Man observing sales coupon in the grocery store

We’ve all been there: You enter the grocery store and a dazzling flyer emblazoned with SALE! catches your attention. Your adrenaline starts pumping. You dig your feet into the ground, and tighten your grip on the handlebar of your cart. It’s game time. This is what you were made to do.

But, time out ref. Before you rev your engines too hard, you’ve got to educate yourself on in the world of sales flyer hacks. Because quite frankly, those signs aren’t always what they seem. Keep reading for a few tricks to tuck into your game plan.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Grocery stores can be tricky. Even the best bargains can be difficult to find. What we’re talking about here is the placement of sales circulars. You can spot one as soon as you enter the store, or you can find one tucked into the corner. Regardless of their placement, they’re usually the best place to discover sales occurring in the store that week.

Typically, the best course of action is to check online prior to even entering the store, that way you’re aware of any present sales or discounts prior to shopping. Most retailers will put the entire circular online for you to browse. This allows you to take a peek in your pantry to see if you really need those extra cans of whatever is on sale, and to tweak your shopping list accordingly.

Regardless of when and where you find them, always keep your eyes out for sales circulars. If you’re lucky, you can even rack up extra coupons.

It’s the Text That Matters, Not the Image

One pro tip that many neglect to mention about sales flyers is to not let the imagery fool you. While the flyer might say “$2 OFF Any Liquid Tide,” be sure to read the fine print. That flyer doesn’t mean that original liquid Tide is the only Tide product on sale, just because it’s the one pictured on the flyer. In fact, the sale might apply to Tide with Downy, Tide with Febreze, and so on.

Oftentimes, sales flyers feature the most expensive items in the photo, because they want to encourage buyers to purchase that specific item. However, it’s the text of the flyer that matters. When you read the flyer in full, the sale may also apply to another product of the same type. Always check the text before you let the imagery suck you in.

Understand Your Lingo

At Basket, our multifaceted team is capable of speaking quite a few languages. But, something we’re all fluent in? Retail. BOGO, WYB, “Limit One Per Purchase” – You name it, we can decode it. By the end of this blog, you’ll be able to, too.

Here it goes: BOGO = Buy One Get One. Sometimes this means you purchase one item and get the other free, sometimes it means you purchase one and get the other at a discount. Again, read the fine print here. Still, it normally means some pretty great savings.

WYB = When You Buy. Normally this sale implies that you’ll only receive a discount when purchasing another item in tandem. Kinda like BOGO, but a little different.

“Limit One Per Purchase” = This isn’t as straight forward as you think. When you see this written on a sales flyer, you assume it means “one per transaction.” Ha! Nope. When a flyer advertises something like “purchase” or “purchase of item,” it literally translates to one type of discount for every individual item purchased. Purchase 20 items, use 20 coupons. “Limit One Per purchase” is simply meant to enforce that you can’t use two of the exact same coupons for one item, like taking $1 off, two times.

Know When to Stockpile

We know, we know. This isn’t extreme couponing. The term “stockpiling” is probably alarming to you mild bargain hunters. But, when taken lightly, and we mean lightly, stockpiling is a fantastic way to save on your necessities.

When you see a flyer for a sale on everyday essentials, like toilet paper and paper towels, or even nonperishables, like canned tuna and vegetables, take advantage. This doesn’t mean buying 30 cans of tuna, but it means buying enough not just for the week, but for the month ahead. Save yourself some time and money when efficiently stockpiling.

Sale Doesn’t Mean the Cheapest

Again, we understand that sales flyers can be dazzling. It’s perfectly normal to be starstruck by them, and neglect to check other prices. But, we urge you: do some price checking first. You’ll ultimately be wasting money if you’re buying one jar of spaghetti sauce because it’s BOGO half off, meanwhile an alternate brand is 25 cents less for both jars, even without a sale.

Do your research before jumping immediately in. In the case that the sale item is a more pricey grocery that you typically buy generic due to the price difference, make sure that savings are adequate. But, if there’s room in your budget, this is a great time to treat yourself.

Strapped with your new tips, you’re ready to tackle those sales flyers like a pro. Next time you hit the aisles, make sure you Tweet us @BasketSavings to let us know how you made out!