Start clipping coupons.
You don't have to go crazy or spend hours doing this. Pick about 7 items that you buy often. Look though the coupons in the Sunday newspaper for things that you normally buy. You can also head over HERE for a great run-down & list of online printable sites. Some stores also allow you to 'stack' coupons = using 1 manufactures coupon + 1 store coupon. Also keep an eye out for the store doubling or tripling coupons - this could potentially turn a $2.00 coupon into a $4.00 coupon!
Great items to focus on include (but of course not limited to):
The more comfortable you become with coupons the more you can add. Eventually try to match your coupons with what's on sale to maximize your savings. Getting items for free or almost free is a good time to stock up.
Use the weekly grocery ad
Plan meals for the following week around what is on sale. Remember, setting a menu can not only save time but also money!
Take advantage of apps, blogs & websites
Krazy Coupon Lady
Grocery IQ - also an ap
Saving Star - also an ap
You can also head over to Living Well Spending Less for a 'Beginners guide to coupons'.
Check unit prices
Most stores now list the unit prices or the item. The unit price will tell you price per:
Example taken from The Alps:
Product A = $3.00 for 20 items (unit price $15.00 per 100 count)
Product B = $2.00 for 20 items (unit price $16.67 per 100 count)
Without looking at the unit price most people would chose B because it is "cheaper". However, buying A will save you more because the unit price is less. So just be aware before you automatically grab the 'less expensive item'.
DO NOT be afraid to try store brands. Many store brands are as good if not better than the name brands. In a blind taste test some of Target's brand beat out the big guys! Aldi's has their own brand = most of their store. Some stores, such as Aldi's & Publix offer a product guarantee with their own brand.
BUT also be aware that sometimes the name brand items will be LESS expensive then the store brand with sales and/or coupons. Again - check the unit prices!
Head over to Living Well Spending Less for more tips on how to 'Cut your grocery bill in half'.
If you have any tips or things that work for you please feel free to share!
Adapted from Charlotte Observer - 3 tips to save money in 2014 by Tara McAlister - December 29, 2013