I dedicate this column to everyone in Richmond who isn’t morally opposed to saving money on groceries, but doesn’t have the time to peruse price tags and scour sales circulars. I do all the legwork for you, and condense the very best deals into top picks in several categories.
I dedicate this column to everyone in Richmond who isn’t morally opposed to saving money on groceries, but doesn’t have the time to peruse price tags and scour sales circulars. I do all the legwork for you, and condense the very best deals into top picks in several categories. I’ll also discuss a general tip for saving money at the store. This first week, I’m keeping it simple with one of the most painless/basic/obvious grocery savings techniques:
Store loyalty cards: Carry ’em. Use ’em. Love ’em.
Whether they’re called “Valued” or “Plus” or “MVP,” loyalty and reward programs are all the rage among retailers. (My keyring is currently blinged out with no less than 12 mini cards.) Register for free by filling out a form at the customer service desk. Being a member of the store’s ultra-non-exclusive “club” bestows several benefits:
- At Kroger and Ukrop’s, the sale prices usually require the use of a shoppers card. It gets scanned during each purchase to give you the discounts. No card, no savings. (Although you can use your registered phone number as alternative ID when you forget your card.)
- The store gives you additional coupons and discounts attached to your shopper’s card. Fuelperks at Ukrop’s is an example, where you receive bigger gas discounts the more you spend in the store, as tracked on your Valued Customer card. Also, Kroger sometimes mails or prints special coupons for Plus customers.
- The newest advantage is the ability to load “e-coupons” onto your card. E-coupons are a tip for another week, but they are your friends and only work if you have the card.
This week’s best buys:
Meat Top Pick:
Whole pork tenderloin is on sale for $2.98/lb at Ukrop’s, regularly $4.99/lb. My husband grills a mean tenderloin. For an extra kick, rub on some Weber grilling spice, only $1 apiece at Kroger right now.
Fruit and Veggies Top Pick:
I like potato prices at Ukrop’s this week – reds, whites or Yukons are $.84/lb (half-price).
Dairy Top Pick:
Pay just $1.19 for 18 eggs at Kroger. It’s a good example of dropping food prices; just a few months ago the “sale” price had hiked to $2.
Staples Top Pick:
Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad or Kraft Pasta Salad box mixes are $1.25 at Ukrops. These are great to have on hand for last-minute picnic side dishes!
Snacks & Sweets Top Pick:
This week the best bargain is at Target, where 9 oz Cheez-Its, 12-ct Pop-Tarts, Fudge Shoppe cookies and other selected snacks are $2.33. Buy 5 in one transaction to receive a free $5 Target gift card.
Beverages Top Pick:
May 25-31 is Virginia’s “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” and bottled water is included on the list of tax-free items. Pay $3.99 for 24 bottles of Aquafina at Ukrops, or $3.99 a Deer Park 24-pack at Kroger. Also, Walgreen’s has generic spring water 24 packs for $2.99 (Limit 2, use store coupon from the weekly circular available in the store).
Household Top Pick:
Diapers are big expense. This week’s Huggies deal at Kroger is a must if you, or someone you know, wears disposable diapers. Huggies jumbo diaper packages are on sale for $8.99 each, and you save $3 automatically when you purchase $15 or more of Huggies items. Buy 2 packages, and combine with manufacturers’ coupons and e-coupons from Cellfire and Shortcuts for some (relatively) cheap diapers.
Find more deals by accessing the stores’ weekly ads online: