New Ways to Tame Grocery Bills
ShopSmart : How to spend less and get more-plus new in-store programs that can help you save
YONKERS,NY— Grocery stores are offering a slew of time and money-saving incentives including free shipping offers for online orders and an ever-expanding catalog of mobile apps and deals. The September 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, features a simple guide to the new world of grocery shopping including tips for stretching your grocery dollars to the max.
“Coupons alone will no longer help you achieve maximum savings at the supermarket,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “We’ve identified some new tools that can save you time and money, track your spending and help get you healthier.”
Must-See Supermarket Sites
Grocery-store websites are a surprisingly great resource for coupons and flyers, as well as savings tips, meal-planning help, nutrition advice, even cooking tutorials. Here are a few standouts:
BEST FOR: Ordering groceries in your pj’s. This online grocer has expanded, adding locations in Manhattan, Philadelphia, and southeastern Pennsylvania (it’s also in cities in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as Washington, D.C. Shop by aisle and see the week’s specials as you go. It has always been a great site for healthful, budget-friendly recipes, cooking videos, and solid nutrition. Train commuters inChicago and Philadelphia can even place orders from the station.
DON’T MISS: The site’s large organic section lets you find your favorite by brand or by aisle.
Safeway.com, Genuardis.com, and Vons.com
BEST FOR: Recipes and healthy-living tips. In its free newsletter, you get great meal tips and coupons. Also check out the Weekly Specials, hover over a deal to add it to your shopping list, then print it. You can get home delivery in several cities in Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington, and in Washington, D.C.
DON’T MISS: Store’s active Twitter accounts; see @Safeway, @genuardis, and @vons_pavilions for a heads-up on sales.
Money Saving Apps
Your neighborhood grocery store probably has an app that can help you shop smarter and save more when you buy everyday essentials. Check your smart phone’s app store to find it. And while you’re at it, download these too:
BEST FOR: Keeping cards handy. CardStar holds all of your store savings cards and gets you automatic coupon discounts, too. Available for Android, BlackBerry, iPad, and iPhone.
Grocery Smarts Coupon Shopper
BEST FOR: Maximing Coupon Savings. This app matches store circulars—for CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart—with manufacturer coupons and tallies your savings so that you’ll know where to shop. Available for Android.
BEST FOR: Digital Coupons. Quickly find coupons and nutrition data for every item on your list with this easy-to-use app. Push notifications warn you when coupons are about to expire. Available for iPad and iPhone.
More In-Store Savings
Supermarket companies are working hard to make grocery shopping more convenient—and believe it or not—save you money, too. Here are some of the cool new things happening in stores.
- Safeway is rolling out its Just for U program to its family of stores (which includes Vons and Dominick’s). It lets you download personalized coupons to your loyalty card and see weekly specials sorted by what you regularly buy.
- Stop & Shop is testing Scan It Mobile in stores in the Northeast. The free app (for Android and iPhone) let you scan your groceries with your phone and bag them as you go. You can track your spending on the fly and access custom deals and weekly savings through your linked loyalty cards. To pay, head to the self-checkout counter and scan the posted “end of order” bar code and your loyalty card.
- Target. By year’s end more than 1,100 stores will include a remodeled 10,000-square foot section filled with fresh produce and meat. (Remember that Target matches competitors’ advertised prices.)
About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues inWashington,D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.
Source: Consumer Reports