The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money at our Co-op
As costs of just about everything rise, you’re probably worrying about how to keep your grocery budget manageable. I am too, and if you’re naturally a budget-conscious shopper who loves finding good deals like I am, you’re likely already familiar with our sale flyers since most stores put those out. But did you know there are lots of other ways to access deep discounts on the products we stock? From huge department sales to coupons from our manufacturers, this extensive list includes all the ways we can help you reduce your grocery bill when you shop at our stores.
1. SALE FLYERS: Similar to other grocers, we run a wide variety of sales on products in every department each week. We call ours “Co+op Deals” and “Owner Deals.”
A. CO+OP DEALS: Co+op Deals are 1-3 week sales on local, regional, and national grocery brands, many of which are negotiated by National Co+op Grocers, a representative of over 150 food co-ops like ours. These are available to all shoppers usually beginning on Tuesdays.
B. OWNER DEALS: Owner Deals are 4-5 week sales on local, regional, and national brands in every department. These are available exclusively to Menomonie Market Food Co-op owners and usually begin the first or last Tuesday of every month.
You can shop current deals by visiting the “Sale” tab on our online store at shop.mmfc.coop, viewing our digital sale flyers at mmfc.coop/flyers, picking up printed flyers in our entryways, or looking for green and orange sale tags in-store. And you can also get them delivered to your inbox by subscribing to emails at mmfc.coop/subscribe!
2. SALES: Another great way to save money is to watch for big sales. Throughout the year, we run multi-day sales on everything from supplements to bulk ingredients, and we also host special discount days each month.
A. STOREWIDE SALES: A few times per year, we run sales that span every department. One example of this is Local Fest which takes place near the end of the summer. During this sale, everyone who shops can save 10% on over 2,000 locally-sourced products.
B. DEPARTMENT SALES: In addition to storewide sales, we often run sales on individual departments, including our Owner Wellness Sale, Bulk Sale, and more. Be sure to shop these sales early too because products tend to fly off our shelves! The discounts are that good.
C. FLASH SALES: Every so often, we run flash sales that usually last for a day or two while supplies last. These sales aren’t announced ahead of time, but you can check emails from us and look for signs in-store to find out when they’re live.
D. DOUBLE DEALS TUESDAYS: These special discount days happen on Tuesdays, usually twice per month. For one day only, you can access twice as many Co+op Deals as the end of one sale period overlaps with the beginning of another.
Some of these big sales are available to everyone, while others are available exclusively to owners. You can find out when these sales are happening by subscribing to emails or keeping an eye on our website and social media channels.
3. COUPONS & OTHER DISCOUNTS: In addition to weekly deals and big sale events, we also distribute a variety of coupons and offer other discounts.
A. NEWSLETTER COUPONS: In every issue of the Morsel, we include a coupon exclusively for Menomonie Market Food Co-op owners. You can find it on the last page.
B. EMAIL COUPONS: As a special treat for our shoppers who subscribe to emails, we send out exclusive coupons every so often. Make sure you get on our list if you’re not already subscribed so you don’t miss out on any of these great offers!
C. DIRECT MAIL COUPONS: On top of digital coupons, we often send out special coupons in the mail to owners. Watch your mailbox because you never know when they’ll come next!
D. MANUFACTURER COUPONS: Every quarter, many of our suppliers send us small tear pad coupons to display by their products on our shelves. These are available for everyone to take, but you can only find and redeem them when shopping in-store. They’re also usually limit one per customer.
E. OWNER PACKET COUPONS: If you’re not a Menomonie Market Food Co-op owner yet and are considering becoming one, a sheet of exclusive coupons is waiting in your packet when you sign up.
F. BULK & CASE DISCOUNTS: If you’re already a Menomonie Market Food Co-op owner, one of the biggest benefits available to you is case discounts. When you order in bulk, you save 10% on the regular price, and you can even split the case with your friends so you can all save without buying more than you need!
G. CLEARANCE DISCOUNTS: In the ever-changing world of retail, product lines are sometimes discontinued for various reasons. When this happens, our buyers put the remaining products on clearance and sell them at deeply discounted prices. Look for the “Discontinued” sale tags or clearance stickers in-store to nab these deals before they’re gone forever.
H. EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS: One of the best perks of working at our co-op is our generous employee discount that helps staff save on groceries, too. Although the 20% discount doesn’t stack on our already crazy-low deals pricing or boozy beverages, the savings apply to just about everything else. And employees also receive a shift meal discount when they work over six hours in one day! Learn more about career opportunities at mmfc.coop/careers.
I. DOUBLE DOLLARS VOUCHERS: If you’re an EBT user, our Double Dollars Program is a great way to save on fresh produce each week. Every Tuesday, if you spend $5 on fresh fruits and vegetables with your Wisconsin EBT card, you’ll receive a $5 voucher to spend on more fresh produce on your next trip to our food co-op. The limit is $10 per EBT account per Tuesday, and this program is available each month at our Menomonie location as funds allow.
4. EVENTS: Having fun isn’t the only perk of attending social events. You can also save money when you do! These are all of the discounts available at the many events we host and attend annually.
A. STORE EVENTS: Several times per year, we host fun in-store sampling events, such as our Holiday Hoopla, at which you can taste foods and beverages, mingle with shoppers and staff, and, you guessed it… save money! We often run sales on related products and offer coupons that are typically only available the day of the event, so be sure to stop by.
B. COMMUNITY EVENTS: If you see our teal booth at a community event, come say hello! At most of these, we hand out exclusive coupons, free merchandise, and more to attendees as our way of saying “thank you” for visiting us.
C. COMMUNITY CLASSES (RETURNING THIS FALL TO OUR MENOMONIE STORE): On top of knowledge about a new topic, you’ll also get to take home a coupon or two when you join us for a community class. Coupon amounts and types vary by learning opportunity, so the more you attend, the more you can save.
To find out when we’ll be hosting or attending an event, visit our calendar at mmfc.coop/calendar.
5. EVERYDAY LOW PRICES: Although not discounted in the same way as our deals, these product lines are listed at regular prices so low that we had to include them in the list.
A. CO+OP BASICS: Our Co+op Basics Program features a selection of staple foods and household goods that are priced below the suggested retail, similar to how many grocery stores offer “private label” or “essential” brands under their own name. We’re able to offer this pricing not by paying less to employees or farmers, but instead, by working with a network of other food co-ops to negotiate lower prices. These products are labeled with the purple “Co+op Basics” tags in-store.
As you can see from this very, very long list, there are so many different ways you can stretch your monthly grocery budget when shopping at Menomonie Market Food Co-op, and you can do it while still accessing local, organic, and natural products that are better your health and the environment. And we’re always dreaming up ways to add more! If you use this as your guide to saving, you’re sure to make the most out of every shopping trip whether it’s in-store at one of our locations in Menomonie and Eau Claire or online.
This article was originally published in the July/August 2022 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.