We’ve been receiving quite a few questions lately on why we don’t provide coupon match-ups for WinCo and I figured it’s time to just post my reasons! Here are the three reasons I do not regularly provide coupon match-ups for WinCo:
:: Inconsistent pricing — Prices at WinCo vary from region to region and even store to store. A bag of chips at my WinCo on the east side of Portland may be priced at $1.98, but it will be $2.44 at your store on the west side. That price difference will most likely make the deal not worth doing. And it’s super frustrating for you, the reader, to see a deal posted and run out to the store only to be disappointed.
:: No weekly ad — Since WinCo does not have a weekly ad, coupon match-ups require someone to go into the store to scout out deals. This is a very time consuming process (like hours every week). Considering that prices at WinCo vary so much from store to store, it’s just not a good use of my resources right now to either do them myself or pay one of my writers to do it.
:: Generic will almost always be cheaper than using a coupon at WinCo — This ties closely in with the issue above. I just don’t think it’s worth the time to do match-ups when nine times out of ten buying WinCo generic will be cheaper than using a manufacturer’s coupon on a name brand item. Check out this post on knowing how to shop for an example of how buying generic at WinCo usually is the best option.
WinCo functions on a different marketing plan than the other grocery stores. They offer good prices on most items all the time instead of inflated prices 80% of the time and smokin’ deals 20% of the time. Since they have a different way of doing business than Safeway and Albertsons, it would make sense that we “play” WinCo differently.
I know there are deals to be had at WinCo by using coupons and when we find these deals, we will post them. But understand that the deal may not be the same at your store. And under no circumstance should you make a special trip with all of your kids just to take advantage of one deal. That will only breed massive amount of frustration.
It’s best to view WinCo as your back-up store. Shop there when you need something. Buy the stuff that you haven’t stockpiled yet. Bring your coupons in the store with you, but assume that it will be cheaper to buy the generic instead of the name brand with a coupon. Save those awesome coupons for a store sale or promotion at Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer or QFC.
WinCo is an important part of your shopping strategy, it just usually doesn’t include manufacturer’s coupons.