We do not get a newspaper regularly - and I find when I buy the newspaper for $1.00, I don't cut many coupons and therefore don't often get my money's worth. (especially since most coupons in the paper are for processed foods that are not gluten free)
I have also tried online coupon-ing - but am not good about going to multiple websites and browsing through pages of items that are often not on my shopping list.
And to top it off, even if I remember to cut out or print coupons, half the time I get to the store and remember that I have left them on my kitchen counter at home.
When we moved to town, I was excited to be near a Meijer. (and Kroger too - my first trip there I spent around $80 where in Cleveland I was spending around $120 for the same trip) I went to graduate school up in Michigan and Meijer was my favorite store of choice back then as a broke grad student. Having shopped there the past five years, I've seen their gluten free selection go from okay to one of the best I have seen in all of our travels, and their prices are often comparable or lower than other stores.
For years, the cashier would ask "do you have MPerks or any coupons?" and I half listened and responded "no." I thought MPerks was somehow tied into their credit card and I wasn't interested. I don't remember what made me look into it (probably my grocery bills!?!), but once I did, I thought - I need to tell people about this! Go me, it has only taken me a few years to think to put this on my blog.
MPerks is a digital coupon website or app for your smart phone - much like Kroger's or Target's Cartwheel or others out there. You can do it from a home computer, though - which is great because I am relatively new to the smartphone world. You can clip all the coupons at home, or on your phone, and then when you are at the store the only thing you need is your phone number. When you are checking out - both at the regular checkouts and the self-checkouts, you push the little "MPerks" icon at the bottom and follow the prompt. That is it. Your phone number and a PIN of your choosing. No paper to remember, no plastic card to put in your wallet or keychain.
The coupons are good - there is a search function so if you only want to know if there are yogurt coupons, you can just type that in. They also have featured coupon bundles each month - and since October is Celiac Awareness Month, this month there is a "Gluten Free" coupon bundle:
Screenshot of some of the October coupon bundles, including "Gluten Free."
This post was not even scheduled for today, but when I saw a gluten free coupon category for October, I wanted to share it with everyone as soon as possible!
And here are some of the coupons. I will definitely use the Eggo coupon as those are rarely on sale and my kids love them more than any other waffles, as well as the King Arthur coupon as that is a large coupon and I like to keep a box or two of their cake mix (my favorite) on hand.
There are also many $1.00 off Glutino products as well.
I clipped all of the coupons in the Gluten Free bundle, though I likely will only use a handful of them.
An added bonus with coupons - once every few months there will be a coupon for gasoline at their gas stations. It usually takes the price per gallon under any other station in the area!
The coupons alone are not enough to make me love MPerks, however. There are two components that make it worthwhile to me:
1) Friday and Saturday deals. Every other weekend - or sometimes Fridays and Saturdays - MPerks will send a text or e-mail alerting members to sales --- and all you need is your free MPerks account. They range from $5 off purchases of $50 to 5% off all groceries (hello, Friday has become grocery day) to 10% off clothes and other sorts of "sales." At first I thought it really wasn't much - but over the course of a year, it really adds up if you can shop on those days. (scarily, the app will track your savings and the number really grows! the receipt will show it to you up at the top as well)
2) MPerks "Rewards." Here is an additional big coupon every 30 days or so. Each cycle there are different "rewards" to choose from on the website/app. Usually there is a "total purchase" or "total grocery" one - where if you spend $600 you can earn a $15 coupon or something along those lines. The categories change, but "baby" is often one (I think anyone that buys diapers there should definitely be enrolled in MPerks!), dairy, meat, sporting goods, household goods, pet supplies are other common ones. The only trick is that the app does not remind you when your 30 days are up - you need to remember to go in the app, and either click on the coupon if you earned it, or just pick new categories if you did not.
Here is a screenshot of my "Total Purchase" Reward - looks like I will not get the $14 coupon as I only spent $100.45 this month. Extremely low month for me as I usually do most of my shopping at Meijer - but this month I have spent more of my time and money at Kroger and Costco!
I am not affiliated with Meijer in any way (though I often think I should get a job there!), but just wanted to pass this along in case there are any other shoppers out there like me, always answering "no, no MPerks" to the cashier at checkout, and not taking advantage of those Friday/Saturday/Sunday sales and Rewards. Anything to keep the cost of gluten free groceries down is a good tool to have!