Saturday, January 23, 2010

Savvy shopper Saturday- getting to know the Grocery stores, prices and coupon scene for Hawaii

Hawaii has it's own unique state-wide stores: Foodland/Sack-n-save, Times Supermarket (recently acquired Star market) and Tamura's, with all stores having locations on Oahu and only some stores on the other islands.  There are also smaller chains on the neighbor islands- we couldn't get by without Friendly market on Moloka'i or Sueoka's on Kauai and Hasegawa store on Maui (sorry Lilo- wrong island).
Foodland/Sack-n-Save has a member card called Maika'i, anyone can apply and after $200 of purchases combined, you are given a Maika'i reward to redeem for different things.  They have catalina machines for coupons to use in future puchases.  New sales start each Weds-Tues.
Times doesn't require any kind of member card for sale prices. Weds-Tues ad.
Tamura's also doesn't require any member cards.  Their store ads run for a 2-week period.  Weds-2nd Tues.

We have some region stores: Safeway/Vons and Costco (I don't think it's national). 
Safeway has the Club card- anyone can apply.  They have catalina deals- which is money back when certain purchases are made and also gives out coupons usually on new products or similar items to what you just bought.  Weds-Tues with special Sunday ad usually only for Sun/Mon/Tues.  This is why Mon/Tues are the best days to shop and get two overlapping sale ads in effect.
Costco is a bulk shopping warehouse with a paid membership card.  Because of the bulk shopping, we like to compare our prices to Costco to make sure we are getting the best deal possible.  Meat and dairy are very hard to beat anywhere else.

Longs was recently bought by CVS, but it is still run under the name Longs because of the tradition that it stand for to local families.  We don't get the CVS register rewards.

We also have national chains: Walmart, K-mart, Target (since 2009), Walgreens. 
Walmart has a great price-matching policy, as long as you bring in the ad from the other store with the better price.  The have sales running from Sun-Sat.  No Super Walmart in Hawaii (some grocery, no meat/produce)
No Super K-mart in Hawaii either, ad in Sunday paper runs until the next Saturday.
Target puts out its own printable coupons, some are even manufacturer coupons and can be used anywhere, but there are also Target-only coupons.  Ad is in Sunday paper and found online, good until the following Saturday.  No Super Target, but does have a main grocery section.
Walgreens puts out their own coupons every week on Sunday and also has a printable page online and a monthly booklet.  Back at the pharmacy area, there's another booklet called "Diabetes and You" but that is mostly for the articles in it, there are other coupons in there as well.  They will accept one of theirs- which is usually a price per item and a manufacturer coupon- which can take additional money off of the same item.  They have money-back deals called Register Rewards- one same deal per transaction, then reward can be used on next purchase.  Their weekly ads also run Sun-Sat.

It is always important to know each store's coupon policy and might want to print and keep them with you in case there are cashiers or managers who aren't aware of it. 

Most sale prices reflect a $.50-$1.00 raise in price for some items (cereals, snacks) and canned food, meat, dairy can go up even more compared to mainland prices.  The lowest I've seen for a gallon of milk in a long time is $3.99.  Canned veggies and fruits are rarely under $1 a can and soups under $2 a can is a soup-er (haha) deal. 

This leads us to some expensive food shopping so every bit of savings counts.  The Sunday Honolulu Advertiser has the store ads and inserts, but they aren't always as stocked as the previews show and sometimes we don't even get whole inserts.  Are we really that different?  If anything, we have more need to find ways to save money and not have these taken away.  We can also access and other coupon printing sites to get at least 2 coupons worth of savings on items.

Which brings me back to why I started this blog- I figure if we had a place to gather and share what someone else might have missed, we could all benefit from the help.  Each week I'll post for each store either all the sales or highlight the main deals and then you can leave anything I missed in the comments section to show us what you're excited about and others can get ideas also.

1 comment:

supreme said...

I am really looking forward to reading your blog as we are traveling to Kailua for a month long family vacation in July. We are from Canada and would love some money saving tips for our stay!