Grocery coupons work. Used wisely and doggedly, smart shoppers can create fabulous savings each week on their food bills using grocery coupons. And who does not want to save money, especially in these tight economic times? If many of the claims made on leading coupon websites and on shoppers' blogs are to be believed, people not only pay less for many of the things their families use each week, many are able to actually combine store coupons, manufacturer coupons and in- Store sales to get some groceries for nothing.
How can supermarkets continue to stay in business if they give away groceries for free? Profit margins for most supermarkets are slim enough. Would not you think the last thing that would want is a bunch of people spending less money in their stores? And yet they encourage it! Many of the grocery coupon flyers that stuff our mailboxes are printed by supermarkets, and more and more grocery store coupons can be found on-line at supermarket and other shopper-friendly web-sites.
So the obvious answer is that supermarkets like, and see a generous benefit in, grocery coupons that far outweighs any losses that rack up when shoppers use coupons. Here are a few things that know about us that we might not know about ourselves.
1. We're Not As Loyal As We Think – Overall we are a pretty faithful lot, we shoppers. With all the choices available to us every time we walk through a supermarket's sliding doors, chances are we going to put the same brand in our carts that we've been buying for years … unless we can get something just as good for less Money. "Coupons have always been an effective way to encourage trial and repeat purchase and are proving to be a bright spot in an otherwise dreary economic environment," according to Matthew Tilley, director of marketing of the Nielsen Company, the well-known survey company that Tracks supermarket sales patterns.
2. We're Not As Strong As We Think – Sure, we might be saving $ 2 off our breakfast Cereal and $ 1.50 off ground coffee this week, but we did not also pick that package of chips or cookies at full price. And what about those sale items we did not plan on buying, but picked up because they were placed at the end of each aisle where we could not miss them. Supermarkets know it's only human nature to buy on impulse. They know where to put those impuls items so we can not miss them as we go up and down the aisles.
3. They Are Smarter and Better Organized Than We Think – Grocery stores spend a lot of time and money figuring where to put their items to increase your chance of buying them. They also know we might be tired after a long day's work or in a hurry to get the shopping done and pick up Suzie at ballet. Even with our grocery coupons, we probably do not spend the time and effort we could to outmaneuver and beat the supermarkets at their own game. Did you know that supermarkets have even determined that shoppers are more likely to spend money when shopping counterclockwise than clockwise? It's true. According to the market-research firm Sorensen Associates, counterclockwise shoppers spend $ 2 more per trip than those who go the opposite direction.
4. They Think We Will not Notice – Quite often, a sale offered through a grocery coupon may not be the very lowest price a shopper can find for the goods they are buying. In truth, the real savings may lie in the generic store brand or a competitor's basic brand. Supermarkets must realize, however, that we tend to take things on a face value and if we are holding a grocery coupon that impressions we are getting a value, we believe we are getting a value and will not take the time to compare other prices .
Okay, so maybe there is no such thing as a free lunch – or bar of soap, for that matter, even if you buy two and get one free. Maybe supermarkets know what they are doing and the deck is stacked against you. That does not mean that savings can not be found using grocery coupons. It just means you, as a dedicated savvy shopper, have to work a little harder to stay ahead of the game.