01 August 2016

Grocery Savings, Part 2: mPerks!

On Friday night, I went grocery shopping and I ended July with nearly $1700 in savings at my local grocery store. That averages to just under $250 per month saved thus far this year for a family of five. I do it by using coupons and mPerks.

Read Part I about couponing here!
Read Part III about extra tips here!

This time last year, my four foot long receipt totaled - no joke - $199.99

2. mPerks

MPerks is Meijer's digital coupon and rewards program. You create an account at www.mperks.com, then when you get to the cash register, you log in on the credit card swipe pad. Your coupons will be added automatically and you'll be asked if you would like to use your rewards.

1. mPerks Digital Coupons
MPerks coupons usually cannot be combined with paper coupons and I find that they are usually offering the same amount of money off, so I don't invest much time here. I have it set to autoclip suggested coupons and that's satisfactory for me. As you can see below, mPerks has autoclipped me 23 coupons. When I check out, they'll just automatically ring up and maybe I'll get an additional dollar saved that I didn't expect.

The real benefits are the special offers. During my Friday night trip, they had a special coupon that I had to clip myself for an additional 20% off all Carter's clothes. After I make my grocery list, I spend about 5-10 minutes on mPerks.com looking through coupons and checking rewards. Periodically Meijer will offer 5% off all groceries and/or 10% off general merchandise via an mPerks coupon. This is like a triple match up! It happened to me on Friday night, in fact. Shampoo, conditioner, and style products were on sale for 2/$5. I had a coupon to save $3 on two bottles, meaning I got 2/$2. Then I got an additional 10% off, so I got two bottles for $1.80, or $.90 each!

2. mPerks Rewards
MPerks rewards are where the big savings are. If you spend a certain amount of money in a certain category, you will earn a reward. (They are highly personalized.) For example, I just earned a reward of $12 for spending $550 in total purchases at Meijer. Next time I shop at Meijer, I'll log in to mPerks at the checkout and it will ask me, "Would you like to use your $12 off coupon today?" I have categories for dairy, baby items, and produce, among others.

I actually have $21 in rewards saved up right now (watch out, though, they do expire). I usually apply mine to my next grocery shopping trip, so my budget next month will be $21 higher, but I know some people who save them up and use their rewards on special items, like money off a Kindle Fire.

3. Blinkies
When you use mPerks, the printed coupons you get with your receipt will be more tailored to your shopping preferences. Below are a few examples of some I have: 25% off apparel (which can be used on sale items), $.75 off two avocados (which often go on sale for $1 each), and $1.50 off one bottle of Olay body wash. Blinkies can be combined with mPerks and newspaper coupons.

Using a triple match up: sale + coupon + blinkie ($3 off my $15 purchase of school supplies), I was able to score a ton of school supplies for an average of $.50 each.

A few packages of Bic pens for free helped lower my average!

Using a sale plus an mPerks digital coupon, I was able to score some really awesome deals on Carter's new fall line of clothes.

Now, Carter's is very easy to get on sale and you should never pay more than 40% off for Carter's clothes. So I should never pay more than $13.20 for that orange three-piece set on the left. I paid $7.04. The combo in the middle? I'd be a sucker if I paid more than $19.20. I got it for $10.24. The long-sleeved onesie on the right actually goes for $12 full price. There are people in this world who can't afford to eat today - never pay $12 for a onesie. Anyway, I shouldn't pay more than $7.20 (which is still more than I'd ever willingly pay). I got it for $3.84. The hat was on double clearance, plus I had the mPerks coupon, so I paid $1.60 for it in the end.

Those clothing prices are a higher than if I'd hit up a used clothing store, but I think they are really great for brand new items. Not counting the hat, I got 7 pieces of new clothing for $3 each.

Pro Tips!

-You have to stay on top of your rewards. Once you earn them, you have to clip them yourself. You then have to click to start earning your next reward. It doesn't take long, you just can't forget! I always check mine after I make my grocery list.

-I suspect I get more out of my mPerks than most people because I buy e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g at Meijer. I literally live 1.8 miles from Meijer and about 20-30 minutes from Sam's Club, Costco, Kroger, Target, or Aldi. No matter how good the Target diaper sale, it's never worth it to take three kids and go that far out of my way. I do get some things from Sam's, but I only go once a month and I either get a babysitter for the girls or wait until Abigail's in school.

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