Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jewel-Osco's Avenu System

Today is the first time I successfully used Jewel-Osco's Avenu customized savings system.

I found it a bit confusing at first. You go to the Web site and sign up, then every time you sign in they show you half a page of products along with deals such as "$1 off," as well as half a page of "electronic coupons."

I was confused because although they are called coupons, there is nothing to clip out and there are no bar codes on the page. You just automatically get these savings at check-out after you scan your Preferred card.

It's a good idea to print out the page of special offers before you head to the store just to help you remember what you can get a special deal on. These offers are IN ADDITION TO any advertised specials and can be used with coupons as well. Apparently they can change from day to day, but you can also choose to "extend" the special offer for up to two days if you're not planning on shopping the day that you log in.

I think some stores have kiosks where you can see your offers when you get there, which would be nice if you just happened to stop in without planning ahead.

So today my Avenu offers included $1 off Pepperidge Farm bread and $1.50 off Stonyfield organic milk. Both items were already on special -- I'm not sure if that's always the case with Avenu or what. But combining the discount marked on the shelf, the Avenu savings and some coupons I had, I got pretty good deals:

The bread was $3.99 regular priced, marked down to $3.69. After the Avenu savings, it was $2.69 a loaf. I bought two and used a $1/2 manufacturers' coupon, making it $4.38 for two loaves of whole grain bread.

The organic milk was normally $4.50 for a half gallon. It was marked down to $3 on the shelf, and my Avenu savings made it $1.50 for a half gallon. When I realized that, I actually left the self-checkout and went back for three more half gallons. If only I could always get it for $6 a gallon, I would ALWAYS buy organic milk! And this stuff is ultra-pasteurized so the sell-by dates of the containers I bought are mostly in July.

Oh, and a note about those self check-outs: If you are one of those people who don't have an ethical problem with using recently expired coupons (since at most stores they still scan if they're less than a month old), well, the self checkout is the place to use them. No checker to scrutinize your coupon and tell you the date is already past.