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Our Promotions Make Cents

When it comes to saving money on a big purchase everybody knows you should buy it on sale. That same philosophy applies to the grocery store, but with a large quantity of small purchases and unpredictable promotional schedules, it can be tricky to get in on the best deals in groceries. Here are a couple ideas for how you can save money every time you shop at the Willy Street Co-op. To get started I need to review the promotion programs.

Types of Promotions
Every week the Co-op has three types of promotions or sales called Owner Rewards, Weeklies and ESP (Everyday Sale Prices). We have ESPs on a number of staple products, and prices are locked in each quarter.

Products featured in our Owner Rewards and Weekly promotions are the best prices we can get because these deals come directly from the manufacturers or distributors and get passed on to you. Unfortunately, we don’t offer rain checks on out-of-stock items, so it’s a good idea to get what you want early in the promotion and if that’s not enough we can try to order you more before the sale ends.

Owner Rewards
These have a green sign and are rewards for equity-paying Owners of Willy Street Co-op. This program runs for two usually weeks starting every other Wednesday; in June this promotion will run June 1st–June 14th and June 15th–June 28th. Non-Owners are not eligible for these sale prices and will actually pay 5% on top of the regular shelf price which is why we list the non-Owner price.

Weeklies
These have a red sign and are available to all shoppers but non-Owners pay the 5% surcharge on top of the sale prices.This program runs for a week starting on Mondays and goes till close on Sunday.

You don’t have to memorize the dates of our promotions because the timeframe is listed on every sale sign.

Coupons from Co-op Deals
With the help of our good friends at the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) we are able to expedite the process of using coupons. NCGA works with manufacturers to establish the coupons’ values and the number of uses per transaction. Then we stock coupons in front of applicable products; there is also a sticker on the coupon trays with a number to indicate the quantity of coupons we will accept at the register per product per transaction. FYI—combining a coupon with a sale item is even better!

A Pantry of Savings?
Technically, a pantry is a room or closet off the kitchen for storing food, cookware and supplies, but you only need a shelf or two to start saving today because there are sales every day that can stretch your dollar and lower the cost of living. The basic strategy is to identify products that are already part of your diet and that you or your family like and target these items when they are on sale by purchasing enough to last a couple of meals down the road or even until the next promotion. Another idea is to utilize all of the refrigerated and frozen space you have in your home in order to get the most value and use of fixedenergy costs for these appliances.

Organizational Tips
1.) Organize your food storage space into specific areas by product category like beans, grains, rice, etc. so that when you start to get low you can add that category of products to your shopping list before you run out. 2.) All products should have an expiration date or code so you can make sure it won’t go out of date on your shelf. 3.) Make sure the product is not damaged so that it won’t spoil in storage. 4.) Stick a post-it on the last item you’ll use with the date of purchase and the quantity purchased so you can see how long your supply will last, especially if you want it to last until the next promotion.

Hopefully with this information you can shop your list and stock your shelves with the great products you like at the lowest prices. See ya in the grocery aisles soon!