I see a stigma in America about being thrifty. I’m not sure where or when it started, but it is definitely the cultural norm in America. It has to have happened post-Great Depression when being thrifty saved lives, because now it’s popular to be wasteful and gluttonous. I’m not being general and saying EVERYONE is this way, but it has become a pervasive problem I see wherever I look; in restaurants, bars, shopping at the mall, even at grocery stores.
I was at Vons a month ago and saw they had a program anyone could sign up for online giving even greater discounts. I didn’t sign up. Even after the woman checking me out told me I could have saved three dollars on the bananas I purchased by signing up, I still didn’t sign up. Why? When I go shopping at grovery stores instead of Whole Foods, or at Kmart instead of Best Buy, or Target instead of Calvin Klein, I feel depressed. I remember growing up poor and I hated it. I hated not having the cool Jordans, Bugle Boys or Diamondback bike. Now when i go into those stores I feel like a failure, like a person who has to be thrifty to survive and it’s a small reminder that I haven’t made it yet.
Well, now things are even tighter; I can’t find work, my new business is slowing coming along but I’m still behind in bills, and food stamps look to be on my horizon. So I signed up for the extra Vons’ savings.
I’m usually a little tentative about coupons because I feel like it’s a trick to get me to buy discounted items that I would normally never buy. But the Vons iOS app has made me a believer in “Pre-Shopping.” “Pre-Shopping” is how I now shop, it involves using the iOS app to look for items I normally get, add them to my list which automagincally connects with the Vons card I keep in my wallet. Then when i check out and swipe my Vons card, the discounts are taken off the bill. It’s genius.
Vons has created such a helpful app that I don’t think I’ll ever shop anywhere else again. Vons has embraced Web 2.0 and uses my purchasing history, which it tracks through my Vons Card, and creates tailored discounts on things I normally buy. It then gives another list of food items that it has on sale for everyone that I can peruse and add to my list for added discounts. When I’m finished, I have one list of items that I know I will be buying.
So I went for the first time using the app, and I saved 40%. My bill would have been $102, and instead it was $63 after discounts. I saved $39 by spending 10 minutes before hand making my list, and spending an extra 10 minutes while shopping making sure I bought the right items. $39 for 20 minutes of work.
It amazes me that more people don’t use this. The only way I can imagine making the process easier would be for them to actually hand me $39 when I’m done shopping and thanking me for shopping with them.
While I’m still a little wary about most coupons, I’m appreciating Web 2.0 and how it helps Vons give me targeted coupons I will use.
Check the link attached to get the free Vons iOS app.