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 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.