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Coupon Overview: How to Cut Your Monthly Grocery Bill


Using coupons at the grocery store is an easy way to cut your monthly grocery bill. Consumers are finding it easier than ever to clip, organize and use both manufacturer and store coupons to save money while shopping for groceries. Coupon savvy shoppers can easily save 50 percent or more by planning their grocery visit utilizing coupons.

Clip, Organize and Use Coupons

Organizing your coupons is perhaps the most important part of effectively using coupons. You've likely seen some savvy shoppers in the grocery stores with binders full of page-protected coupons. On the contrary, you've probably also seen some shoppers fumbling around in their pocketbooks or some other type of container, searching for a coupon like a needle in a haystack. In order to find your coupons easily, it is wise to organize them in a binder with protective sleeves (baseball card holders work well for this) according to location in the grocery store. Label your tabs with items such as breakfast, dairy, meat, frozen vegetables, feminine products, etc. Don't go to the grocery store without your coupons and avoid buying products that you do not have coupons for, unless they are a necessity or a better deal. Similarly, avoid buying products only because you have a coupon.

Where to Find Money-Saving Coupons

Some consumers don't know where to find coupons for items that they purchase. Finding coupons is actually not hard to do, you just need to know where to find them. First, check your local Sunday newspaper for valuable coupon inserts. In addition to newspaper inserts, coupons can be found in magazines, home mailers and online at various websites, including manufacturer websites, coupon websites and social networking sites (such as Facebook). Often times, manufacturers are willing to mail coupons to their consumers via the postal service. Find the phone number of a manufacturer you would like coupons from and call them to request coupons.

Look through Weekly Circulars

Once your coupons are neatly clipped and organized, sit down with your coupon binder, weekly circulars from stores in your area and a pen/paper. Take note of what is on sale in the stores and match with like coupons. For example, your local grocery might have a leading brand of cereal on sale. Flip to your "breakfast" tab in the coupon binder to see which coupons match the advertised item. Do this for all items, even if you don't need the item now. An advertised item may be free or close to free after the advertised discount and coupon this week, but may be full-price next week.

Familiarize Yourself with Store Coupon Policies

While most stores accept manufacturer coupons, some do not. In addition, some stores will double or even triple coupons up to a certain amount. Familiarize yourself with the coupon policies of the stores that you will frequent and use that information when looking at advertised weekly specials. If store A doubles your coupon, but store B does not, your better deal might be at store A. In addition to learning the terms of use regarding manufacturer coupons, ask your store what their policy is regarding stacking store coupons with manufacturer coupons. For example, Target will allow customers to stack a store coupon and manufacturer coupon for like items, which increases your savings.

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