Make the Most of 15% Tuesday- Part 1

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15% Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of the month. It  can be a great way to trim your monthly grocery budget. You must approach it with a plan or you could end up spending more than if  you had shopped on a regular shopping day. Just because you're getting 15% off everything you buy, it doesn't mean you should buy it. I'm going to show you how to walk into the store with a plan and walk out saving money and even gaining extra points.

There are 3 different tools to use on 15% Tuesday. The tools are sales, coupons and the 15% discount. You want to combine at least two of these tools and if possible, all three, to really see a difference in your grocery bill.

Let's start with a few tips before you even look over the flyer and make your list.

1) You must be familiar with the prices of everything you normally buy. Let's take body wash for example. Let's say you normally buy Dove body wash and you pick it up on 15% day so you can save a little money on it.  If your body wash is not on sale and costs  $5.99, the most you save on it is .90c. I have seen this body wash go on sale at Save On Foods for as low as 2.99. You would be better off to buy a couple bottles at that price and stock up, than buy it on 15% day.

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Now I'm going to tell you to do the the complete opposite with meat, fish and produce as you should with body wash.  This is why - meat/fish/produce prices don't fluctuate that much from week to week as body wash prices do. Look at what kinds of meals you cook during the month and buy enough meat, fish and produce to last until the next 15% day. More then likely you pick up milk, yoghurt, produce, and bread every week. Try picking up as much as you need for the month  and freezing most of it. This will also save you a lot of time and cut down on your weekly trips to the store. Remember milk can be frozen as well.

2) If you use coupons, 15% Tuesday is a great time to use them. Combining all 3 tools will save you the most amount of money. A few months ago, Save On Foods had a $5 Kraft promotion. For every 5 selected Kraft items you bought, you got $5 taken off at the till. The Christie crackers were on sale 2/$5. Definitly not a stock up price but with the promotion, I would be paying $1.50 a box. I also bought them on 15% day so another 38c was saved on each box. $1.12 is a stock up price and I also had a few .50c cracker coupons so some of my boxes only cost .62c!

3) Do some calculations before you hit the store. I go through the flyer very carefully and have a calculator handy. I find sale prices, take off the 15% and see if that's a stock up price or just a great price on an item that I need. Stock up price is the lowest possible price that you have seen on this item. Sale cycles usually happen every 6-12 weeks, so keep that in mind when you decide how much to buy.

4) Don't forget to check the clearance section. If you can get to your Save On Foods first thing in the morning when the meat has been reduced, you may score some fantastic deals. Clearance meat is not bad meat, it's meat that they won't sell in a few days, therefore its reduced. I have never had a problem with reduced meat or any meat at Save On Foods for that matter. I would consider their meat to be some of the best quality meat in the city. So let's say you find a $10 package of chicken breast with a $2 sale sticker on it. Along with your 15% you are going to pay $6.80. Most Save On Foods usually have a clearance shelf or manager's specials somewhere in the store. If you don't know where there clearance shelf is, just ask the manager.

 

5) Don't forget to check the warehouse aisle with cases of veggies and jumbo boxes of items like cereal, granola bars and paper towels.  A really good time to stock up on items like these, is during the case lot sales. Usually items like tomatoes, vegetables, & soup will be a  "stock up" price if you shop the case lot sale along with 15% Tuesday. Take the time to calculate the per serving price on these warehouse items. Sometimes buying a couple smaller boxes is still cheaper.

6) Always scan your More Rewards card when you come in the door. You make get extra points for buying a certain amount of items. Also on the back of the flyers there are often extra reward points coupons for buying certain products or buying $100 or $200 worth of groceries. If you are going to spend $100 on groceries anyway, you might as well get an extra 2500 points for it. Last year I acquired enough points to get a freezer for free! I would consider More Rewards points to be one of the best points program in Canada.

The flyer comes out on Friday so you have plenty of time to look it over and plan your shop.

If you are planning on using a lot of coupons, check with your store manager. Some stores don't allow a lot of coupons to be used on 15% day because it may hold up lines. Perhaps your manager would like you to come in at a certain time when it's not so busy or even a different day and they will still give you the 15% off. If you find your manager is not flexible on this, and you always have a lot of coupons to use on 15% day- it may be worth it to seek out a different Save On Foods that will work with you - even if it's not in your neighbourhood. My local store in Sherwood Park is fantastic with couponers and works to accommodate those couponers who may have long checkouts!

Check back tomorrow and I will have part 2 for you. I will go over in detail what's in this week's flyer and what I think are good deals and not so good deals! 

Part 2 - http://www.biglifesmallbudget.ca/journal/2014/3/2/make-the-most-of-15-day-part-2