Feeding your family isn’t cheap. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the average family of four spends $148 to $296 each week on groceries. That’s not including meals at restaurants or even coffee at work or snacks at school.
Aside from food, you’ve got to buy laundry detergent, clothing, toiletries like toothpaste and deodorant, and household items including dish soap and aluminum foil. The expenses add up fast!
With so many things to buy — most of which aren’t luxuries — you definitely want to save cash whenever possible. A lot of the ways we save are common sense, such as shopping when there’s a sale and stocking up.
Cutting coupons is still a good option, too. According to a survey by NCH Marketing Services, Inc. 315 billion coupons were distributed last year, with nearly 81 percent of consumers reporting they use coupons regularly.
Still, many savings tools seem like too much trouble, such as when you clip 50 coupons and then only redeem a few. Then there’s the idea of going store to store to buy a retailer’s sale items. How much of your time and gas is wasted driving around for a would-be deal?
For some shoppers, the savings strategies are worth the effort but others discount the deal-hunting as a hassle. So are coupons the answer? Buying in bulk? Price matching? To save the most money, you need to combine your efforts and commit to at least a few savings tactics, and there are a few tricks and techniques you may not have thought of.
Consider adding money-saving apps on your smartphone or tablet; shop dollar stores for deals and look for bargains on the Internet and social media sites. No matter how you save, pat yourself on the back for making an effort to save money. And when you get a great buy, tell a friend so you can share the savings!
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.