laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

sahm: price matching 101 06/22/2009

Filed under: Saving Money — ccatet @ 9:00 am

if i had a clue about price matching when i was still working, it would have saved me significant time and dollars every week. if you’re still working but trying to save money, pay close attention! if you’re home and looking to reduce your store trips each week, you will probably like this too.

in columbus, meijer offers price matching yet i imagine at least one grocery store in every area offers the same guarantee. read the fine print on your store ads and ask around, my guess is you’ll figure it out. not surprisingly, meijer’s price match guarantee is not noted anywhere on the website. however, the price match guarantee logo is typically located on the lower back cover of their weekly ad. signage is also posted in the store but seriously, who reads that stuff?

anyways, in layman’s terms, meijer will match the price of most items posted in the store circulars of most competitors. let me give a little more to chew on for those italicized terms. first, meijier will not match prices on meat, produce and store branded items. second, meijer will match prices against kroger, cvs, walgreens, target and marc’s to name a few. i was told they will not match prices against a “discount” grocer. not sure who that would be, but ok, i will take their word for it.

price matching is perfect when you find great prices on a few items at a few different stores however you only have time to hit one store that week. also, if you have a coupon that can be doubled at the price matching store, it can increase your savings by getting a price match in combination with a doubled coupon.

now you know what price matching is… let’s put it into action.

first, let’s talk the science of price matching. it’s sunday and you’re looking at store ads. first, find the items you need and make sure to look through ALL of the ads. let’s say CVS has 12 oz Kraft BBQ sauce on sale for $1.00. you need bbq sauce, you like kraft and you have a $.50 coupon. would you go to cvs and buy it or do you price match?  PRICE MATCH! CVS does not double coupons, meijer does – which would make this item FREE at meijer after the price match and the double coupon. it may only be $.50, but over the course of many items and many shopping trips, this adds up.

in short, utilizing this widely unknown guarantee can save you money and reduce the number of grocery trips you make every week.

there is an art to price matching as well. how do you communicate the match with the cashier so they don’t hate your guts when you come through their line? to make matters worse, if you already have 30 coupons, they will hate you on sight. my solution: be as organized as possible when checking out. first, make sure to take all of the ads to the store and flag the items you’re planning to match (i use post-its…this saves me lots of flipping around time in the store). second, a friend taught me to hold all price matches to the end of transaction and lay the competitor ad on top of the related item. if i am loading bags or get distracted, it reminds me to point out the advertised price and allows them to quickly override the price as they scan. they will shoot daggars at you if you make them scroll back through the entire transaction to find the items you want to price match. it will slow them down, it will slow you down and the end result is that nobody is happy.

is there ever a time when price matching is not the preferred option? sure. i don’t price match when the original store is offering rewards, a free item or a gift card for the purchase and/or when the coupon won’t double and create additional savings (meijer will not double coupons over $.99). outside of these scenarios, price matching wins.

i hope this helps someone out there save a few bucks and if not, maybe just get a little more thoughtful about shopping trips. i will admit that this budget-driven life is not for everyone, but i think it may just be for me.


One Response to “sahm: price matching 101”

  1. Renae Says:

    Love this! I need to be much better about this myself. Thanks.

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