envelope with my list.
2. Confirmation. Upon arriving at the store, I went directly to the customer service desk and showed the representative the ads I was hoping to price-match. I made sure they would allow all the stores I was hoping to match and got clarification on what items could be price matched. I was most concerned about HEB's ad where prices indicated are "with in-store coupon". I asked the rep. specifically about these and she smiled and said, "Yes!" I could price-match them! (I almost melted right there in front of her!!) She also confirmed they would price-match meats and produce. She made it very clear that it had to be EXACTLY what was in the ad -- same brand, variety, size. I then confirmed with her that I could use manufacturer's coupons against price-matched items! Again, she said "Yes!" I left customer service feeling confident and excited!!
3. Shopping. I used two shopping carts -- one for my price-match items and one for all my other purchases. This just made it easier for me to keep track of my purchases and save time later. Luckily, I have kids, so there's always someone happy to push an extra cart around.
4. Organization. Once I'd gathered my purchases, I got ready to check-out. I organized my ads and had them prepared in case they were needed (folded over to item, etc.) Then I wrote a list of all the items I was price-matching, with the price beside the item, and the store beside the price. (Next time, I'll know to have this prepared before I leave for the store.) Lastly, I took out all the coupons I would be using and counted them. (I do this so if one doesn't come off, I'll know just by counting them on my receipt.) I wrote the number of coupons at the bottom of the list as well.
5. Check-Out. When I got to the register, I smiled at the cashier and let her know I was learning how to price-match! I let her know I had all my ads for confirmation, if needed, but that I'd written down the prices for her. She explained that unless the price was WAY off, she would just type in the price I gave her. I'd been smart to put everything on the conveyor belt in the order found on my list - this made things easier. So as she scanned each item, I said the price and the store, and she manually entered it in. It was the easiest thing ever. Here are the items I decided to price-match.
3 Kellogg's Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks 12.2 oz. @ $1.50 each
- $1.50/3 coupon from the 4/10 RP
Final Cost: $1 each
Welche's Healthy Start Juice @ $1.98
- $1/1 coupon from the 1/16 or 2/27 SS
Final Cost: $0.98
Red Seedless Grapes $0.98/lb.
2 Dannon Danonino Yogurt 6 pk. @ 2 for $3
- 2) $1/1 coupons from the 2/27 SS
Final Cost: $0.50 each!
BROOKSHIRE BROTHER'S AD
5 Green Bell Peppers @ $0.59 each
Yellow Onions @ $0.39/lb. <--- fantastic price! I might go back!!
6. Paying. Once she'd scanned in all my price-matching items and then my regular purchases, I gave her the coupons from my envelope. Here are two more items I used coupons for. Prices shown are Walmart regular everyday prices...
4 Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables @ $0.98 each
- 2) $1/2 coupons from the Safeway Frozen Coupon Booklet
Final Cost: $0.48 each!!
Similac Sensitive Ready to Feed 1 qt. @ $3.84
- $5/1 coupon from the 4/3 SS
Final Cost: FREE + $1.16 overage!
**This coupon has a limit of 1 per transaction!! And only 2 varieties are priced at $3.84. Has a long shelf life! I'm donating this to my sister-in-law.
Everything else I paid full price for. I bought a lot of store brands because they're typically cheaper than national brands, unless you're using coupons. And I got plenty of meat, 2 gallons of milk (typical for our family) and 2 gallons of my husband's tea (the BANE of my existence, since I never get coupons for that stuff.) My total wasn't low or impressive. But I walked away from the store with a new-found confidence and the excitement that comes with having learned something new and helpful. And that, my friends, is priceless!