I’m sure you’ve all seen the bomb that Dillons dropped on us yesterday. They will no longer be doubling coupons as of August 21st. I will explain what this means for couponers, and why I am NOT crushed by this news. Does it stink? Sure it does. But this is definitely not the end of couponing at Dillons.
Earlier this week I met with a team from the Dillons corporate office to learn about new policies and new campaigns beginning this month. Starting today, August 7th, thousands of products sold at Dillons stores will have new, lower prices. These price reductions will include items found in the organic and natural foods sections, grocery and produce, as well as general merchandise found throughout the store.
New signage will be recognizable and will help us determine if the price noted on the shelf sticker is an everyday low price, a weekly sale price, or if that item is included in the new lower price promotion.
Beginning Wednesday, August 21st, Dillons stores will begin accepting coupons at face value only. We will of course still be able to use coupons, but they will no longer double. Additionally, every store has been instructed to accept 5 “like” non-printable coupons and 2 “like” printable coupons per shopping trip.
Dillons is expanding the digital offers available on their website and on the mobile app. We will be able to load eCoupons to our Plus Cards as we have been. We can also load savings to our Plus Cards on CellFire and SavingStar. We will continue to receive fuel points, and those personalized home mailer coupons.
Dillons notes that “after careful analysis, we have discovered that our customers have really utilized ways to save other than just manufacturer coupons – such as downloadable coupons and our customized direct mail coupons based on each shopper’s preferences.”
The research shows that only 15% of Dillons shoppers are regular coupon users, and only 1% of Dillons shoppers are considered to be heavy coupon users. Dillons stresses that this new coupon policy is not due to TLC’s Extreme Couponing show. “The double coupon program was initiated at a time when digital coupons, and other savings programs and lower pricing initiatives did not exist”. They also add that “savings from the discontinued program will be reinvested into lowering even more everyday prices.”
We need to remember that we will only notice a difference when it comes to coupons that are lower than $1.00 in value. There will be no difference in savings when we use coupons $1.00 or higher in value. I went through some of my receipts. Because I’m weird like that and I save all of them. Here are some sample receipts from this year.
Take a look at the “multi coupons” portions of my receipts. Top left I saved 99% and only $3.75 was the amount of the doubled portion of ALL of my coupons. On the receipt top right I saved 84% and only had $2.73 worth of doubled coupons.
On these two receipts the idea is the same. I saved 88% on the top left with only $4.96 worth of doubled coupons and the receipt on the right was 95% savings with only $3.84 worth of doubled coupons.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not excited about this change. I am a couponer after all. But let’s think about something else as well. Take out the three inserts you got in your 8/4 newspaper. You should have a SmartSource insert and two RedPlum inserts. There were 52 coupons that came in the Wichita Eagle. Over half of those (68%) would not double in any capacity anyway.
I honestly only use a small percentage of the coupons I get my hands on. This will stink for those awesome deals that require the coupon to double, but it is definitely not a deal breaker for me.
I have heard countless comments about just price matching at Walmart and getting all of your deals there. Which, is an understandable reaction. If I have other price matching to do I may do that as well, but I am honestly not too impressed with Walmart’s meat and produce departments. I will continue to shop at Dillons because we will still get fuel points and if they are lowering prices on thousands of items then maybe it won’t be as bad as it seems? We’ll see what kind of “lower prices” they have in store.