Quick Fixes for Big Shopping Bills

Cut your grocery budget in record time

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The Krazy Coupon Lady

Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler, founders of The Krazy Coupon Lady, claim they bought $800 in groceries for $100 in their first week clipping coupons. “By using multiple coupons, stacking sales with coupons, and stocking up when we could get a deal, we’ve cut our grocery bills in half,” Demer said.


In their book, Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey, they’ve simplified the process for you. Read on for their favorite tips.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Melissa Niu Photography

Tip 1: Plan Meals Around Sales

"Don't mindlessly grab a $2.50 head of lettuce. Rather, buy the spinach that is on sale for $0.25 and make a spinach salad instead."

TIP 2: Be Organized

"All the coupons in the world won't save you a penny if you can't find the one you need, when you need it. Find an organizational method that works for you."



Photo courtesy of JohnKwan/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of JohnKwan/Shutterstock.com

Tip 3: Learn To Recognize a Sale

"Learn the prices of everyday items so you can recognize what is and what is not a good deal. Don't be that person who uses a $0.25 coupon on a $5.00 box of cereal."





Photo courtesy of Supri Suharjoto/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Supri Suharjoto/Shutterstock.com

Tip 4: Stock Up

"Anticipate the products your family needs and purchase a three, six, or 12 month supply when they're 70-80-90% off retail price."




Photo courtesy of Picsfive/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Picsfive/Shutterstock.com

Jamie Chase

While housebound due to a newborn baby, a one-year-old, and a mother with Alzheimer’s, stay at home mom Jamie Chase cut coupons to offset the higher prices of home delivery. "During one holiday season, I saved close to $1,000 in just over a week—on items I already intended to buy," she said.


Now she shares her wisdom in her book, The Lazy Couponer. Read on for her easy, time-saving ways to cut your grocery bill.

Tip 1: Clip Coupons When You Plan to Use Them

"Keep the inserts together by date. When it is time to head out to shop, take a moment to cut out the coupons you want. Not only is this method time-saving, but you’ll be less likely to lose coupons, or forget to use them because they’ll be fresh in your mind."

Tip 2: Use Coupon Databases

"Type the brand name or product you seek in the search bar and you’ll be linked to several options for each—from coupons you can print to where you can find a hard copy of them." 




Photo courtesy of Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Tip 3: Know the Difference Between Store and Manufacturer Coupons

"Often you can combine manufacturer with store coupons, doubling the savings on the items you purchase."




Photo courtesy of igor kisselev/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of igor kisselev/Shutterstock.com

Tip 4: But Don't Stockpile

"Most products go on sale every 6-12 weeks, so get what you need when you have a matching coupon. If you miss a sale, wait to buy your product when the sale comes back around. Couponing should be easy and save you money, and stockpiling is not part of that equation."




Photo courtesy of Anthony Berenyi/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Anthony Berenyi/Shutterstock.com

Laurin Mills

A hefty grocery bill led Laurin Mills to set a $100 per week budget to feed her family of five. But she didn’t want to stock up on processed foods. “Buying a product you do not plan to use, even if you get it for half its price, is still a waste of money,” she said.


By planning her meals, and then searching for coupons for products she’d already had on her list, she saved over $40 per week. Now she is the founder of The Daily Dinner, a web site that offers weeknight meal planning based on specials at several New England based grocery stores.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Laurin Mills

Tip 1: Have a Plan

"Write out your shopping list for the week, and then compare your list to what coupons you have on file. Don't buy a product just because you have a coupon for it—that just results in overspending, not savings." 




Photo courtesy of Rosinka/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rosinka/Shutterstock.com

Tip 2: Compare and Contrast

"Often buying a brand name product with a coupon is more expensive than purchasing the store brand or another brand on special."




Photo courtesy of Tyler Olson/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tyler Olson/Shutterstock.com

Tip 3: Check the Food Manufacturers' Websites

"Many retailers offer great value coupons that you can click and print through their web site."




Photo courtesy of Rob Marmion/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rob Marmion/Shutterstock.com

Tip 4: Invest in a Coupon Organizer

"There are many options for inexpensive coupon organizers (try Amazon.com). Clear out expired coupons so you don't become discouraged searching through a large stack before you head out to the store."



Photo courtesy of Dima Sobko/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dima Sobko/Shutterstock.com

Jill Balis

Jill Balis, mother of young twins and Senior Vice President of Marketing for RetailMeNot, shops mostly online. “It’s easy to find coupons, compare prices and go for the best deal,” she said. Recently she saved $70 in one purchase at Gap Baby.


Here are her tips on how to save and find online deals.

Photo Credit: WhaleShark Media

Tip 1: Use a Coupon Aggregator Site

"Use Google Product, Price Grabber or NexTag to find the lowest price, but don’t assume you've found the best deal. Another store may sell the item for a dollar more, but offer free shipping or a coupon code, so visit a coupon aggregator site such as RetailMeNot as well."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of RetailMeNot

Tip 2: Track Your Savings

"Track your savings for a few months. This will provide incentive to stay disciplined."




Photo courtesy of jocic/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of jocic/Shutterstock.com

Tip 3: Reward Yourself with Your Savings

"Save for a rainy day, but live your life also. Buy an item for yourself, your spouse or your kids with the money you've saved. Just remember to use a coupon first."




Photo courtesy of Sergey Mironov/Shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sergey Mironov/Shutterstock.com

Tip 4: Share Your Deals with Friends and Family

"Share your deals with your friends and family, either in person or via email, Facebook or Twitter. And ask your friends and family to share their deals with you."



Photo courtesy of pressureUA/Shutterstock.com




Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.


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Photo Credit: Courtesy of pressureUA/Shutterstock.com

First Published Fri, 2012-03-30 07:31

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