These days, it seems everyone wants to save money. Using coupons is a great way to do that! However, some people are intimidated by the idea of using coupons when grocery shopping. It's actually quite easy! Here are some tips for coupon shopping and what to expect in the store.
1. Just because a coupon is published for a product, it doesn't mean it's the best deal. Don't just cut the coupons and use them right away….Save them for when the item goes on a good sale.
2. Coupons are changing these days. You can find more coupons for organic items, "light" items, bagged salads, etc. Plus, within a brand, there is usually healthier option; such as Ragu Heart Smart. So if the coupon says "any Ragu" you can opt for the healthier one.
3. Walmart is the only store who price matches groceries. But it is limited; they won't match gimmicks such as buy one, get one free. They also don't double coupons. Price matching fruits and vegetables can be much more beneficial than every day groceries. You can use the ads from such stores as Food City, Sunflower Market, and Sprouts (who typically have the best produce prices), and let the cashier know how much the items you are purchasing should be adjusted to.
4. A good rule of thumb for knowing if you are getting a good deal is: if the sale for the product is at least 50% off the regular price, and THEN you are adding a coupon to it, it is a good (or even great) deal.
5 There are a number of websites that help shoppers plan their meals and save money. For downloadable coupons, go to www.smartsource.com, www.pillsbury.com, www.cellfire.com, among others. Also, savings blogs such as the one www.azgrocyerguru.com/blog help shoppers know what's going on by listening to others' experiences.
6. A big mistake consumers make is not waiting for the good sale. Instead, people feel rushed to use the coupon soon after it's been published. Be patient, and wait for the good sale so you save the most.
7. Buy in multiples when possible. When Ragu is .30 a jar, you'll want to get 3 or 4 to last you until the next great sale like that. So, getting multiple papers on Sunday or getting extra coupons from your relatives or neighbors really helps. You can also try trading coupons with groups of friends or within your mom's club.
8. If you like certain brands, go directly to their website and request coupons (or sign up for their coupons/newsletters they already offer). Sites such as www.huggies.com and www.bettycrocker.com have coupon areas right on the webpage.
9. Watch your receipts. If you are overcharged for a product at Safeway, Fry's, Albertson's, or Bashas, they will give you the item for free when you go to customer service and point out the error.
Using these tips above can help you save money in the grocery stores, and those coupons will really add up to a lot of savings. Imagine cutting your grocery bills in half by changing a few habits….what would you do with that extra money?