Dollars and Sense: Cut your Grocery Bill

September 22, 2008 9:05:56 AM PDT
Shop Cop Jennifer Litwin has some tips on how to cut your grocery store bill in half! Plus bargain saving tools for prescriptions! With the average price of staples going up now, like bread and flour, we're all looking for ways to save money on the basics, like groceries, prescriptions and toiletries. Saving money can be challenging if you have a large family that uses up your stock.

Here's some real ways you can start saving:

GROCERIES:

  • Get coupons online instead of clipping coupons from the paper: will save you time. Great source is www.coupons.com or www.coupons.smartsource.com. Can get coupons for a variety of food all on one site.
  • Lower the quantity you purchase. It is a fact that we waste 15-percent of all the food we buy, and we spend, on average, 15-percent of our salary on food.
  • Shop in only one store. Temptations go up the more stores you shop at.
  • Shop for produce at end of day for best bargains.
  • Stay away from wholesale clubs that charge a membership fee, and whose large supply of products will be wasted -- instead, for the basics, try a discount grocery store like the Dollar Store or Aldi's. Can even get toiletries and detergents cheaper here
  • When spend $250 at Dominick's get 125 miles on United?really adds up to defray travel costs.

ORGANIC FOOD:

  • Buy bulk only in peak season * Even Wal-Mart carries organic packaged foods-don't have to go to higher priced stores to buy organic.
  • Join local farmer coops-pay fee but get weekly deliveries. Visit www.nal.usda.gov to find local farmers selling in your neighborhood.
  • Organic companies now offering coupons: Stonyfield Farm and Cascadian Farm.
  • Watch out for savings programs like Upromise. They may save a few percentage points on your purchases but the interest rate on their cards are high.

PRESCRIPTIONS:

  • Illinois residents: Save up to 80% on basic prescription drugs. For more information visit www.i-saverx.net or call (866-472-8333): Order a 3-month supply to save on shipping ($15-25 per shipment).
  • If switch prescription drugs to CVS you will get a $30 gift card. Great coupons here and savings on grocery items.
  • If you are over 65, you can save up to 50% on prescriptions through AARP.

TOILETRIES:

  • We all have unused toiletries, collected from vacations and previous years. Donate these toiletries and write off the deduction in your area. For more information visit www.toiletriesfromtravel.org .
  • When buying less expensive products take advantage of money-back guarantees. Example: Suave. If you don't like the product you don't have to use it up.
  • Beware of coupons you get in the mail. You may be entered into a computer system if you use them and get unwanted junk mail.

***Write to companies whose products you use to get coupons. Organic companies are starting to send out coupons if you write to them. Ex: Amy's, Horizon and Soy Delicious, to name a few.

For more information visit www.jenniferlitwin.com.


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