3:04 AM PDT, March 24, 2013
Area Meijer stores eliminate program, invest in lower pricing for all shoppers
Saturday is the last day Meijer shoppers will be able to take advantage of double couponing in South Bend-Mishawaka area stores.
"I'm disappointed," Becky Mammon, a South Bend mother of three and a coupon clipper, comments on Facebook. Many area shoppers participated in our discussion about the change.
"It makes it better for my pocketbook when coupons are doubled," she says.
Christina Monroe, of South Bend, is also disheartened by the program's elimination, which Meijer has been communicating to shoppers on the back of receipts in the last few weeks.
"I'm not an extreme couponer," Monroe comments on Facebook, "but the only reason I shop Meijer is because of the doubling. I am a single mother, so every penny counts."
Monroe will be evaluating and re-evaluating where she can shop the best promotions for the best value. Paula Brown-Landrum, of South Bend, admits she might not shop at Meijer as often.
Double couponing is a promotion that gives consumers an incentive to visit a particular store by offering double the face value of certain coupons. Some believe the "extreme couponing" phenomenon, marked by hoarding-like behavior, has negatively impacted coupon promotions.
South Bend-Mishawaka Kroger stores still double coupons up to 50 cents, says John Elliott, a Kroger spokesman.
He adds, "Although the policy is subject to change."
Because the Meijer announcement comes on the heels of Kroger's decision to end double couponing in parts of Ohio and Kentucky, some area shoppers wonder whether the promotion eventually will be eliminated by all grocers and other stores.
Double couponing is being discontinued in some markets at the same time that Meijer is investing in lower prices for all consumers, says Frank Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Grand Rapids-based retailer.
"Double coupons only affect a certain percentage of items, and we believe that lowering prices throughout the store is more of a benefit to our customers," he says.
After Saturday, all Meijer stores will accept coupons at only face value.
The company also offers savings to customers who register for its mPerks digital coupon program. Guglielmi says the program boasts 1.1 million subscribers.
Jami Ruth, of Mishawaka, is a longtime coupon clipper and Meijer shopper.
"I started shopping at Meijer years ago because they doubled coupons," Ruth says. "I was not intentional or consistent about it. I'm not an extreme couponer, but just trying to be smart in purchases."
But she made a New Year's resolution to look for ways to trim the family budget. That has prompted her to set aside two hours every week to sort through ads and clip coupons.
"I try to never pay full price for an item. And I'm trying to only buy items if they are on sale and I have a coupon," Ruth says. "Meijer has been one of my favorite stores because they have double coupons."
While the discontinuation of the program won't keep her from shopping Meijer, Ruth says she will be more price-conscious and "may choose to drive a quarter of a mile down the street to get the item cheaper."
Let's discuss couponing during our next live chat. Our discussion will start at 1 p.m. Tuesday at www.southbendtribune.com/chats.
Local golf instructor opens SwingLab
Mark Hamilton has spent the past 29 years coaching youngsters, students, All-Americans and seniors.
Hamilton, the Saint Mary's College golf coach, has been offering outdoor coaching at South Bend's Blackthorn Golf Club.
But now he has added a new indoor location for
He recently opened SwingLab inside SoccerZone, at 1435 University Drive, east of the Mishawaka SuperTarget. The 1,100-square-foot area features a realistic hitting surface, putting green and chipping turf.
Hamilton uses a split-screen video analysis system with cutting-edge instructional techniques to coach area golfers. He also has a monitor, which measures 14 variables in the golf club and ball flight. This allows students to see their golf club in 3-D and measures the precise distance, direction and spin of the ball, Hamilton says.
More information about SwingLab and Hamilton
is available online at markhamiltongolf.com.
Have you heard?
Between the Buns has closed its doors at 12797 Indiana 23, Granger. The restaurant, which had been operating for the past five years at the corner of Princess Way, suddenly closed Friday. ... Two South Bend restaurants have received the AAA Four Diamond Award. The restaurants are LaSalle Grill, 115 W. Colfax Ave., and Carriage House, 24460 Adams Road. Only 2.6 percent of the 29,000 restaurants approved by AAA make the Four Diamond list.
Heidi Prescott's column runs on Fridays and Sundays. Contact her at email@example.com or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket. Hear her weekday reports at 6:52 a.m. on The WSBT Morning News with JT at WSBT-AM (960) and WSBT-FM (96.1).