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Saving Money on Groceries and Household Goods
by Kari Lamanuzzi

Sometimes, just a few dollars can make a difference between an overdrawn bank account (with all of the fees to go along with it) and one that is barely in the black. While you may not be able to save money on your rent or car payment, there are areas that you can pinch pennies in. The best example of this is the grocery store. Below are a few tips to help you save money on groceries and household goods.

  • Buy the Sunday paper, every Sunday
    Regardless if you'read it or not, the Sunday paper is a great way to save some serious cash. For about $1.50, you'll get access to the inserts in the paper which usually have around $100 or more in coupons in them. Even if you only go shopping once every two weeks, make sure you get each Sunday paper, as there are different coupons each week. If there is more than one paper in your town, buy them both. Chances are, the coupons will be the same, only the codes will be different. Depending on which grocery store you go to, they may take them both (so you'll get twice the savings). Clip them all, even the ones for items that you normally wouldn't purchase. With some careful planning, you may be able to get some stuff for free, as I'll outline later.
  • Get online and search for more coupons
    With your coupons in hand, try to match them up with others. Good websites to check out are www.coupons.com, www.redplum.com, www.retailmenot.com and www.dealcatcher.com. All of these sites let you print the coupons right from your computer, although you may have to install a special coupon printing program. To save yourself time an email spam, don't worry about hunting down coupons that make you give your home or email address. Also, save additional cash by printing them out in black and white, instead of color.
  • Choose which grocery stores you go to wisely
    This is just as important as clipping the coupons. Keep your eye out for the circular ads that grocery stores put out to advertise the items on sale. Another good tip is to only go to the stores that double coupons, so you'll save twice as much money with the same amount of coupon clipping. If you get embarrassed to go through the checkout with a bag full of coupons in your pocket, try going through the self scan aisle.
  • Combine your coupons with in-store specials whenever possible
    This will help you to save even more money. Don't be afraid to put off purchasing your favorite cereal or yogurt until it goes on sale.
  • Hit the Dollar Store and Target before the grocery store
    Many times you can find the same kinds of dry foods the grocery store has at the Dollar Store, but for a fraction of the price. Target is another great place to stop, especially if you have multiple coupons for the same item. Target takes just about any manufacturer's coupon, and while the store doesn't double coupons the fact that you can use five coupons for the same item more than makes up for it. In many cases, Target has cheaper prices than the grocery store to begin with, anyway. For example, a box of Kraft Shells and Cheese sells at my local grocery store for $2.25, while at Target I get the same box for only $1.57.
It also helps if you make a game out of saving money, challenging yourself to spend less and less money each time you go shopping. The last time I went to the grocery store, I saved more than $50 using coupons. If you take advantage of the tips I listed above, you can have the same level of success.

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