July 14, 2011

Category: Smart Spending

Don't go to extremes to save money on couponing

Most consumers with active families don't have the time to resort to the extreme couponing methods that can eat up hours of their day, but there are still considerable ways to save on a grocery shopping trip by applying some of their tactics, according to a report from the Richmond Times Dispatch. One of the best ways for consumers to do this is to get out a Sunday newspaper and comb the weekend circulars for coupons on items they buy regularly and perhaps find discounts at stores they normally visit when they go food shopping. In addition, it may be a good idea to search for more deals online after cutting traditional coupons out of the newspaper.

Coupon experts advise that just 20 minutes of clipping deals will likely net most consumers a large amount of savings, the report said. In addition, a similar amount of time should be devoted to planning meals for a week or two based on the number and type of coupons found during the weekly search. By doing so, some people may be able to save nearly 50 percent on their grocery bill while still loading up on products they already enjoy.

Some stores may also allow consumers to double or even triple the value of their coupons on certain days of the week, the report said. For this reason, it's usually a good idea to call the store and ask whether they offer such a deal. Often, it may be that a supermarket offers double and triple coupon days on, say, the third Tuesday or second Wednesday of every month, and consumers who take advantage of these events will save even more on their purchases.

It may also be a good idea to enroll in store loyalty rewards programs, as these often grant card carriers even greater discounts on certain items, the report said.

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