One way to cut your grocery budget is to use coupons. By my own estimation, I save hundreds of dollars a year by shopping with coupons. Here are some tips on saving money by wisely using coupons to your advantage.
Use Coupons Only for Food You Will Eat
Plenty of coupons out there are for food “products” that are not beneficial to your health. For my family it’s important to use coupons only for things that will actually fit into our lifestyle. This applies to food, cleaning products and toiletries. Thankfully, there are many coupons available for fresh and healthy foods that can be found in a number of ways.
Once you gather and clip your coupons, use them on sale items to maximize your savings. This can help you to stockpile your pantry or simply increase your buying power on a smaller budget. Many times, new products go on sale at the same time a company issues a coupon for them (a new type of cereal, for instance). Also, one thing I learned a few years ago was that when an item is on sale at 5 for $10, you don’t have to buy 5 of them to get the sale price unless it specifically says so in the ad.
Take Advantage of Double Coupons
Many grocery stores allow you to double coupons on certain days of the week. Just watch their ads for the details. You can increase your savings by taking advantage of these opportunities and planning your shopping trips on that day. The local grocery store where we used to live doubled coupons up to 75 cents on Wednesdays. Many items can be purchased for free or almost free this way, especially if you’re buying something that’s already on sale!
Stack Coupons for Great Savings
Some store chains will allow you to “stack” a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon for the same item. Let’s look at an example: Seventh Generation Cleaner is on sale at Target for $2.49. You print a manufacturer’s coupon from the Seventh Generation website for $1.00 and a Target coupon from the Target website for $1.00. By presenting both coupons to the cashier for the same item, you get the cleaner for 49 cents!
Use Store Savings Cards for Discounts
If your local grocery store has a preferred customer card, you can typically sign up for free and have access to some great sales and possibly earn rewards. The CVS Extra Care card allows you to take advantage of special prices and earn Extra Care Bucks that you can use on future purchases.
Coupons can be a helpful tool in shrinking your grocery budget and stretching your dollar. Once you learn to use them to your advantage you won’t want to return to your old way of shopping!