I shop mostly at Bi-Lo because I find them the easiest to help me save money. They take competitor’s coupons, manufacturer’s coupons, printed coupons, and their own coupons (automatically prints at the register when you check out). Plus, they double coupons up to 60 cents. No other store in town matches all those criteria. One thing I have noticed is the Bi-Lo regular price on name brand items is pretty high. For example, we like the Cascadian Farms granola. You can usually find it at regular price in Ingles for $3.99, without a sale. At Bi-Lo, its $5.29. However, things get interesting when things go on sale at Bi-Lo – they frequently have Buy 1 Get 1 Free sales every week, with every item going on sale in cycles about every 6 to 12 weeks. So, when I get a coupon for Cascadian Farms, I save it for a sale. Right now, I have a manufacturer’s coupon for $1 off of 2 Cascadian Farms products, plus a Publix coupon for $1 off of 2. If it goes on sale at Bi-Lo while I have the coupons, I would get 2 boxes for $5.29, minus the $1 manufacturer’s coupon, minus the $1 Publix coupon, for a total of $3.29 for both boxes, or $1.65 each. HUGE difference between paying $5.29 per box versus $1.65 per box. That’s what happens when they go on sale, and when a store has great coupon acceptance policies.
Right now, there are coupons available for Yakisoba noodles for 55 cents off. Those double at Bi-Lo to $1.10. Yakisoba usually sells for $0.99 a box, which would make it free with the coupon at Bi-Lo. At every other store in town, either they do not double coupons, or they only double coupons up to 50 cents, which would make the noodles $0.44 anywhere else. Small example, but add that up to the rest of your groceries, and you’ll see how your final payments change.
One big difference between Bi-Lo and Publix though, is that Bi-Lo does not allow overages. An overage is when the amount of the coupon is greater than the price of the product. You’ll see this happen with doubling and Buy 1 Get 1 sales. For example, if a product is normally $1.59 – like pasta – and it goes on sale for Buy 1 Get 1 Free, that would make the price around $0.80. If you have a coupon for $0.50 off, it would normally double to $1.00 off, minus the price of the product at $0.80, which would leave an overage of $0.20. At Bi-Lo, what they will do is either not double the coupon or adjust the amount of the coupon to match the product so that you will get it free, but no overage. However at Publix, they allow overages. That’s why I usually split my purchases between Publix and Bi-Lo. If I have coupons that will double and get an overage at Publix, I use that overage to purchase other products that normally don’t have coupons – like fresh fruit or store brand items. At Bi-Lo, I’m just satisfied with the product being free, plus like I mentioned before, you will still get credit for your Fuelperks before coupons.
I know I’ve said this before but no one and no company pays me to say this. I’m just telling you this because this is how I do it and how I save money and I’m just passing on the information.