Couponing in Killeen: H-E-B and IGA Foodliner

This is part 2 of a series called “Couponing in Killeen” that I hope will help you learn how to shop at our local stores and decide which ones are for you!  If you missed part one which covered the Commissary and PX you can check it out here!  This post will focus on H-E-B and the IGA Foodliner.

H-E-B

I have to admit that during my first few months here I hated shopping at H-E-B.  It was a strange place with all these yellow coupons and I just didn’t get it!  Now that I have spent time studying their policy and have learned how to shop there, I really enjoy it.

H-E-B stores generally have sales with yellow coupons instead of traditional promotional prices other stores offer.  They do still markdown items, but a majority of the sales you’ll see involve grabbing the yellow coupon from the display.  This is nice because it doesn’t require you to clip or bring anything, but to most couponers it is frustrating because it often prevents you from using your own coupons to save more.  At first, I was annoyed too, but in most cases I do pretty well with the yellow coupon deals.  (You can see a post specifically about H-E-B coupons HERE)


Policy Highlights

1.  H-E-B accepts manufacturer issued coupons and store sponsored coupons. They do not accept expired coupons, competitor’s coupons or internet coupons without a bar code. Internet coupons must be legible and will not be accepted if they appear to be altered in any way.  (H-E-B will not accept internet coupons for free items or coupons with another store logo).

2.  H-E-B coupons are usually yellow and found hanging on the display next to the sale items.  There are 3 types of store coupons; Big Savings (indicated by a B in the lower left corner), Store (indicated by an S), and Manufacturer Sponsored (indicated by an M) – As H-E-B no longer allows stacking the types are pretty much meaningless.

3. As of 1/29/2013 you can no longer combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons.   You CAN combine a manufacturer coupon with a type B or type S store coupon.  These make for some awesome savings!  (I have yet to see a type S coupon and in the 8 months I have been here  I spotted my first type S coupon in November 2011 during thanksgiving so they do actually exist!).  So if you see a Big Savings coupon for $5 off when you buy 5 Dreyer’s Ice Cream, you can use a manufacturer coupon on each of the ice creams as well to save even more!

4.  H-E-B does not give cash back, but you can apply the overage to other items in your basket.  There is a little bit of confusion among cashiers and managers about this, but I have verified this with the corporate Customer Service department.

5.  E-Coupons are coming soon!  Stay Tuned!

You can read the H-E-B coupon policy in its entirety here.

H-E-B Tips

1.  Take a few minutes to walk down all the aisles looking for yellow coupon deals if you have the time!  Most of the best deals I find are not in the ad! (Or you can just check out the unadvertised deals here on Fort Hood Savers each week).  I take the coupon, write the price of the item in the corner and save it if I think I will want that deal. (I try to stick to my list while I am in the store to stay on budget, but if I find a super deal I pick it up on the spot.)

2.  Make sure you bring the yellow coupons to the register!  You don’t get the sale prices without the coupons so make sure you grab them and hand them over at checkout.

3.  If you have items that are on markdown (red stickers) make sure to point them out to the cashier.  I have had to go back to the store many many times because a markdown item rang at full price and I didn’t catch it. One time the price difference was $15! Now I place them together at the beginning of the transaction.

4.  If you see a salad or other perishable that is about to expire (usually that day or the next) ask an employee if they will mark it down. I am often shopping on a day I plan to serve salad and have gotten it for 75% off or more just because I asked.

5.  H-E-B has a Fresh or Free policy.  If you find an expired item on the shelf at H-E-B take it with you to the register along with a fresh item and they will give you the fresh item free!  Make sure you tell the cashier you have expired items at the beginning of your transaction so they can get a manager over.  At the Killeen H-E-B they will ask you to take the items to register 8 most of the time.

6.  Check the clearance carts/shelves at the beginning of your trip and look for yellow coupon in the store you can apply to those items.  I quite frequently find things that are free after the clearance discount and a yellow coupon!

IGA Foodliner

The IGA Foodliner is located at 3301 East Rancier Ave in Killeen and is the only store in our area that regularly doubles coupons. They will double your coupons up to .50 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This excludes alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and advertised specials. There is not an official policy that I can highlight, but there are a few tips or tidbits to share.

Update: IGA Now offers printable coupons on their website so they accept them in-store.
1. The store does not accept internet printable coupons at this time. I called and spoke with the manager to confirm this and was told they have no way of verifying the legitimacy of the coupons so they don’t take them. That said, some of you have reported being able to use them, but this will be YMMV. It never hurts to ask when you go in, but go expecting not to be able to and if they let you it is just an added bonus!

2. The stores prices were higher than other local stores so in most cases the doubled value of the coupon made no difference.

3. Make sure to remind the cashier to double the coupons. They do so manually and when I went she had to get help. I don’t think they had many people come in to take advantage of the doubling.

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