Apr 24, 2013

Ralphs: One Year After Eliminating Double Coupons

It was last April that Ralphs stopped doubling coupons. Have you been shopping differently since then?

I've done the Ralphs coupon match ups every week, but usually I enter a store only once or twice a month now. There have been a few Mega Sales that have gotten me in the door more frequently, but the only one I was really excited about was at the beginning of February. I stocked up on Kleenex and All detergent, and donated 20 boxes of Capri Sun to school for events.

I probably shopped at Ralphs four times during the second week of that Mega Sale, but since then, I've only gone every other week at best. Their prices - especially the coupon match ups - just aren't as good as they used to be. Instead of Ralphs, I've been shopping more at Trader Joe's. And my friends tell me they've been shopping more at Vons/Pavilions, thanks to the just for U digital coupon program.

However ... the Ralphs stores near my home do not seem to be less busy, although their market share has reportedly declined slightly since last year.

So my unscientific guess is that double coupons aren't coming back anytime soon.

What can we as consumers do? The savings strategies I outlined last year when Vons/Pavilions stopped doubling are still good ones. And of course, the ubiquitous tips about menu planning and not wasting food apply more than ever - they'll probably save you more than double coupons ever could!

Do you miss double coupons? A lot, or just a little?


Marjie said...

I find that I don't shop at Ralphs as much either. Miss it as it is the closest grocery store. Only seem to go when need smaller things/quantities than I can get at Costco :)

Chief Family Officer said...

Funny you mention Costco - I've made a few more trips there since doubles ended than I did before. The bulk price can be better since coupons don't bring Ralphs prices down as far as they used to!

scrapper al said...

I do miss the double coupons because I used to save soooo much money. Target (stacking a Target and manufacturer's coupon, Fresh and Easy, and Sprouts get most of my grocery money nowadays. If Fresh and Easy really does go away, I'll just adjust my shopping habits again.

Theresa said...

I rarely go to Ralph's as there aren't any convenient, but do stop at Vons frequently. I will say that when Vons stopped doubling coupons, I took a much better look at the military commissary (obviously, only relevant for military families) and found that their prices are comparable to the after-coupon price at the regular stores, plus I can still use coupons. I've also been stopping at Costco more, and I actually changed my whole strategy to doing a monthly menu plan and one big trip to the commissary for all non-perishables, coffee, etc., and then I usually hit Costco for meat, flour, some other staples, and just swing by Vons for produce and dairy and any major deals about once a week. The Just 4 U program is really good, except that it won't take off both a J4U and a manufacturer's coupon at the same time.

Chief Family Officer said...

I realize Fresh & Easy may not be around much longer, but maybe I should give it another try - I didn't love it when I went a while back. Sprouts is really just too far away, unfortunately ... which is too bad because I really like it! Thanks for the F&E prod :)

Chief Family Officer said...

I love the monthly menu plan/Costco run idea ... I may start doing that too, especially in the summer when the kids are around a lot more. Thanks!