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Grocery Coupon Tips and Tricks

Mastering some simple tips and tricks is key to maximum grocery savings.

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Know your store's coupon policy.

Do they double coupons? Do they accept competitor coupons? Do they accept internet coupons? If so, are there any limits or restrictions? For example, Shaw's accepts internet coupons. However, they apparently have this policy, which they never actually share with their customers, that you cannot use an internet coupon to get something "free."

Use multiple coupons.

This one is so simple, yet it amazes me when people do not realize that you can buy multiple items using multiple coupons. For example, if Progresso soup is on sale for $2.00/can and you have two $1.00 off one coupons, you can buy 2 cans and use both your coupons.

Stash your coupons and get big savings - for example Muir Glen pasta sauce was on sale for $2.99 each. I had EIGHT (yes, I did) $1.00/1 coupons. So I bought 8 jars on sale and used my 8 coupons. This method is key to stockpiling things you use all the time.

Maximize the Buy 1 Get One (B1G1).

These are some of the best deals you can get. Even alone, with no coupons, they tend to be good. However, using coupons on top of the B1G1 is even better and one of the best ways to get thing for free or close to free! When scanning a store circular, I almost always check out the B1G1 deals first and match coupons.

(a) You can typically use 2 coupons for a B1G1 deal. For example, if Quaker Oatmeal is on sale Buy One at $2.50, Get One Free and you have 2 $1.00/1 coupons, use 2 coupons. You will get 2 boxes of oatmeal for .50. This also works for a B1G2 deal - use 3 coupons!

(b) You can use a B1G1 manufacturers coupon on top of the store's B1G1 deal to get two free products! This one is somewhat rare, but it's so great when you get it. For example, Price Chopper had Oust Spray B1G1. I had a B1G1 manufacturers coupon. So I got 2 products FREE. You tend to see a lot of manufacturers B1G1 coupons for cosmetics. Clip them, get as many as you can, and wait for some store to have a B1G1 sale.

(c) You can almost always use a $1.00/1 coupon with a B1G1 deal. For example, Pam Cooking Spray is on sale Buy One for $3, Get One Free. Use a $1.00/2 coupon and get 2 products for $2.00 or $1.00/each.

Stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons.

This is another way to get free or almost free stuff. Lots of stores have in-ad coupons in their weekly circular. Many stores, like Shaws, offer weekly internet coupons. So long as they are store coupons, you can use (or stack) a manufacturers coupon on top of it. For example, Shaw's has Culinary Circle crackers on sale for $2. They have a $1.00/1 in-ad coupon, and you have a $1.00/1 manufacturers coupon. Use them both to get the product for free! Note that this does not work if the in-ad or store coupon is a "manufacturers" coupon so be careful.

Take Advantage of competitor coupons.

Don't waste your time going to multiple stores. If Stop & Shop has an in-ad coupon, use it Shaw's or Price Chopper or wherever. For example, Stop & Shop has an in-ad coupon for free milk. Competitor stores will most likely accept it. If, for example Price Chopper has an in-ad coupon doubling any coupons up to $3, most competitors will accept it. So scan the ads for those in-ad coupons and use them wisely!

These are some great tips and tricks that can maximize your savings significantly. Enjoy!

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Top 10 Most Popular Grocery Store Coupons Tips

Using food coupons to save money at the grocery store does not have to be complicated. The following tips and articles are among the most popular for learning quick ways to organize coupons, find and use coupons.

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The Different Types of Grocery Coupons

Food coupons in the Sunday newspaper is something many of us are used to seeing, but there are other types of coupons and money-savers available if we know what to ask for or where to look. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your score and it may contain errors.

Going From Coupon Klutz to Coupon Queen

You've seen the stories - shopping guru leaves with three baskets of groceries for under $50. Have you ever wondered what people like that, the Coupon Queens, do differently than you when it comes to using coupons? You may be surprised to find out that a few extrasteps in clipping coupons could net you the same experience

Grocery Stores That Double Coupons

Anytime we can double the face-value of a coupon, it's a good thing. Thanks to visitors to Coupons and Bargains at About.com, we've been able to put together a gigantic list of stores around the country, set up by state, which will do exactly that - double coupons.

Free Grocery Coupon Sites

As the Internet grows, so do worthless sites promising to save you money, just to capture your e-mail address. It's frustrating, so to help, here is a list of good Web sites offering printable grocery store coupons. You may have to give your e-mail address to use their services, but you will get a printable coupon without a bunch of spam and that's a good deal.

Starting a Small Coupon Exchange Club

Participating in a coupon exchange club can expand your coupon collection and ultimately save you money at the grocery store. If you do not know where to join one, why not start your own? It's simple and lucrative with the minimal amount of work involved.

Stakable Discounts

The practice of stacking discounts has become a popular savings strategy for budget-conscious buyers. One of the reasons its popularity has grown is because retailers have discovered that it is an excellent way to draw customers into their stores. Why not take advantage of it?

Local Grocery Deals and Weekly Values

Combining coupons with weekly grocery deals is a great way to save. People who practice this type of saving technique cut hundreds off their food bills. But the circulars usually show up in Thursday's newspaper. If you do not get your local paper, you can still take advantage of the circulars by looking at them on the Internet any day of the week.

Cut Three Hundred Dollars or More Off Your Grocery Bill

Imagine cutting $300 a month off your grocery bill, then imagine what you could spend that money on! A pedicure, that cute trendy dress at Bloomingdales, a set of tires or all of the above. I mean, I adore food, but it's not the only thing I want to spend my money on.

Coupons and Refunds Glossary

Reading some of the coupon and refund exchange forums can be like entering into the Twilight Zone. Words like "DUPES" or "NED" can leave us scratching our heads. That is where this nifty glossary of the most common coupon and refunding terminology, acronyms and abbreviations can come to the rescue.

Rain Check, Please

You've checked the weekly ads, matched up your coupons, but when you get to the store they are out of the advertised item, but that doesn't mean you should leave empty-handed.[2]

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Cut Your Grocery Bill

By following the 10 tips below, alert shoppers can save up to $300 a month off their grocery bills. Are you ready to start trimming the fat off your food bills?

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A Little Homework

Planning before you head off to the supermarket will help you shop more economically. Take the time to do a quick inventory of your kitchen to determine the food that you need. Prepare your shopping list and make notations of applicable coupons that you may want to use. Read the newspapers and circulars to find the best deals.

The truth is, your credit score, sometimes called a FICO score, is a number based on the information in your credit file that shows how likely you are to pay a loan back on time -- the higher your score, the less risky you are.

There are three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The credit bureaus write up your report based on any information they received about you from companies that gave you credit in the past, such as your payment history, the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have and amounts owed.

From that report, a credit score is derived -- which ranges from 300 to a perfect 850.

That score is a quick way for lenders to assess how risky you are as a potential borrower. The higher your score, the less risk you pose to lenders and the more likely it is that you'll get their best available rates.

Consumers with scores above 700 are usually charged relatively low rates, and those with scores above 760 are charged the lowest rates.

Consumers with scores below 600 are typically charged relatively high loan rates, and if your credit score is really bad, you may be not be able to borrow at all.

Any late payments you made will lower your score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, says, ideally, you want your score to be well above 620, that's a drawing line for creditors. (The median credit score in the United States. is 723.)

Credit card provider Providian Financial estimated that consumers with an average score would reduce card finance charges by $76 annually if they raised their score by 30 points.

"If [all] consumers were to raise their credit scores by only 30 points, on average they would save $16 billion on lower credit card finance charges alone," said J. Christopher Lewis, Providian's chief public policy officer.

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act , you can obtain one annual free copy of your credit report. For more information visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. But you will still have to pay a fee to get your scores.

"Those who have obtained their scores know significantly more about credit scores than those who have not," noted CFA's Brobeck.[3]

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8 Smart Grocery Shopping Tips

Spending too much on groceries can quickly eat up your monthly food budget. Below you'll find eight useful tips that are easy to put into practice and that can help you to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket.

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Don't buy frozen dinners.

Instead of buying these overpriced convenience meals, freeze your leftovers or put together your own frozen meals.

Then, when you need something for dinner or would like something to eat, you'll have several delicious meals to choose from that are not only cheaper but also better for you.

Use coupons.

Even if you only save a dollar a week using coupons, you'll still end up saving over 40 dollars for the year.

Steer clear of using coupons for things you don't need or don't usually buy.

Only use coupons for things you are going to purchase anyway and only when you really are getting a good deal.

Keep an eye on the scanner.

If you shop at a store long enough you will be overcharged at some point, probably several times.

Make sure this doesn't happen to you by paying attention to what the store charges you and by bringing mistakes to the attention of the cashier whenever you see them.

Purchase off brands and store brands.

Another way to save money on food is to buy the store brand or off brand of things you buy on a regular basis such as ketchup, mustard, cereal, and canned goods.

The money that you save by switching will add up over time, and you may find that you can't tell much if any difference between some of the off or store brands and the higher priced name brands.

Do the work yourself.

Give less of your money to the grocery store by grating your own cheese and carrots and shredding your own lettuce.

Also cut and marinate your own meats and cook up your own hamburger patties instead of buying the packaged ones.

Leave the kids at home.

Kids can help you to add unneeded items to your cart.

If you find yourself often caving into them, leave them at home with your spouse and get the grocery shopping done yourself.

Don't shop while you're hungry.

You could make it a point to shop on Saturday or Sunday after your family breakfast.

You could also keep a non perishable food item in your glove compartment such as pretzels or dried fruit so that you'll have something to snack on before you begin your grocery shopping if you're feeling hungry.

Meal plan.

Planning out your meals can help you to eliminate or cut down on purchasing groceries you don't need.

It can also help you to stop making extra trips to the grocery store in search of something to make for dinner.

If you're busy and find it hard to have regular family dinners, planning your meals can also make your dinner time more enjoyable by getting your loved ones together to talk and have quality time together.[4]

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