Winco Foods does not offer military discounts, but there are ways to save when shopping at Winco.
Winco Foods, as it is without discounts, is incredibly affordable, possibly one of the cheaper options when it comes to grocery shopping where you can buy cheap foods as well as cheap bulk items. Winco is majority employee-owned, and is comparable in prices to Wal-Mart, but sometimes more consumer-friendly because it is employee-owned. Winco has 127 employee-owned stores and over 20,000 employees.
Let’s take a look at the history of Winco, how to shop at Winco to make it even more affordable, as well as other grocery stores that might offer a military discount.
About Winco Foods
Winco Foods is a privately-held, employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States. It originated in Boise, Idaho in 1967 under the name of Waremart. In 1985, employees created an employee stock ownership plan and purchased a majority stake from the owners, making Waremart an employee-owned company. Waremart changed its name to Winco in 1999, and saw a lot of expansion during the early 2000s. They’ve made their way from the Pacific Northwest market into California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Oklahoma.
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In 2017, Winco became Certified Employee-Owned. “As one of the largest ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) companies in the nation, WinCo Foods believes wholeheartedly in the benefits of employee ownership. In August of 2017, WinCo Foods continued to support the values of employee ownership, by becoming a founding member of Certified Employee-Owned, an alliance of companies dedicated to building a voice for employee ownership. Certified Employee-Owned works to unite employee-owned companies with a common brand that will raise national awareness of employee ownership and provide a source of differentiation for its members.”
How To Find the Best Deals When Shopping at Winco
Winco is popular for its extremely cheap prices. Just like businesses like Trader Joes, Winco opts for a “no-frills” approach to business to keep costs down. Keeping things simple, as well as purchasing their products directly from farmers and manufacturers allows them to keep their prices low. If you’re shopping at Winco, you’re most likely already getting an affordable rate on most food. You can make things even more affordable by purchasing in bulk, and meal planning. By coming in prepared, you’re less likely to make impulse purchases.
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Strategies to shop for groceries and essentials on a budget:
- Plan ahead. Number one strategy for staying within a budget is to plan ahead. Go into the store knowing what you want to buy, how many meals it will create, and any other things that you might need. If you want to buy snacks, but you aren’t sure what, create a budget for how much you are ok with spending on those snack items. If you’re in places like Oregon with no sales tax, you can keep track of exact costs. If you aren’t, keep a rough tally, or know how much tax is, and calculate it into your total costs.
- Coupon clipping. Clipping coupons isn’t for everyone, but Winco accepts manufacturers coupons and you can save a ton of money by using coupons on products that are typically lower than competitors’ prices already. You can save ads from the mail, or ask friends if you can have any coupon flyers that they don’t want. You can also check online for manufacturers coupons and print them out if you’re really committed to savings.
- Shop the “Wall of Values” at the front of the store, and anywhere else that it’s marked. Winco shops in bulk and tries to pass these savings on to customers without requiring big bulk box store memberships or having to buy in bulk yourself. These items rotate out and are often much cheaper than competitor prices, as well as cheaper than Winco sometimes offers when they aren’t in this value aisle.
- Look for green tag prices in the store. Most items that are yellow-tagged items, which means they are the regular price that Winco offers (which is usually still cheaper than other supermarkets) are affordable. But if you find items with a green tag, this means extra savings on top of the savings you are already receiving. These sales typically last for 3 weeks or so, so if it’s something you buy frequently and isn’t perishable, it might be worth stocking up on.
- Skip out on the toiletries at Winco. The options for non-grocery related items are usually pretty limited and the prices aren’t as competitive. You’ll find better options at other stores, as well as comparable prices where you can stack coupons and get the products that you want.
- Shop in bulk. There are some awesome bulk items at Winco that can save you a lot of money. If you purchase gluten-free items, they even have bulk gluten-free spaghetti noodles. You can buy in bulk by-the-pound or even bulk sacks of products which can save 5%.
- Depending on where you live, Winco will “refund” you $0.05 if you bring your own grocery bags. Many cities are implementing ordinances and laws that are banning plastic bags and charging people 5 cents to use paper bags. So when you bring your own, you are rewarded with this small credit back to your total purchase price.
Grocery Stores That Offer a Military Discount
No matter where you shop for groceries, it never hurts to ask if they offer a military discount at checkout. Depending on who your cashier is, they’ll offer you some type of discount even if they don’t offer a military discount, while others might say no.
There are some grocery stores, depending on your region you may or may not have access to these stores, that offer military discounts in support of active-duty, Veterans, and retired military members and their families with proper identification. Some stores offer discounts for military families on specific days of the week, which seems random when it could be offered every day, but all you need to do is ask. Some stores and employees are more than willing to offer a discount when asked, even if it’s just an employee discount.
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Some of the grocery stores that offer military discounts are:
- Fred Meyer
- New Seasons offers military discounts every Tuesday
Many grocery stores offer military discounts on and around military holidays like Veterans Day. If you plan to purchase something that costs a bit more, it might be worth asking or waiting for one of these sales to pop up. While military discounts are nice, and it’s a great way for businesses that support the community to show its support through actionable and helpful means like a reduction in out-of-pocket costs for necessities like food. The best ways to save money on your grocery bill will almost always be meal planning, making a list, and creating a budget that you would like to stay within range of when you go to the grocery store. The other tips are to make sure you aren’t starving when you start shopping or everything will look good, possibly blowing your budget out of the water.
While Winco doesn’t offer a military discount, they do try to keep costs much lower than competitors’ prices, and will sometimes give that reusable bag fee back to you, on top of accepting coupons for products which can reduce your overall bill even more. Winco is a great company to support, as they are employee-owned, no-frills, and just aim to provide the lowest prices on name-brand products that many people seek out and need.