How to save on your weekly shopping

Buying groceries in our economy can be quite challenging. Taking some time to educate yourself on how to stretch a dollar will give you a better price for food for yourself and your family.

First off, when food shopping, check your local stores and comparison shop for the items on your list. You will quickly see that on a week to week basis some offer the exact same goods for less than their competitors. Additionally, if you sign up for the store’s free reward program, you will get additional savings on sale price items. When signing up, you may wish to decline giving the store your e-mail address for weekly email notifications. Some companies have taken e-mailing to the extreme and bombard your inbox on a daily basis with advertisements. If you do have to give your e-mail address, you can later "Unsubscribe", while still being able to use your rewards card.

Check your local newspaper for coupons. There was a time when only the thriftiest shopper would come in with a file folder filled with coupons. However, if you take a moment to look through your daily paper, you can easily save money by utilizing the weekly coupons in it. Think of it this way, taking one minute to cut a few coupons out can save you ten dollars at the register. Who wouldn’t want to be given ten dollars for two minutes of work?

There are also websites that offer consumers coupons on a daily or weekly basis. Among the best are:

1. Coupons.com: This site offers coupons for food, beverages, toys, household goods and other items.

2. Supermarket Guru: Gives you advice on specials in a variety of supermarkets in your area.

3. Living on a Dime

4. Smartsource.com

5. RetailmeNot.com

Additionally, chain stores like Walmart and Target are becoming major competitors for supermarket chains. They also offer organic products at competitive prices to your regular supermarkets or health food stores.

If you are looking to buy in bulk, we recommend Costco or BJs as a great option, offering not only raw food items, but cooked food, flowers, furniture, household items, clothing and jewelry at deep discounts.

Finally Dollar Stores are popping up all over the place. They are also a great option for the educated consumer. Plastic ware, items for students (notepads, pens, pencils) as well as bowls and holiday decorations can be found for just one dollar!! They also sell some food items although the quality of these goods has come into question over the past years, so buyer beware.

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