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Sunday, December 7, 2008

e-VIC’ing: The New Way to Shop!

By Tracy S., VP of Mommyhood and Expert Working Mom, CharlotteSmartyPants

Everyone loves to save a little money, right? Well I for one have become a bargain shopper … at the grocery store! In fact, I’ve started to make a game out of just how much money I can save in a given week. I am proud to say that last week I actually saved ($46.25) more than I spent ($42.78)!!! What’s my secret? Harris Teeter e-VIC. It’s an online tool to view all the VIC specials for the week – and they email it right to your inbox!

Here’s how it works: Sign up online - make sure you have your VIC card number handy to enroll. Every Wednesday they will send you an email of all the specials that week. The email will highlight the top 10 specials based on the things you normally buy (scary how well they know me!). I usually go straight to the “View All Specials” link and start clicking away. Each time you click on an item, it gets added to your own personal shopping list. My strategy is to build a grocery list of not only the things I know I need that week, but to plan my weekly menu around the items on sale. I also add things that I might need so I’m reminded what’s on sale or non-perishable items that I want to stock up on. Then I print out the shopping list and keep it handy in my purse for my next visit to the grocery store. You can even add your own items for a more complete shopping list. It’s so easy and only takes a few minutes!

A couple of handy tips that I’ve discovered along the way:

• The printed shopping list automatically organizes the items by the section of the grocery store in which they are located – a huge time saver for someone like me who tends to zig-zag around the store!
• When it says “10 for $10”, you don’t really need to buy 10 of that item – I mean, really! Who needs 10 bottles of salad dressing at one time??? Just buy what you need and they will pro-rate the items accordingly.
• Buy One Get One Free – you don’t actually have to buy 2 to get the deal – if you buy one, its half price! This has saved us many rotten strawberries in the fridge!!!
• By signing up for the program, you are automatically entered into a weekly sweepstakes to win $100!
• Sign up now and you could win FREE GROCERIES FOR A YEAR!

A few other VIC card reminders:
• Don’t forget to link your VIC card to your child’s school or daycare.
• Make sure you and your spouse link your accounts so your weekly spend counts as one toward the cool HT give-aways!
• If you forgot your card, just provide your phone number and they can look up your account.

Are you a VIC shopper? Share your tips!


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