Couponing isn’t Just for Crazies

The other day, the mother of a family that I babysit for was excited to tell me that they had gotten these bags of tortilla chips for $1.50 each. What a deal, considering I’m quite the fan of tortilla chips and salsa if I can find them for a good price. I asked her how she did it, and she explained that her latest thing has been couponing and finding good deals.

Now before you think “oh, she’s one of those crazy couponers that you see on TV.” She’s totally not, she holds her PhD and is a Professor at the university I graduated from. And you too, can be an entirely normal person and benefit from the wonderful discounts that a little extra time can help you find. Here’s a couple tips for couponing effectively.

  1. Utilize your store’s flyers and bonus cards. I love my local food store. It’s less than 2 miles from my house, they send me their flyers and I have a bonus card. Not only do I get great discounts, I accumulate points to get discounts on my gas too! And with how much gas costs nowadays, I need that.
  2. Shop around. You shop around for a car, you shop around for a computer… why don’t you shop around for groceries. Now, I understand if you live in a small town with only one grocery store, there’s no point in driving a half an hour to a different one to save 10 cents. But if you live in an area with several stores, like I do, find where your staples are cheapest, and take a grocery tour instead of just a grocery trip.
  3. Buy before the sell-by date. I got a half pound steak the other day for 2 bucks… it was originally 6. How did I get such a steal? Well, first, I had a coupon for 5% off my next purchase of $20 or more, but I also got it the day before the sell-by date. Bread and meat go for cheap at this point; if you’re worried about it going back, just freeze it! The sell-by date is also usually a freeze-by date.
  4. Use the web. The internet has tons of websites for coupons and to compare deals. Why run between stores if you can get all the information that you need online. Always check with an anti-virus before downloading any programs that you may need to get in order to print your coupons, but most are reliable and safe. You can also get some pretty good deals for groceries on Amazon and other sites that offer online grocery shopping. Yes, it may feel like the lazy way to do things, but with Amazon’s free shipping for most orders over $25, you may be saving yourself both money and time.

Your food budget doesn’t have to break the bank. Follow these tips and know that couponing isn’t just for crazies… it’s a great way to find awesome deals! Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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