1. Plan spending to avoid impulse buys. This should go without saying, however, it I worth reiterating. An impulse buy of $1 a day adds up to $365 a year. Think about it.
2. Watch for advertised specials and be aware of unadvertised specials. Many times the unadvertised specials are the biggest money savers; Walmart, for example, tends to have phenomenal unadvertised sales. Scout early to combine grocery sales with coupons for maximum savings.
3. For sale items that are sold out, request a “rain check”.
4. Know the stores that allow price matching with other stores, such as Walmart. It is Walmart’s policy to price match with competing stores; utilizing this knowledge will get you the best deal on everything you plan to buy.
5. Stock up on items with rock bottom prices, even if you haven’t run out.
6. If possible, leave children (maybe even your husband/wife) with a sitter. This will help eliminate distraction, and keep the candy, chips, and beef jerky out of your basket if it wasn’t on your shopping list.
7. Utilize coupons when they offer the best savings on items you know you will use. Skip the coupon if you find a better deal on a generic brand.
8. Watch the register and cashier during check-out. Sometimes items do not ring up properly, and sometimes cashiers miss coupons. It is okay to speak up, but be polite.
9. Take advantage of sales when they come out. If you wait too, items may be out of stock.
10. Check the clearance rack! If you find an item you normally buy marked down 50% or more, ignore tip #1 –especially if you have a coupon to match.
Conscientious shopping can save hundreds of dollars a month. Your world does not have to revolve around shopping, coupons, and price matching; if possibly, devote one hour a week to plan. Your checkbook will thank you.