A few things going on in the Chicago grocery scene that I've been meaning to tell you about:
- Jewel-Osco is changing its in-house brand from Jewel to Essential Everyday. I don't think this means they're scrapping that new Shopper's Value brand, though, because the execs have been talking in the company earnings calls about expanding that. The first aisles to change will be pasta and grocery. You know what this means, right? Watch for the old Jewel brand stuff to go on CLEARANCE soon!
- Mashup Mom has a post on Target's coupon policy changes. Looks like they are limiting what coupons can be combined with buy one, get one free coupons. Also, no Internet printables for free items with no purchase required, which is OK because not many manufacturers are issuing those anymore. Read the full Target coupon policy here.
- There's this new coupon site called SavingStar. It's a UPromise spin-off, and it loads e-coupons onto your store cards, for 24,000 stores. In the Chicago area, they work for Jewel-Osco, Peapod and CVS. When you register, you enter your card numbers. Like UPromise, it doesn't take the coupon value off the total you pay at the register, but instead the money accumulates on your SavingStar account. After you have $5, you can choose whether to deposit it into your bank account, Amazon.com or PayPal. Now, I know what we all want to know. Can we combine these discounts with paper coupons and coupons from UPromise? The FAQ says that you can belong to both SavingStar and UPromise, but you can only activate a particular deal on one of those services for a store card. So you won't get double discounts. UPDATE RE: PAPER COUPONS: I asked SavingStar if having these coupons loaded on your card will stop the register from accepting paper manufacturer's coupons. Here is a response from spokeswoman Melinda Pryor: "SavingStar eCoupons will work whether or not you combine them with other coupons, but they are not intended to be used this way. Manufacturers usually will have policies limiting use to 1 coupon per purchase, but it is up to each shopper to adhere to these policies. Store coupons, however, can be combined with SavingStar eCoupons."
- In case you missed it, Jewel-Osco has two recent policy changes that affect hardcore couponers: In Catalina deals, shoppers can no longer play the spread, and with wine tag coupons, shoppers must buy the liquor item when redeeming cross-promotional coupons. If neither of those things rings a bell, don't bother following the links because these are deals that no longer work. If you do need more info about when or why they're ending, follow the links.