- WinCo shoppers need to know prices and when the items are at their lowest. WinCo changes their prices on most items about every couple of weeks. They will hit the lowest about every 2 or 3 months. Dairy and meat products change the most. Milk and eggs stay about the same. I have seen prices fluctuate from $1 to $3 on one item. The chicken strips I normally buy are about $3.98 - $4.98, this week they were $7.98. I won't buy them until they come down in price. It will probably be a couple of weeks, then I will start stocking up.
- Start a price book. For the items you normally buy start a price book. You can take it in the store and write down the prices or do it at home from your receipt. After a couple months you will really start to know your prices. Now, swing into another store and take a look at the prices of the items you normally buy. You won't believe the difference. The one item I can't believe is Tillamook cheese 2lb block. Albertson's and Yoke's will sell them for $9.99 and at Winco it's normally $5.98. This is a staple item for us and I can't image spending $10 for something we go through all the time. After you know your prices you no longer need to keep a price book. I really thought I new prices until I started one; I was amazed. Now I know the lowest prices off the top of my head.
- Know when to stock up. Now that you are keeping a price book and know your prices, stock up when items hit their lowest. Use your freezer and pantry. When items hit their lowest grab about 4 to 6 weeks worth. Some of the things I stock up on is Ball Park Franks (~$2 stock up) and Tillamook Udderly Chocolate ice cream (~$3.38 stock up). I have a freezer in our shop so I will stock up and keep them in the extra freezer. WinCo normally will keep their prices for a couple weeks so you have time to stock.
- Coupons. WinCo in Richland, WA takes printables, some of the others don't. Ask the manager if your store takes them. Coupons can really lower the prices when you shop at WinCo. I was picking up Yoplait Plus Yogurt for $1. They were on sale for $2 and I had a bunch of $1/1 coupons. I know when you only have $3 in coupons you think why bother? Well I look at my cart and see something that is $3 and I figure I got that for free. Or look at the overall price I paid for that item, like my yogurt for $1. I purchase coupons from The Coupon Clippers on a regular basis. That way I have several coupons of the items I purchase on a regular basis. This is great for the WinCo stores that don't take printables.
- Your receipt. WinCo's receipts don't really help you to know how much money you really saved because they don't list sale prices. That does bother me because you don't feel like you saved much; but my suggestion is take a field trip to another store like Albertson's and write down the prices of the items you just purchased at WinCo. You will be totally shocked on how much money you saved just shopping there. I can leave the store with a cart full of groceries for $75 and at Albertson's I would have spent about $130 or more.
- Shopping at other stores. I shop at Albertson's and Safeway for the sales that I know are cheaper than WinCo due to the promotion they are holding and the coupons I have to go along with the promotion. Such as this week at Albertson's I will use my doublers on: Goodnight pull ups $9.99, $1/1 coupon and use the doubler = $7.99, M&M's 2 for $4, $1/1 coupon with a doubler = 2 for $2.
Let me know if you have any questions.