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Where’s my flyer gone?

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Step by step for mastering Stop & Shop and Big Y apps

By Debbie Gardner

      Are you apprehensive about downloading that app? With traditional sale circulars for supermarkets, drug stores and even most department and discount retailers slowly disappearing from circulation, consumers are finding themselves forced to go digital to find the latest deals.

      Jumping into the world of digital shopping can be daunting for some, especially people who aren’t that comfortable using a smartphone.

      That’s where people like Donna Schroyer, the volunteer tech guide at the Pleasant View Senior Center in East Longmeadow, come into the picture. She helps anyone struggling with technology to navigate their way around their phone or computer.

      “People come here looking for very basic information, how to load an app, how to delete photos, things like that,” Schroyer explained to Prime.

      One of the most popular requests, she said, is learning how to get the apps for the two local major supermarket chains in Western Massachusetts –Stop & Shop and Big Y.

      “For seniors the apps can be confusing,” Schroyer said. “I assist the seniors by working one-on-one with them to assure they get personalized help that they need.”

      For those who need a hand with downloading and navigating supermarket apps, here’s some of Schroyer’s quick tips and tricks.

Start with your phone

      Before getting into downloading store apps, Schroyer said it’s important to be familiar with how your phone works. A flip phone won’t have the capacity to download a shopping app. You’ll have to access the flyer and sale information on another device like a tablet or a laptop.  If you have a smartphone, start with the basics. You may have gotten some simple instructions from the salesperson at the phone store or from the quick start guide that came packed with your phone. If you know how to use the internet, YouTube can be your friend here.

      Go to YouTube and look for a video tutorial on the make and model of your smartphone. The video will help you get familiar with how to access different functions on your phone, and how to locate things like where to download apps – a function called the App Store on an iPhone and Google Play on an Android-powered device.

      “People are amazed because they don’t know the resources are out there,” Schroyer said. “Phones can really do a lot of things, but you have to know how to use them.”

Download the app

      Downloading anything in the App Store or Google Play is going to require you to enter a password. For an iPhone, this is the Apple password you created when you set up your phone. For an Android, it’s usually the same password that you used to set up your Gmail account. When you have that password handy, go to the App Store or Google Play and use the search bar on the top of the page to look for the app you want to download, such as the myBigY app for the Big Y supermarkets.

      Click on the install button. The screen will ask you to enter your Apple ID or Gmail password for access. Once you have entered your password, the app will begin the download process. When that has been completed you will be prompted to open the app on your phone. It will now appear as an icon on one on the screens of your phone for easy access in the future.

Setting up the app

      Once you have downloaded the app, it’s time to set up an account for the store you want to shop at. With the myBigY account, one of the first questions is whether this is a business or a personal account. Then, with myBigY, you have the option of entering an email – or username, – creating a password (with at least eight characters, one letter and one number) and then scanning or entering your BigY Savings Card code – the string of numbers on the back of the card.

If you don’t have a BigY Savings Card, the app will prompt you to enter not only an email address and password, but also additional information to set up your account. 

      A similar process gets you into the Stop & Shop app.

Getting the most from the app

      Once you have access to a supermarket app, you can utilize many helpful options, such as viewing the weekly sale flyer and choosing the digital coupons for that week’s specials.

      Often shoppers see signs in the supermarkets indicating items have a reduced price with a digital coupon. However, Schroyer said, if you haven’t selected that coupon in the app prior to checking out, you do not receive the discounted price.

      Choosing the coupons is usually as simple as clicking on the “load” or “clip” button below the product image. The savings are then loaded to your account and deducted when the cashier scans your card – or you enter your phone number to access your savings account.

      In both the Stop and Shop and myBigY apps, there’s a “save” or “savings” button in the toolbar across the bottom of the mobile app where you can access these coupons.

      In the Stop & Shop app, this brings you to the weekly flyer and the current digital coupon selection (click “view all” on the right-hand side).

      In the BigY app, this brings you to a toolbar that lists myRewards, my Offers (personal savings you can select) and myCoupons where you can select digital coupons for the week.

      Both BigY and Stop & Shop also have additional perks that you can access through the app – or online on another device. For example, Stop & Shop has a program called Go Rewards, where shoppers accrue points for the dollars spent in the store. These points can be converted in 100-point increments for savings on gas at participating gas stations (for Stop & Shop it’s 10 cents for every $100 spent), or for savings on your next grocery shopping trip (here it’s $1 for every $100 spent). Access to these savings is located by using the Rewards star on the toolbar at the bottom of the mobile app. In order to get the rewards, you will need to choose grocery dollars or gas savings, click on Redeem and then Confirm.

      BigY has a similar program called myRewards, where accumulated points, in 100-point increments, can be converted into savings at the gas pump (At BigY gas stations), on your next shopping trip or redeemed for a selection of free products. It is important to load your reward and click on confirm before shopping, so your reward is added.

      The Stop & Shop app also allows you to order your groceries online for pickup at your favorite location, or delivery to your home. Both options have an additional service charge.

      The biggest thing, Schroyer said, is to go step-by-step and to try not to get overwhelmed.

                “It’s a new thing for many people to use the apps and shop with them, but once you learn, it’s very handy and will save you a lot of money,” she said.