Clipping coupons

The Associated Press reported today that April saw the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years, up 0.9%. That’s nearly a 1% increase in just one month. It’s part of the trend of increasing prices for consumer goods and should sound a warning bell for saavy food shoppers: It’s time to take another look at your grocery list and see where you can cut costs.

One of the easiest ways to save on your grocery bill — but a tactic many are reluctant to employ — is to use coupons. Sure, you don’t want to look like a cheapskate arriving at the checkout with a fistful of coupons, but put your pride aside and get out the scissors. Get the Sunday paper delivered? Dive into the fliers and you’re bound to find one, two or even three coupon books for everyday foods and products.

In the Northeast, we have weekly fliers from SmartSource, RedPlum and a number of manufacturers such as Proctor & Gamble. I find a lot of great deals on Sundays, especially since most of the stores by me double most coupons below $1. Combine a doubled coupon with a sale, and your savings will skyrocket.

For example, if a 4.1-oz. tube of Colgate toothpaste, regularly $2.99, is on sale for $1.99, and you have a 75-cent coupon that gets doubled, that $2.99 cost is cut down to an incredible 49 cents (plus tax, where applicable, natch).

You’ll never want to pay full price again!

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