Grocery-CouponsGroceries are just one of the many things that have risen in price over the last five years.  Thanks to economic factors like the US housing bubble, big bank failures and the ongoing issues surrounding oil production, getting by is getting harder.  Learning how to save money is becoming a way of life for many average and even “wealthy” Americans.  Cutting your grocery bill is one way of achieving this.

It’s no wonder, then, that coupon clipping, or “couponing” is seeing resurgence in mainstream popularity.  It’s why so many people are tuning into television shows like “Extreme Couponing.”  Viewers get inspired by regular citizens who are saving hundreds of dollars on their monthly grocery bills and even walking away with free groceries.

These so-called “couponers” are, of course, the extreme (hence the name of the television show).  Not everyone is going to be able to achieve the kinds of savings the show is known for featuring.  But everyone can save money, and even a savings of $10 per week can add up over the years.

So here are a few tips from the “experts.”  They are not professional economists, but rather, they are regular shoppers with average incomes, mortgages, student loans and mouths to feed.  If they can do it, they say, anyone can.  This is what they suggest:

* Use coupons on items that are on sale.  Most manufacturer’s coupons can be used at any time, including when the item is on sale.  So if you have a coupon worth 50 cents off of a box of spaghetti, hang onto it until that brand of spaghetti goes on sale at your local grocery store.  This way you can make your money stretch even further.

* Use multiple coupons on the same item, if allowed.  Not all stores and manufacturers allow this.  However, if you find one that does, it means you can double or triple your savings, or even get the item completely free if you have enough coupons.

* Look for coupon and discount “matching” deals and stores.  Some stores will “match” coupons and discounts offered by other stores if they carry the same product.  This means that they will accept a coupon at face value as if it had been issued themselves.  This can save you extra money if their store’s regular price (or sale price) on that item is lower than the store that originally issued the coupon/discount.

* Buy in bulk whenever possible.  Buying in bulk can save you between ten and thirty percent (sometimes even more) than buying the same item individually.  If you have coupons for an item that is available in bulk, you may be able to use it on that bulk purchase, which will save you even more money.

* Read your local newspaper religiously.  Or, at least, scan it thoroughly for local coupons.  Your newspaper can be an excellent source of coupons for the very stores that you are most likely to shop in.  Plus, they will keep you informed of any upcoming sales or other special events where you are likely to find discounts above and beyond what would normally be available.

* Read/subscribe to multiple newspapers, especially if it won’t cost you much extra.  Every newspaper has its own coupons and exclusive deals, so the more you can get your hands on, the more money you’ll save.

* Join an online coupon club.  You may be able to find online coupon Websites that have deals on national brands and retailers, as well as ones that are devoted specifically to businesses in your locale.

Join as many as are applicable to you.  It’s usually free, and you’ll have access to dozens and even hundreds of coupons and deals you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to.  Some excellent grocery coupon Websites with printable coupons include www.SmartSource.com, www.SlickDeals.net and www.Coupons.com.

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