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The Coupon Lady: Food Lion's coupon rules

The Coupon Lady

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Knowing the rules of each grocery store chain is an essential part of becoming a master couponer. Each chain sets its own rules, and the rules can vary regionally and from store to store. Knowing the rules for each chain allows the couponer to check out with confidence. I highly recommend that a couponer keep a copy of the chain’s coupon policy in a coupon binder. Because each store can modify store policies, I often suggest that new couponers visit their closest store and ask a member of customer service to go over the coupon policy.

Food Lion does not double coupons, but the company just did a two-week trial of it in Charlotte, N.C.   JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
Food Lion does not double coupons, but the company just did a two-week trial of it in Charlotte, N.C.

Today we’ll take a look at Food Lion. Food Lion LLC is a subsidiary of the Delhaize Group. Founded in 1957, Food Lion was originally called Food Town. Today, Food Lion LLC operates approximately 1,300 supermarkets in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys and Reid’s.

Food Lion does not double coupons at this time. The company does have a coupon policy available on its Web site, but finding it takes a little searching. To reach it, go under the FAQ link at the bottom of the homepage, www.foodlion.com. Once the FAQ page loads, the last highlighted question will take you to a link for the PDF file of the coupon policy that can be printed out.

The policy is very straightforward. Food Lion accepts paper and Internet printable coupons from manufacturers, the store Web site and from Catalina Machines. Coupons must be within expiration date and must meet purchase requirements specified on the coupon. All limits will be followed. This means that if a particular coupon says “one coupon per transaction,” then multiple coupons for that item will not be allowed on one purchase. Overage is not allowed, meaning that you cannot make money and cash will not be given out. Food Lion limits coupons to 10 of the same item during a purchase.

Food Lion has several coupon offers available online. You can load coupons directly to your Food Lion card through the Web site. While you are checking out the site, be sure to sign up for the Shopper’s Companion, a weekly e-mail with tips and additional coupon offerings. You can also like the store on Facebook for special offers and giveaways.

Food Lion also participates in Saving Star, an online savings program in which you register your cards from several different participating companies. You then “load” offers to your account, and when you purchase those products, money is deposited into your account. Once you save up enough money, you can deposit that money directly into your savings account or use the money to purchase a gift card. You can use Savings Star in addition to paper coupons.

On Jan.11, the Delhaize Group announced that it would close 113 “under-performing” stores, including three in our area: two in Martinez and one in Evans.

On March 7, some lucky Charlotte Observer readers in North Carolina began a trial of doubling manufacturer coupons for two weeks at their area Food Lions. In 2010, 10 stores in the north Georgia area had participated in a similar test trial.

At this time, no official statement has been given regarding these coupon trials, but in an Observer article, supermarket analyst Phil Lempert said the chain is likely using the double-coupon event as “a test to see if it can drive traffic.”

In our area, Food Lion is definitely a coupon underdog.

Although I have found good deals there in the past, the store faces serious competition for consumers’ money when three other major grocery chains in our area offer double coupons. My hope is that the North Carolina trial will be such a huge success that the company decides to adopt its own permanent double coupon policy.

A girl can dream, can’t she? Until next time, happy shopping.

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