Shoppers can save big with coupons

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There's nothing better than getting double for your money. Several grocery stores offer "double coupon days," which reward customers with extra savings on their purchases.

Here is a list of double coupon days at several stores:

KROGER: Customers are awarded double coupons every day. The coupon must be 50 cents or less in value to receive the extra savings.

For coupons above 50 cents, customers can receive only the value printed on the coupon.

PUBLIX: Publix also offers double coupon days each day of the week. The store will provide the double savings on manufacturer's coupons valued at 50 cents or less.

The grocery store accepts traditional competitor's coupons. If another local grocery store has a tangible coupon that can be clipped out of the paper (not a regular ad), Publix stores will accept them, according to Publix corporate officials.

BI-LO: Stores double coupons that are 75 cents and less every day, said local store managers.

FRED'S: The chain doubles coupons up to 70 cents every Saturday. The store accepts regular coupons each weekday.

FOOD LION: Customers who sign up for the store's MVP Card can receive e-mails with specials, coupons, meal ideas and giveaways. To receive the promotions, Food Lion consumers should sign up for the Shopper's Companion e-mail program at www.FoodLion.com.

The grocery store uses market data to target coupons and promotions based on customer needs and preferences. For instance, MVP customers who make regular purchases of dog food will receive coupons for dog food and other pet-related merchandise.

Similarly, customers who buy diapers will receive coupons for diapers and other baby products, according to Jennifer Anderson, a corporate communications specialist at Food Lion.

RECAP

If you missed The Pinch last week, here are some highlights:

SAVING AT THE DOLLAR STORE : Shopping at dollar stores can help consumers save on a range of items. According to Market Watch, dollar stores can provide up to 70 percent savings on household supplies.

The Dollar Tree sells every item for $1. This is an excellent place to shop for cleaning supplies or household items such as plastic wrap, sandwich bags and dryer sheets.

You can find greeting and holiday cards at low prices, too. They're usually priced at 2 for $1, which is considerably lower than at most stores.

Additional deals at dollar stores include shampoo, school supplies, food-storage containers and snack foods such as potato chips and crackers.

At some dollar stores, not every item is priced at $1 or below, but there are discounts on most of the products.

The quality of the items at dollar stores is comparable to those in grocery or retail stores, according to Market Watch. The stores can offer low prices because they purchase most of their merchandise at reduced rates from wholesalers.

PUNCH CARDS CAN PAY OFF: Many stores offer punch cards, which reward customers with a free item after a certain number of purchases. If you're a frequent shopper at a restaurant or store, ask whether the retailer offers punch cards for repeat customers.

Many other businesses offer punch cards, including New Moon Cafe in downtown Augusta.

The key to using punch cards is to be consistent with presenting your card and receiving the punches. Keep your card in a safe place, such as your wallet, and remember to earn your points.

Reach LaTina Emerson at (706) 823-3227 or latina.emerson@augustachronicle.com.

Read LaTina Emerson's blog on saving money and shopping smarter in Augusta at blogs.augusta.com


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