BOSTON (CBS) – How can we buy the same goods and services we want and pay less? It will take work on your part. Saving money always means spending your time.

Groceries takes a big bite out of our budgets. Let’s start there for everyone needs to eat.

Coupons and sales are a good way to get good stuff cheaper as is the food clubs like BJ’s and Costco. Think of coupons as currency. Now I don’t bend over to pick up a penny but I will stoop for a dollar. So a dollar-off coupon is worth using.

I try to save on average 25% on my groceries! I know you are thinking about extreme couponing but I don’t do that. I don’t have a lot of time for this but I have a system and it works for me.

Once you set up a system it will not take much time and if you can save 25% or more on groceries that will add up in a year. With the average family spending $5,000 a year on food, that’s over a $1,000 in savings ($1,250).

I don’t often buy store brands unless I know who produces the product and it’s hard to know who produces the product unless you ask and then often times no one at the store seems to know who packages their no-name black beans.

I like the real thing and if I can buy them with a coupon or on sale for the same price as the store brand I am happy.

Get yourself a notebook and keep track of what your family eats and uses. Then track the sales at your grocery store for many are cyclical and if you have storage space stockpile ketchup and mayonnaise when it’s on sale.

Use a coupon organizer. I leave my coupons in the car so they are always available.

Between coupons and the weekly sales I saved over $55 last week.

I did go to 3 stores to get all of the things I wanted. But I did not drive out of my way to get to those stores so I did not use extra gas. When I work in Boston I stop in at several stores on my way home. To achieve those savings I did need to spend my time.

I found a good book Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There by Mark Di Vincenzo. I have been using his suggestions this spring to find the best deals. The book on Amazon is $11.58 or borrow it from your local library and take notes.

One more thing:   Online help – My Coupons, Double Take Offers, Penny Pinching Gazette, Mommy Savers, Hot Coupon World, The Coupon Clippers a site that will clip the coupons and mail them to you. There is a fee for this.


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