ROSWELL, GA (WTOC) - Grocery shopping can take a huge chunk out of your budget, especially if you have a large family.
It can be tough. So tough that some people are considering getting part time jobs just to make ends meet. But we found out it's all about spending wisely and it all starts with adopting a new attitude before walking through the supermarket doors.
No matter how much we dread it, all of us eventually have to go grocery shopping. Most of us spend far more than we intend to.
But one expert, Stephanie Nelson, better known as the coupon mom, says you don't have to break the bank if you first learn how to use store discount programs.
Kroger is known for its 10 for $10 sales. We found it on cake mix that normally sells for $1.67 a box.
"That does not mean you have to buy ten. They're actually $1 each so you can get what you need. In this case, I have a coupon for 35 cents which the store will double so it will only cost me 30 cents for cake mix," explains Nelson.
That was just the beginning of the deals we found on items everyone buys.
"We're going to buy an item that is usually $1.19. We have a coupon for 50 cents off and the store doubles coupons which means they'll take $1 off so we'll pay 19 cents for deodorant," said Nelson.
To maximize the savings, the coupon mom never leaves home without first clipping those coupons from the Sunday sales circular, searching her website for discounts and holding on to all of the deals she gets at the register.
"I got this coupon that I am about to use weeks ago when this item was at full price. The key to using coupons is to wait until the item goes on sale before you use the coupon. So in this case, this item is on sale. Its sale price is $2.69. I have a coupon for $1.50. I'll pay $1.19 for the family size box. That's a good deal," adds Nelson.
Shopping with the coupon mom was almost like being on a treasure hunt.
"Some stores charge full price for the first item and zero for the next meaning you have to buy two items to get the benefit of the sale, but many grocery stores will charge half price for each item which means you only have to buy one to get the savings," explained Nelson. "I only want to buy one. I'll do the math. So instead of paying $5.63, I'll pay $2.81 minus $1.50. I'll pay $1.30 for this big bottle of lotion instead of $5.63. That's a good price, less expensive than the store brand."
There's a real science to what she's doing. Now that we have everything on our list, it's time to check out. We would have paid $98 full price, but after all of the coupons and discounts came off at the register, our bill added up to $17.76 which is a savings of $76.
Here's another tip. When you buy a bag of carrots that is priced by the bag, take the time to weigh it. Many times you can find a bag with more in it. So, you'll get more for your money.
For more information, visit www.couponmom.com.
©2009 WTOC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
730 North Summit Street