When it comes to reducing your grocery budget, you will most likely have heard the tip regarding using as many coupons as possible. While this may sound great in theory because it enables you to get some items at steeply discounted prices, this may not always be the best approach to saving money on your next cart of groceries. Below are a few aspects to look out for before loading those seemingly great grocery bargains and coupons into your shopping cart.
Compare pricing to Regular Priced Items
One of the best ways to determine whether a coupon deal is worthwhile or not is to compare it with the price of an item that has not been discounted. In many cases, you will find a cheaper alternative on the shelf – without even having to use any coupons. For example, item A is discounted by $1 when a coupon is used, bringing its price to $3 from an original price of $4. However, item B on the shelf is $2,50 and is the same size or quantity of product as item A. This means that you would actually save $1.50 when buying item B instead of only the $1 when using the coupons to purchase item A.
Beware the BOGO Deals
Although the allure of ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘buy 3 and only pay for 2’ deals can be tempting, it’s also important to do a few quick calculations before tossing any of them into your shopping cart. In several instances, the price you are paying for the ‘free’ item will already have been incorporated into the price of the other two. If there are alternative brands of the same product on the shelf, always compare their pricing before thinking that you are getting a great deal because one item will be free.
Always Check Expiration Dates
When items are close to their expiration dates, many stores will sell them at steeply discounted prices or sell two or even three of them for the price of one. When a deal seems too good to be true in this regard, it is essential that you check the expiration dates beforehand. After all, you wouldn’t want to save money on an item only to have it go bad before you and your family will be able to use all of it. However, if the items are not perishable and you know that you will be using plenty of them in the foreseeable future, it never hurts to stock up on them.
While coupons may seem to be an excellent tool to help reduce your grocery budget, this only applies if you will genuinely be getting a good deal. Do not collect coupons for the sake of getting items at discounted prices – especially if it is for items that you do not usually use anyway. Before taking your coupons to the grocery store, it is recommended that you check to see if your local store will be willing to accept them or not.