Bi-lo is a chain of grocery stores that operate in the Southeastern United States. Since I live in the southeast I am VERY familiar with this chain (there’s one three miles from my house). To get the best grasp of the concepts we need to go through how they handle their specials and coupons.
Bi-Lo Weekly Specials
Bi-Lo was one of the first stores to adopt the shopping card model with the Bi-Lo Bonus Card. This is where you have to have a store card that they scan in order to get the sale price of any item in the store. This brilliant move has allowed Bi-Lo to truly target their customers with coupons and mailers that bring them back to the store time and time again. Each week there is a new sales ad and any normal week (can change on holidays) the advertised specials will run from Wednesday to Tuesday. Bi-lo is best known for running buy one get one free deals and there are usually a minimum of 20 BOGOs on any one given ad. Most of the time this will be your best chance to get a great price on something after using a coupon
Bi-Lo Coupon Policy
Maximizing your savings at Bi-Lo will depend on how good you get at
abusing adapting the limits of their coupon policy to your shopping habits. Here’s what you need to know about each part of their coupon policy:
- BOGO Policy – Buy one get one free deals are really a 50% off discount. So you only have to buy one BOGO item to get the sale price. If you purchase more than one BOGO item you can use a coupon on each item
- Coupon Doubling – Coupons that are 60¢ or less will be doubled automatically at the register. This means if you bring in a 50¢ off coupon they will double it and make it $1.00 off your total order. You can see both the manufacturer and store discount for each coupon you have that is 60¢ or less.
- Coupon Limits – You can only use four of the same coupon in a single transaction. So if I have six coupons for my favorite cereal I will have to do two transactions in order to use all six.
- Store Coupons – Bi-Lo Has two ways of distributing store coupons. The first is through mailers that come directly to your house. This is a reason to give them your actual address when filling out your info for the Bonus Card. The second is through a small printer at the checkout. From time to time you will get a bunch of coupons that print out on a separate printer next to your receipt. These can be GREAT coupons because they are frequently not specific to one item. For example I got one the other day that was $1.00 off a bag of chips. That means I can use them with any bag of chips in the store, even ones that are on sale.
- Competitor Coupons – Bi-Lo stores accept coupons from local competitors. What qualifies as a competitor is up to each individual store manager so check with yours to see what local stores qualify. My store accepts coupons from Target, CVS, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Publix (and pretty much anybody else that sells groceries).
- E-Coupons – By syncing your Bi-Lo Bonus Card you can get even more savings. With programs like Savingstar, Ibotta, and uPromise you can stack cash back deals with your in-store coupons. Bi-Lo also has money off at the register e-coupons but those will count like a store coupon.
- You can use competitors coupons. This will vary by store so check with a manager to see what stores they consider competitors.
- You can stack a competitor or store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon, and a cash back e-coupon to get extra savings.
Bi-Lo has the FuelPerks Program where you can get money off your gasoline purchases just for shopping at Bi-Lo. For every $50 you spend you get $0.05 off per gallon on your next purchase at a Shell or other participating gas station. These rewards accumulate until you use them. I have gotten as much as 30¢ off per gallon. This program is part of the larger Fuel Rewards Network which can give you even more rewards for shopping with a synced credit card. You can get all the details in our Fuel Rewards Network review.
Bi-Lo frequently adds extra store coupons to items that are damaged or have gone on clearance. I got $6 off a 16 pack of nice toilet paper (read not sand paper) because it was opened and had one roll missing. These red coupons that are stuck to the packages of the damaged or clearance products can be a huge money save.
The Ideal Scenario
To help you get the best perspective on what an AMAZING deal would look like at Bi-Lo I will run through an absolute best case scenario. This type of scenario is probably closer to fiction than something you can expect to find but once in a blue moon it all comes together with something like this:
You have a regularly $5 item that Bi-Lo puts on BOGO. So now your price is $2.50. There is a manufacturer’s coupon for $0.60 that Bi-Lo doubles to $1.20. That brings us to $1.30. There is also a coupon from CVS store coupon that is for $1 off that same item so we now have reached the $0.30 mark. Finally there is a SavingStar cash back coupon for $0.50 and a iBotta cash back e-coupon for $0.50. Now they are paying us $0.70 to take the item.
Like I said something like this rarely happens but you can frequently get 60-80% off BOGO items and save yourself a bundle.
How I Use Bi-Lo
There is a Bi-Lo only three miles from my house, so in a pinch, I head there for groceries we need right away. Other than that we only shop at Bi-Lo for items that are on sale or are on sale with a coupon. The selection at Bi-Lo is better at Aldi so it might be tempting to use them when you want to do a more exotic meail. Instead of paying for large amounts of spices and other ingredients, only to have them go bad, my wife and I have been purchasing meal kits by mail. Services like Home Chef, Plated and Blue Apron all give you options of meals that you choose and are shipped to your house. You take all the ingredients and recipes in the box and cook the meals. This is a much better option than going to a grocery store and buying a spice for $10 that you may only use once.
If you have any questions about coupons at Bi-Lo or if you just want to brag about how good of a job you did finding an amazing deal leave it in the comments and I will be happy to help or rejoice with you.
The fuel perks program can also be used to your advantage for major purchases. My best friend introduced this to me when she bought Lowes gift cards to buy a new washer and drier set, of course on sale over there. We like Papa Johns pizza…I buy a few gift cards a month. Birthday gifts, Fathers Day Starbucks cards, Michaels because we scrapbook, and we are saving for new appliances by buying gift cards. Right now they are triple reward points, so I am getting 6 percent back. At Christmas they were 5x points, so 10 percent back. And if I put them on my Capitol One card that gives me 1.5 percent back, it adds up.
That’s a great point Lorraine and I completely forgot about stacking your FuelPerks. I always buy my gift cards from Bi-Lo for the same reason. If you know which retailer you are going to be making a purchase from you can go get your gift card and pocket the rewards. I will add a section on just that tactic. Thanks!