Lots of people clip coupons to save money at the market, but going to the store without a plan can cost you big time. Not to worry— our Coupon Mom, Stephanie Nelson, is here with some strategy secrets that could cut your grocery bill in half.
"When I go to the store, I pay attention and I look at different sale prices," says Stephanie. "And sale prices can vary. For example, this wheat bread's on sale for $3.99. If I were loyal to a particular brand, that brand is $4.39. But if I'm brand flexible, which is a key to strategic shopping, I can get this good-quality wheat bread on sale for $1.99. That's more than 50 percent off the full price."
It's important to know what things cost. Track the fluctuating prices of your favorite items over a six week period so you know what the lowest price is and can stock up.
"So for example, I see that chicken goes on sale every other week. Every other week, I buy a two-week supply. And that single item saves me $400 a year when I stock up," Stephanie explains. "Stocking up on items doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money to buy three months' worth of an item. You simply need to buy enough of an item to get you to the next sale."
Being a strategic shopper means learning your store's rules on promotions, like buy one, get one free. Often you don't have to buy two; you can buy one and get it for half price.
Also, many stores have store loyalty cards, and if they do, you definitely want to get the store card because there are many automatic savings programs such as getting discounts on fuel or special rebates. Using these methods, strategic shoppers can save an average of 50 percent on their weekly grocery bills.
"It's not about compromising the quality of what you eat. It's being smart when you shop," adds Stephanie.
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