Wednesday, February 3

Grocery sales disappearing?

Has anyone noticed a distinct lack of impressive sales in the last couple of months?

Of course, there have been weekly specials. There have even been some decent deals. (Last week, Fry's had Keebler Fudge cookies for 99 cents, which made us happy.) But it seems like some of the staples just aren't going as low as they used to.

It's been at least 6 weeks since I've seen Albertsons do a special of "Buy X participating products, get $X off." That usually happens at least ever 3 weeks. I haven't seen any stellar cereal deals in over a month, either. If a register coupon hadn't printed out, I could have only gotten two boxes of cereal last week. (It was $1.88 per box, so the coupons brought it down to $1.38. That's still more than I'm used to paying.)

I don't know how many of you have a Fry's near you, but it seems like it's the store staying the closest to normal sales trends. It's had offers of special savings when you buy 10 products. Even then, I haven't seen as many of the usual items on sale.

It also seems like, when the deals are on, it's getting harder to match coupons to the sale items. I'm not trying to be whiny. I still do okay. Last week, I even got some items free after coupon. Still, it's making me wonder what's going on.

Part of me is blaming the recession. As people tighten their belts, they are becoming more budget-conscious shoppers. So they'll use a coupon and a sale, but won't keep buying after that. In other words, coupons aren't doing as well at building loyalty among consumers. That could cause manufacturers to rethink large coupon values -- or perhaps even the frequency with which the savings are issued.

But maybe it's just a seasonal thing, though I don't recall sales changing this much in previous years. And I know it's not just me: My mom has confirmed that the sales in Seattle have been a little lackluster.

What's happening in your area with sales and/or coupons? Any idea what could be causing the shift?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the opposite quite true. I commented to a friend of mine how great the sales have been recently. About a year ago I saw what you mentioned, in my area. But the last few months they have been great!

February 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Blogger Abigail said...


What area (or, at least, state) are you in?

February 3, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Anonymous Elizabeth said...

The sales in Chicago seem the same as always to me. It's the sales tax that always adds so much - we have "the highest in the nation." Not something to be proud of. It's funny (in a bad way) to see tourists question cashiers, thinking something must have been run up twice...nope, it's the darn tax.
But we never have double coupons, and are taxed on the shelf price (i.e. taxed on the coupon value too), so I don't think we ever have had as good of sales/deals as I hear some people report, so maybe what I think of as decent sales are like your lack of sales.

February 3, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Blogger Money Beagle said...

I've noticed the same thing here in the Detroit area. We used to find great sales on stuff that we could also use coupons for, and stock up. Lately I've noticed our pantry is a little bit empty, and it's because there haven't been as many sales on stuff we use regularly.

I've even noticed this with the Costco coupon books. Over the past few months they've seemed to have more 'big ticket' items and less everyday stuff than they had even a year or two ago.

February 4, 2010 at 4:24 AM

Blogger Monroe on a budget said...

I'm also near Detroit and it's very much a hit and miss. The stores seem to be directing their promotions to try to keep traffic during the slower times - such as third week of the month. You just have to plan accordingly and don't stock up more than you need during the weeks when prices are high.

February 4, 2010 at 5:25 AM


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