Hey All You Newbies....

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Old 03-12-2010, 12:32 PM
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Fyi Hey All You Newbies....

Welcome to the greatest grocery saving community ever, IMHO!! We're glad you're here. I've been with the forum for about six months, and can tell you I never saved so much on my food, EVER!! If you're keen on making your food shopping more affordable, you're in the right place.

In an effort to help you with some of the start up things I've come to learn over the last several months, through trial and error, let me offer the following:

You're going to learn a lot, fast!! You're also going to save a lot, in time!

Try hard not to get yourself overwhelmed or discouraged -- like anything really worth doing, it takes time to learn. Don't give up! Ask questions when you're confused. Everyone I've encountered here is willing to help.

While looking through the main threads in this forum, you'll become familiar with a bunch of coupon jargon as it pertains to shopping in general (like IPs, blinkies, peelies, CATS, OYNOs, etc.). If you see a term you don't understand, ask, someone here knows the answer, I'm sure.

Other things you may find useful:

1) Shop Rite posts its advertisement, weekly, online. The next week's ad is usually posted by Friday afternoon. Click the Weekly Circular link on the homepage, One Place. Your Place. | ShopRite Supermarkets to access it. . Someone in the forum very likely has a copy of it well in advance of Friday afternoon, and that's usually posted as part of the Free/Cheap thread.

2) Shop Rite has a program called, Shop Rite Family. Check it out here. FAQs. Through this program you earn points for your purchases that can be exchanged for rewards when certain point thresholds are achieved during the program period. You have to register your PricePlus card to participate.

3) Shop Rite participates in a program called, "Cellfire", Grocery Coupons. Through CellFire you can link coupons directly to your priceplus card. These coupons can be used in combination (stacking) with store coupons or manufacturers coupons, though they are limited in the sense that the cellfire coupon will only come off one item, no matter how many of the same thing you purchase. Cellfire coupons change periodically and can be re-loaded on your card after you use them.

4) Another beautiful thing about Shoprite.com is the Online Service, Shop Rite from Home. Through Shop Rite from Home you can look up the prices of items based on a store close to your location. You can also create a Master Grocery list that you can review weekly to see if any of the items you buy most often are on sale. You don't even have to use it to actually shop from home, just to prepare your strategic shopping list.

5) Most Shop Rite's I've been to have brochures available periodically either at the Courtesy Counter or at the Exit that include additional coupons/offers. Be on the lookout for them.

6) Strongly consider getting extra coupons for the items you buy most often, as that will help you reduce your OOP (out of pocket). In the beginning I was only getting 1 newspaper a week, so I was only saving a nominal amount. Now that I pick up a few each week, I can see my savings multiply on the products I buy most often. A good rule of thumb is one paper per person in your household.

7) All Shop Rite stores are not owned by the same party, so the rules regarding coupons will vary.

If I can think of anything else to add to this post, I'll create another entry. I hope you find this helpful!

P.S. I encourage the veterans and ultra savvy intermediate level forum contributors to add their expert knowledge to this thread so that we can most effectively help the newbies quickly get up to speed!

Thanks!

Last edited by brouhaha; 03-12-2010 at 12:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2010, 01:50 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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One thing I can think of to add:

8) Just as all Shoprites are not the same, neither are all cashiers and floor managers when it comes to coupons and how to use them properly. Expect that at times it is going to be a hassle, as you may end up knowing more than the cashier or even manager. Typical problems can include:
1. the confusion between the wording "one per purchase" (which means one coupon per item) and "one per transaction" (which means you can only use one of that coupon on that particular shopping trip and must do another one to use another of that coupon).
2. how a coupon is supposed to be entered if the item price is lower than the coupon value - this one is particularly true with the Marcal Small Steps coupons and with transactions that include only freebies as the cashiers sometimes don't know how to adjust them and the register will tell them that they owe you XXX cents and then they get confused
3. the number of catalina "save $xxx on your next order" coupons that you can use at one time...some cashiers take multiple at once and some will refuse if it beeps
4. customer service being unaware of their own catalina and even store promotions

Expect bumps and try to handle them with both patience (sometimes hard at the time) and knowledge of the promotion (go with notes so you know what to expect). Eventually you will feel more confident and it will go smoothly, so don't give up!!!
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:23 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Nickel.Pincher has posted more than 300 great deals!Nickel.Pincher has posted more than 300 great deals!Nickel.Pincher has posted more than 300 great deals!Nickel.Pincher has posted more than 300 great deals!
for people starting out, they might be a little overwhelmed, but that will subside once you build your stockpile.

you won't have to rush out and get every single deal. after doing this for a while, u will notice that prices come around again. look at something like coffee creamer, as long as ur not brand loyal, u can get international delight, when that sale is over, u can get coffeemate. this week barilla pasta is on sale, next time it's going to be ronzoni.

also, i should point this out if it wasn't obvious yet, but a lot of items(not all) are usually on sale for 2 weeks, even though it may only be advertised in the circular for 1 week.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:31 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Additional tips I can add are these:

Try and keep track of the coupons you give to the cashier. It's good to have some sort of record of what coupons you had in that transaction---the amount of the coupon, product item,how many coupons you had in total, etc, etc. I have had many a times where there was a coupon that was not recorded and, for the life of me, I would try and "recall" what was missing even though I knew I had maybe 7 total coupons or I knew that I had 5 $1 coupons used in the transaction and they didn't show up on the receipt. I've learned to keep a closer eye on the fact whether or not all of them were actually used.
Find a system that works for you. Right now for me it's really just a mental note of what I have visualized with the product I purchased. And I'm in a position where I don't really use that many coupons in each transaction. Of course, though, I do go several times a week so I can break it down to using fewer coupons for each transaction and thus, be able to keep track of them better.

You also want to make sure and give a quick look at the catalina machine before you finally leave. Again, there were times that there was a Catalina coupon(s) that might have been left behind if I didn't ask for it.

Another tip: CRUMPLE THOSE COUPONS!!!! The Internet coupons are notorious for sticking together and this causes the cashier to miss them.

I do hope this helps! I know from reading this post that I've learned a thing or two also!!

Enjoy your upcoming savings everyone!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:34 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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WOW! Thanks so much brouhaha. Everyone here has been extremely helpful, but here's a bit of info that is new and not stuck in a sticky!

I never knew about the shop at home price check and list capabilities! That's awesome!! I thought I was doing well at calculating my totals before, but now I will be a master.

You are all the most helpful bunch of ladies and gents I have had the pleasure of reading.

Thanks from the Noobs!
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:05 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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As a relative newbie, I'll offer the following advice...

There are no stupid questions. Ask away - everyone here is so helpful!!! If only I had asked about the Barilla this week, I would have known the Pecollini was free this week and ordered my Q's sooner. As it was, I thought only the whole grain pasta was free and I skipped it. I subsequently read the posts and realized I missed out. Luckily, it is on sale again and I'll make up for it this week.

Change the way you shop. There is no such thing as brand loyalty. I mean really, when you throw that tp down the toilet, do you really care what brand it is??? You can never have too many free/cheap groceries so stockpile like crazy when you see good deals. After a month or so, you'll have so much "stuff" that you can pick and choose the deals you really want.

Try to fly under the radar. Some cashier's tend to get a little jealous and it's better not to flaunt it. At the same time, if you find a cashier/employee that is really nice and helpful, share your Q's!!!

Lastly, our inserts don't always have the best Q's. Ebay and coupon clipping services are worth researching. For example, going back to the Barilla, our regional inserts had $1/2. But there were other regions that had .55/1 coupons. Doubled, that becomes $2.20/2 (ie free.)
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:42 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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ccaggiano- what clipping service do u use? im a newbie and i noticed that u mention that u dont pay as much for ur q's in the posts. TIA!

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Old 03-14-2010, 07:21 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Just 3 suggestions to add:

I would also include something about Shoprite's 4 Day price breaks. Wednesday - Saturday they have several items that are on greater than usual price reduction. Makes for a good reason to shop some time during this period. Items on 4 day price break are also often on sale during the week - just lower priced Wed-Sat.

Another item to mention - Rainchecks! I've gotten in the habit of checking the stock for drastically on sale items (whether I currently need them or not). If they are out of a variety, ask for a raincheck. One advantage to doing this is I can stock up during the sale on the types they have and then buy more a month later using the raincheck! I usually can get more coupons on the item before the raincheck expires - usually 60 days but some stores will accept them after their expiration date.

And finally, find out when and where their marked down items are offerred. I find that some stores have a cold-case with marked down meat, refridgerated bakery items and in-store convience foods. Sometimes marked down meat can be found in the meat section but sometimes up front. And I've found Thursday as good day for marked down meat - I guess they are getting ready for the weekend. There is typically another place for half priced baked goods. And Health and Beauty items might be found in another place.

BAGS:
One more thing - I would suggest ALWAYS bringing your own reusable bags. You can get a 5 cent credit for each one you use and this adds up. For example, if you use 10 bags a week, this will add up to $26 a year. Many people will use sigificantly more than 10. Don't forget to remind your cashier - they don't always ask. And if you and the cashier forget, just go to the customer service desk and they will refund you.

Last edited by smarkind; 03-14-2010 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Added BAGS
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:50 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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suspenselover has posted more than 100 good deals!suspenselover has posted more than 100 good deals!
I've learned so much this past week - thanks to everyone who takes the time to teach the newcomers.

Only thing I have to add is that I know of 2 Shoprites in New Jersey that take expired coupons - up to six months old. Dover and Wharton.

I shop for several food pantries and can use expired coupons - so e-mail me if you would like to donate some. This week I got 8 Fantastik for 50 cents per - with expired coupons.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:01 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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WOW! What a SUPER IDEA with the rainchecks! I honestly thought that you could only ask for a raincheck if the item was out of stock or if they sold out quickly! Everybody posted great information! TYVVVVVM!
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:49 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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You should also check out the YourBucks program, found here: ShopRite_YourBucks.html. It will send targeted advertising to you via e-mail or cell phone and for signing up you get a $2 OYNO reward.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:39 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by busylizzy View Post
WOW! What a SUPER IDEA with the rainchecks! I honestly thought that you could only ask for a raincheck if the item was out of stock or if they sold out quickly! Everybody posted great information! TYVVVVVM!
YMMV on rainchecks depending on your SR and/or the CS person. There have been times at my SR when the CS person refused to give a raincheck if they find the item still in stock. Other times, they will give a raincheck without checking stock.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:04 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Also, check your vegetable/fruit clearance at the end of produce isle or sometimes on a rack next to the produce exit to the storage area. some really good finds in there!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:23 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Thanks all. There is a shop rite opening soon (still have to figure out when) and they mailed me a card so I think I will check them out. It looks like they have some good deals. This is the first in our area so I have to figure out how they work. LOL. Very informative post!
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:39 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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I have been lurking for awhile and am now getting more involved. I admit to being a bit overwhelmed with it all - working 2 jobs full time, mother, wife, etc...
But there seems to be great tips throughout this site!
Thanks All!
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:31 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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mnopqr has posted more than 100 good deals!mnopqr has posted more than 100 good deals!
I personally prefer to go through the self-checkout line. I think it is easier with coupons. As long as a coupon scans, there is no problem using it. For example, a coupon that starts with "5" but says "do not double". A cashier may go by "do not double", but any coupon beginning with "5" will scan and double unless it is manually instructed not to double.

(Why on earth don't they make ALL coupons that are not intended to double start with a "9"? Starting with a "5" makes no sense at all, if they really don't want it to double.)
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:51 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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I prefer SCO too, however the DVD5 is YMMV. My store checks all coupons before you can scan and some do adjust the q for no doubling / overage.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:41 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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My SR has not SCO, there are a few cashiers who will check for DND, but for the most part I do quite well and luck out with the YMMV deals...so far ((keeping fingers crossed))
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:20 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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I am a newbie, thanks for all of this info. What I did not know is make sure you give the cashier any rain checks and b1g1 free coupons before they start to check you out. This eliminates confusion.
My Shoprite has SCO but the attendant has to scan all coupons for you. I have never had a problem there.

I have learned that the cashiers do not always know their own coupon policies. This is very annoying.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:19 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Thanks for all the great tips!!

I love my SR and after reading this I am looking forward to going back and saving!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:56 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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To remember the coupons I use during my shopping trip, i write my entire list on an envelope and highlight the coupons that I use. For example, if GM creal is on sale, i write it down and then hightlight the same writing so i know i used a coupon ( i most always put in parentheses how many i'm buying) and then match the coupons in the envelope. This has worked for me for a *while* now
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:54 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie1dg View Post
I am a newbie, thanks for all of this info. What I did not know is make sure you give the cashier any rain checks and b1g1 free coupons before they start to check you out. This eliminates confusion.
My Shoprite has SCO but the attendant has to scan all coupons for you. I have never had a problem there.

I have learned that the cashiers do not always know their own coupon policies. This is very annoying.
Which one has SCO? TR? I would love to try that, only thing is, that sometines the cashiers have to do manual over ride, and it comes out in your favor usually !
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:25 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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sco

Bricktown store has sco.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:05 AM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Thank You all for the great tips. I have a couple of questions.... When buying an item if it says one coupon per item then you cant stack MQ right? so are you all buying multiple items each with one coupon? Also can you recommend a coupon buying or clipping site for me to get started. Thanks and looking forward to getting some good deals!
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:31 PM

RE: Hey All You Newbies....

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emor View Post
Thank You all for the great tips. I have a couple of questions.... When buying an item if it says one coupon per item then you cant stack MQ right? so are you all buying multiple items each with one coupon? Also can you recommend a coupon buying or clipping site for me to get started. Thanks and looking forward to getting some good deals!
one coupon per item is just that if you buy 1 of x you can use 1 coupon. If you buy 2 of x then you can use 2 coupons.

One Coupon per purchase- same thin as one coupon per item.

One coupon per transaction means one coupon per shopping order.

One Coupon per customer means that you can only use 1 per shopping trip.

Hope this helps!
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