How to Shop Smart for Your Family (Slideshow)
June 27, 2014
Don’t break the bank with these money saving tips
Using manufacturer and store coupons together, known as stacking, can save a bundle. For example, combine a manufacturer coupon for $1.50 off two cereals with a store coupon for $1.00 off one box of cereal and you’ll be able to shave $2.50 off your breakfast bill.
Two gallons of milk at a time? Double loaves of bread? A huge jar of mayo? Buying in bulk is a big investment but it can be a good idea if your family eats the food before it expires. Share the membership with family member or friend to maximize the bargains. For example, shop with a friend to buy in bulk and then split the haul evenly, such as sharing a case of soup or dividing up a dozen bagels. Before you sign up for a membership, check each warehouse’s policies, such as membership dues, use of coupons, and return requirements.
Shop with Apps
Keep your smartphone handy as you’re shopping. Using apps can save you money. Check out Target’s Cartwheel app, for example, where you can search “tooth” and the app will let you know which dental products are on sale, such as “15% off Crest toothpaste” or “10% off Oral-B Toothbrushes.” You can even scan the product’s barcode to see if the exact product you’re buying has extra savings.
Use Coupons (Lots of Them!)
Buying a few newspapers each Sunday just for the coupons can pay off! A coupon for $5.00 off baby formula is great but if you get a few more newspapers, you’ll save more on baby formula and the other coupons you use too. If you don’t want to buy extra newspapers, here are some other ways to get more coupon inserts.
You might not consider a dollar store as a place to buy anything more than knickknacks, but think again. Shop at dollar stores to snag deals on greeting cards, paper plates, batteries, and birthday balloons.
Internet & Social Media Bargains
“Like” a manufacturer’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter for exclusive offers like coupons for free items or a percentage off the purchase price. You may also get sneak previews of upcoming products and coupons to try the items for free.
Want the great “door buster” deals offered by a variety of stores but can’t be bothered to drive all over town? Consider price matching. For example, you can price match your local drug store’s discount price on a certain brand of tissues and your corner grocer’s deal on hand soap. Many retailers, including Walmart and Target, offer price matching. Check each retailer’s price matching policy since exclusions apply such as “not valid on store brands” or “must buy two.” Keep the printed store ad with you when shopping in case the cashier needs you to show it.
Don’t feel like you have to buy name brand peanut butter to get a deal and enjoy great taste. A Consumer Reports study found many store brand products can be a great deal! For example, they ranked Walmart’s vanilla bean ice cream “just as good” as Breyers natural vanilla, with the Walmart ice cream costing 30 percent less!
Shop for deals when they’re offered. Load up on school supplies every July and August during the back-to-school sales. When else can you get name brand crayons for a quarter? Stock your pantry with canned goods during the fall and early winter when they’re on sale. Another must-buy? Stock up on sunscreen during SPF sales in spring and summer, when manufacturers offer lots of coupons too.