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Saving Money at the Grocery Store

In these tough economic times, prices at the grocery store are growing. The good news is that with a little time and effort, you can cut your grocery bill in half. A few simple steps will get you on your way to saving!

The first step to take is researching the available grocery stores in your area. Make a list of stores, and write down the incentives that each offers. For example, do they double coupons? If so, what is the highest coupon value that they are willing to double? It is best to shop in stores that will double coupons up to $1.00 as opposed to $.99, as most coupon values are $1.00. In addition, consider whether or not the store offers “rewards” such as free greeting cards or turkeys at the holidays. Currently, Price Chopper stores are offering discounts on gas! For every $50 spent, shoppers earn $.10 off of their next fill-up. Also, find out whether or not a membership card is required. Usually these cards are free to obtain when the shopper provides some basic information at the customer service desk. Choose a primary store as well as a back-up store. People love routines and habits, and may have a tendency to go to the same shop every trip, but based upon the weekly specials, your first choice may not always be the best choice.

Next, get coupons! While some people consider clipping coupons a hassle, it will honestly save you more money than you anticipate. Look in the weekly newspaper, and visit online printable coupon sites including coupons.com and smartsource. Also, visit the online sites of brands you love. Many offer printable coupons or sign-ups for coupon books sent to you via mail. It is helpful to have a coupon organizer for ease of locating what you need when you need it. Your coupon inventory will grow quickly! Pro Tip: if you work at a store like Publix then you should have a web portal to log into like Publix Org where you can find special things for just employees.

Then, review the store fliers that come in the mail. Don’t just throw them away! Evaluate the weekly specials based upon your household needs. In most cases, one of your “chosen” stores will prove the better choice. But there may be times that you decide to visit two stores in order to maximize your savings. Of course, store proximity must be taken into consideration these days due to the high gas prices! As an added bonus, sometimes the store fliers will contain extra coupons, so look carefully!

Finally, be flexible when you shop. Making a list and sticking to it limits your options and will end up costing you more in the end. Keep an open mind. As you shop, look for items already on sale for which you have a coupon. For example, if granola bars are on sale for $2.99, down from $3.25, and you have a $1.00 off coupon, and are shopping at a store that doubles your coupons, you will get the $3.25 item for $.99! Don’t be afraid to buy and try new things based on price. Most importantly, see your shopping trip as an adventure. Challenge yourself to see how much you can save. Hold on to those receipts and see if you can get better at saving each week!

Good luck!

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