How to cut big money from your grocery bill each week
The first thing to realize is that you aren’t alone in your quest! There are a ton of useful couponing sites out there on the Internet that can help coupon newbies settle in and get comfortable with guidelines and regulations. Check out www.pocketyourdollars.com for a general overview of couponing, as well as deal lists for national chains like Target and Walmart each week.
The second thing to do is to create a standardized grocery list for your family, with the go-to items you buy each week (like cereal, meat, produce, snacks, whatever.) The sheer act of list-making helps you ward off impulse purchasing, which is definitely a budget-buster.
You should also go ahead and get a small accordion file to organize your coupons into. You can usually get a purse-sized file for under $5 at an office supplies store. Divide up your categories according to your family’s needs (breaking coupons down by meals/snacks/produce/toiletrie s, for example.)
As the weekend (and your Sunday paper) approaches, you might look at www.sundaycouponpreview.com to see what coupons will likely be in your paper. If there will be a lot of high-value coupons on items you buy, consider purchasing several copies of the paper to snag extras of those coupons. Many local weekly papers also offer coupons in their free deliveries, so don’t toss that paper on your lawn into the recycling without checking inside!
All right, Sunday’s here, and it’s time to coupon! Grab your scissors, your grocery list, and your coupon file and settle in. You will want to pull all the coupon sections, along with the weekly ads for Target, Walmart, local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, and any local grocery stores. Many store ads will highlight sales that you can match back to coupons in the same paper, which will help you plan for your shopping trip. Frequently, you can even find deals that involve bounce-back loyalty coupons for a store, or sometimes even gift cards that you can use on your next purchase!
Clip all the coupons for products you use, regardless of brand loyalty. If you can match a store sale on an item with a coupon, it’s probably going to be worth trying a different brand of granola bars! Pull coupons you know you’ll use right away into the front of your coupon file, and organize all the other coupons by category. That will save you time searching for coupons in the grocery aisle.
Your first couple of coupon-enhanced shopping trips will take you a little longer than usual, so plan for that and go alone if at all possible to avoid gaps in concentration (or kids begging for impulse buys.) But it will all be worth it when you get your receipt and see how much you save listed at the bottom!