Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wandering around Woodmans...

Wandering through Woodman's, today, was like wandering down memory lane...

Well, when it comes to grocery shopping memories, that is ;-).

Years ago, I used to shop at Woodman's all the time.  I really felt like I had a good handle on the place back then.  If you're not familiar with the store, it's difficult to explain how incredibly large this place is.  The store just goes on and on and on!...and is usually just mobbed with customers.  When I shopped there regularly, I had a grocery list based on aisle (in the order I preferred to shop there) and could get in and out in less than an hour, most days (even when on a pretty major shopping trip!).   However, that was well before I became interested in couponing and strategic shopping.

Back then, during my days of pure grocery cost oblivion, as you might imagine, I rarely paid attention to shelf prices & just grabbed whatever products I thought I needed at the time.  I loved the wide selection of products available there & knew I'd almost always be able to find what I was looking for (with the exception of produce as it was often lacking in quality).  As I recall, it was not at all unusual for me to have a number in the ballpark of $300+ at the bottom of my receipts.

Now that I've been getting a better handle on couponing and strategic shopping, I have been wanting to check out Woodman's Grocery Store again, to compare prices & scope out any deals.  Today, my mom (Thanks, mom!) and I spent a good portion of the afternoon (o.k., I mean all afternoon!) wandering up and down aisle after aisle.  Whew! The place was even bigger than I remembered.  Even though we skipped several aisles, checking the clock, we saw that we had spent over 3 hours in the place!  Ugh! By the end, we were getting pretty worn out & were skipping more aisles than in the beginning, that's for sure!  ;-)

In terms of available!  They have tons and tons of coupons available either taped near their products or on plentiful tear pads.  It might be worth the trip in there just to stock up your coupon supply!  Please be respectful of other customers, however.  Be sure to leave plenty for other couponers. Update: Woodman's now has a sign on their door indicating a new rule that you can only use their tearpad coupons when buying the product in store at that time (or something to that effect).  Please be respectful of this new rule.

In terms of deals, we were both a little disappointed today.  We were hoping to find some better prices.  On a few things, we truly did.  However, overall, (this is quite the generalization), their prices did not seem all that significantly lower than prices at Copps/other.  To add to that, Woodman's doesn't double coupons and has several coupon restrictions (especially with internet printables):

Internet Printable Coupon Policy They did not seem to have a written coupon policy that I could take with me.  As coupon policies can vary store to store (& change at any time), be sure to check in with your store's customer service to verify & clarify.  Today, I was at the Woodman's East store in Madison, WI.  Please note: this is my interpretation of the explanation given to me, today, by an employee in customer service:
  • No internet printable coupons valued greater than $2.00 will be accepted.
  • No internet printable coupons for FREE items (including BOGOFree) will be accepted.
  • Only one internet printable coupon per "like" item, per person, per day will be accepted: For instance, if you are buying three like items and have three like internet printable coupons for those items, you can only use one of your coupons. 

All in all, my mom and I had a nice time together and picked up a few good deals here and there.  We also found a few products we'd definitely plan to stop in for next time we're nearby.  See my Woodman's Trip 4/14/11 post for details.  However, overall, we were amazed at the selection, & amazed at the number of available coupons, but pretty disappointed by the lack of exceptionally good deals.  I'm pretty sure we won't be doing a big trip to Woodman's like this again for quite a while. 


  1. Ah, I've been wondering if you ever shop at Woodmans. That's where I do the bulk of my shopping... and have been wondering how they rate against Copps and the other stores. Thanks for this post. And I love your coupon binder!

  2. I briefly mention Woodman's in my coupon class- they really don't make it easy for us coupon divas! NO sales flier (either printed or online) makes it hard to cherry pick the specials and stack the deals! You have to walk around the store to see what is on sale for the week and then, do it again to shop -- keep in mind that our time is worth $$ too!

    I'm glad you made it a "girl's outing" with your Mom! That can make it FUN!

  3. Hi Nickeletta & Dannelle!

    Nickeletta, do you shop at Woodman's East? One question I forgot to ask them at customer service was whether they accept "manufacturer's" coupons from other stores (such as a "manufacturer's" coupon that has a Target or Walgreens logo on it). Do you know?...and thanks re: my binder! :-)

    Dannelle, I agree that it's tough (or impossible) to plan ahead for shopping & saving at Woodman's (without an ad/flier). Also, the most restrictive policy is that you can't use multiples of the same internet printable. So, if you find a great coupon deal on something you have internet printables for, you can only buy ONE!

    Yes, our time is definitely worth $$, too. It was a FUN afternoon together! Even though we were really drained toward the end, we still managed to slip in quick stops at Hy-Vee & ALDI after Woodman's (posts coming soon).

  4. I'm beginning to feel like a celebrity!! It was a fun day!

  5. I just found your site. Thanks for the info about Woodmans. My hubby was just asking if I thought it would be cheaper to shop at Woodmans instead of going to Pick N Save. Their policy on internet coupons is stinky lol Might have to tell the hubby I don't want to go there lol Cubs seems to take all internet coupons though :)

  6. So glad you found Madison Coupon Connection, Geri! I haven't done much shopping at Cub (as a couponer) yet...but I've heard they take internet printables and also take expired coupons (6 mo. after expiration???), I believe. Be sure to check in with customer service to verify.

    Overall, I seem to find the majority of the best deals at Copps (Roundy's) during their double days. Also Walgreens with register rewards, etc.

    1. I don't understand a store taking expired this true?


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