12 Grocery Store Secrets From Top Supermarket Stores in America to Help Save You Time and Money

Grocery shopping is something almost all of us have to deal with. It seems like it should be easy to shop for your favorite foods, but it’s not. From disturbing secrets to the hidden money-saving tips no one tells you, grocery shopping is complicated. Yet some grocery store secrets are hardly secrets at all. Finding deals at the supermarket is a great way to save time and money. Here are secrets from the industry giants themselves, several of which are some of the most-loved retailers in America.

1. Aldi

Aldi

The bargain bins let you score great deals at Aldi. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

  • The secret: Bargain bin shopping

Aldi already has some of the lowest prices around, which is one reason why shoppers love it. Once you see the deals you can get from the bargain bin, you’ll love it even more. When Aldi needs to clear shelf space it moves items to the bargain bin, and the prices go even lower than you can imagine. In those cases, the already cheap food gets even cheaper.

Next: Secret deals for those in the know.

2. Food Lion

Food Lion grocery store

The front kiosk gives special personalized coupons. | Ildar Sagdejev/Wikimedia Commons

  • The secret: MVP deals

Signing up for a Food Lion MVP card is one of the best grocery store secrets out there. If you can’t remember all the deals from the weekly circular, don’t worry. A kiosk at the front of the store lets you know which items are on sale, and it also gives you special personalized coupons. Clipping coupons is a thing of the past, too. You just have to scan your card at the checkout to get the deals.

Next: You won’t find many better deals than this.

3. Fry’s and Kroger

Kroger

If you have a Fry’s or Kroger card, you get free food on Fridays. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • The secret: Freebie Fridays

Have a Fry’s or Kroger Plus Card? Then you get free food every Friday. Yes, you read that right: Free food. Load a digital coupon to your card, and you get freebies at Fry’s, Kroger, or any of their affiliate stores.

Next: How can BOGO deals get even better?

4. Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter

Taking the BOGO deals to the next level. | Mike8411251995/Wikimedia Commons

  • The secret: Buy-get sales

Buy-one-get-one sales (or buy two-get-three) are already great deals, but at Harris Teeter, they’re even better. For one thing, you can use coupons on each item since the store rings them up as separate items. Plus, instead of offering one item full price and another completely free, the items just ring up as half off. So if you only need one half of a BOGO deal, you don’t have to pay full price. There you have it, one of the grocery store secrets that’s no longer a secret.

Next: A crazy deal

5. H-E-B

HEB grocery store

A Combo Locos deal could mean free stuff. | typhoonski/iStock/Getty Images

  • The secret: Combo Locos deals

What’s better than one great deal? How about two great deals combined together? That’s the premise behind the Combo Locos deals at H-E-B. As the Krazy Coupon Lady points out, a Combo Locos deal could be a free side dish if you buy a box of fish sticks, or free dressing if you buy a bag of salad.

Next: We’re in awe of this grocery store secret.

6. Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee grocery store

Saving on gas is just one of the perks for Hy-Vee shoppers. | Runner1928/Wikimedia Commons

  • The secret: Fuel saver perks

Being a loyal Hy-Vee customer pays off big time if you have a fuel saver perks card. We’re in awe, actually. It’s a free program that helps you earn gas discounts if you buy certain items in the store. Those gas discounts are pretty significant, too. The store estimates customers saved more than $14 million on gas from Jan. 1, 2018, to the middle of March that year. Plus, cardholders can win big prizes, such as trips to Hawaii. This is one of the grocery store secrets that really needs to be widely known.

Next: Perks that really pay off.

7. Meijer

Meijer grocery store

They have all sorts of in-store freebies. | jetcityimage/iStock/Getty Images

  • The secret: Codes for in-store freebies

Members of Meijer’s mPerks program enjoy all sorts of benefits. Bonus cash, pharmacy rewards, and digital coupons are part of it, but members also get in-store freebies. Items such as eggs, makeup, snacks, and yogurt are among the free items regularly available to mPerks members.

Next: Is this the most generous coupon policy in the business?

8. Publix

Publix

Publix takes any coupon in your wallet. | Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

  • The secret: Taking competitor coupons

This Florida-based chain will take any of your coupons, and when we say any, we mean any. In fact, Publix might have the most generous coupon policy in the business. The store takes any and all competitor coupons. Buy-one-get-one coupons? Check. Private label, pharmacy, and store gift card coupons? Check, check, and check. As far as grocery store secrets go, this is one of the best around.

Next: A giant retailer with a little-known markdown secret.

9. Target

Target announced holiday season plans

Tuesdays at Target are great days for grocery shoppers. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

  • The secret: Tuesday markdowns

Dedicated Target shoppers probably know all about the markdown schedule, but this is one of the grocery store secrets people need to know. Each Tuesday, Target marks down prices in the market section of the stores. If you’re grocery shopping on a tight budget, Target on Tuesdays is a great place to be.

Next: No questions asked.

10. Trader Joe’s

Sign at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s let you return any item at any time for any reason. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • The secret: Forgiving return policy

No matter what you buy at Trader Joe’s, you can take it back if you don’t like it. If you cook a frozen pizza but you spit out the first bite, you can take it back. Don’t like that beer you opened? Yes, you can take that back, too. The store takes back anything you buy there at any time and you don’t even need a receipt, but we’re guessing that will all those amazing foods it doesn’t happen often.

Next: A grocer adding instant value.

11. Wegmans

Wegmans exterior

Wegmans doubles some coupons without shoppers having to ask. | Wegmans Food Markets

  • The secret: Double coupon policy

Your coupons are instantly more valuable when you walk in the door at Wegmans. That’s because the store automatically doubles any manufacturer coupon valued at 99 cents or less. There are some restrictions, but this coupon policy is one of the big grocery store secrets shoppers need to know about.

Next: A store helping you feed an army.

12. Winn-Dixie

Winn Dixie

They have incredible monthly deals. | PCHS-NJROTC/Wikimedia Commons

  • The secret: Meal deals for free food

If you need to make your grocery budget stretch, then Winn-Dixie is a great place to start. The store’s meal deals can help any shopper feed an army. For instance, a deal in January of 2018 gave shoppers a free 2-liter, boneless wings, and mozzarella sticks for buying two Red Baron pizzas. It’s one of the best grocery store secrets that shouldn’t be a secret for long.

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