Shop smart and save more by using your inbox
Signing up for grocery stores' e-newsletters can give you the advance scoop on deals to help you save time and money.
Special to The Seattle Times
Where to sign up online
Safeway Just For U: safeway.com/ShopStores/Offers-Landing-IMG.page
Safeway Email Savings: safeway.com/ShopStores/E-Mail-Savings.page#iframetop
Fred Meyer: customer.fredmeyer.com/Login.aspx
PCC Markets: pccnaturalmarkets.com/enews/index.php
Trader Joe's: traderjoes.com/soapbox.asp
There was a time when nabbing the best grocery bargains meant driving from store to store, cherry-picking what you bought from each. But who has time for that? In our Internet age, there are easier ways to save money. I'm not talking about doing your actual grocery shopping online. I'm talking about letting the sales come to you. Most grocery stores let you sign up on their websites to receive coupons, regular sales fliers — and sometimes even notice of special sales — right in your email inbox.
Even if you live or work near several grocery stores, it takes time to navigate to each one, park, grab a cart and so on. The time commitment grows if one of your preferred stores is not close by. That's the case for many Seattle-area shoppers who enjoy stopping in at stores like Whole Foods, PCC Markets and Trader Joe's.
If you're on a budget, it's really not smart to make an extra or out-of-the-way trip unless you're certain you'll be getting more for your money. When you can browse your email for great savings, you can be confident that it's worth your while to put that store on your errands list.
Safeway's "Just For U" program offers digital coupons that you can load onto your store club card. The offers you receive are personalized based on your purchase history and the previous offers you've loaded to your card. The free Safeway app for iPhone and Android even lets you load coupons on the go. You can also sign up for email updates so you know when new coupons and offers are available on the Safeway website. If you only want to receive coupons, offers and recipes, you can opt to just sign up for Safeway's Email Savings.
QFC and Fred Meyer have similar programs that let you register with or without having a club card. You'll receive the weekly sale flyer, offers and coupons electronically, but if you do register with your club card, you will also be able to load coupons onto it and keep an eye on your rewards points. There's also a feature that lets you build a shopping list.
Whole Foods has several e-newsletters. For saving money, there are three to consider. Whole Foods Market News sends you the latest specials and online coupons, and the Whole Deal Value Guide gives you seasonal coupons, budget-friendly recipes and Sure Deals every other month. But the sweetest deals come from the Local Store News and Sales. That's how you find out about special weekend or one-day sales. These deals come almost weekly, and some of them are phenomenal. Recent blink-and-you'll-miss-them sales have included fresh cherries, blueberries and troll-caught Coho salmon.
PCC Natural Markets offers five email newsletters. The biweekly PCC Market Specials includes sales updates, and you may find the monthly PCC Taste useful for its recipes, cooking and nutrition tips and new product updates.
When you sign up for Trader Joe's Soapbox, you'll receive the Fearless Flyer and e-newsletter in your inbox (you can also sign up to get the Fearless Flyer by mail). Albertsons will email you its weekly circular, coupons and offers, and information on seasonal and in-store promotions.
Carrie Dennett writes about nutrition for The Seattle Times; her blog is nutritionbycarrie.com.