If you are not using coupons, this is a great time to start. Get out the scissors, fire up those printers and start clipping during September, which is National Coupon Month.
People have a misconception that only poor people use coupons, but that is far from the truth. Actually, the average coupon user makes around $70,000 a year. There are some people that save more money using coupons than the average shopper spends each week at the grocery store. What does that mean? That means that people are saving up to 50 percent on their weekly grocery trips with minimal effort. What if I told you that you could save up to $50 an hour, would that get you to start clipping? It roughly takes me two hours to plan a weekly shopping trip where I save an average of $100. That comes out to $50 an hour. I am not sure of any other way you can save $50 an hour.
So, where are you going to find these coupons? The Sunday newspaper usually provides at least two inserts; a RedPlum and a SmartSource. If you don't subscribe to the newspaper then I would suggest printing coupons from a computer. Printable coupons can be found and printed for free on a number of websites including coupons.com, redplum.com, smartsource.com and couponnetwork.com.
Many brand websites, such as Pillsury.com, Snackpicks.com (Kraft), BettyCrocker.com, and Mambosprouts.com, have coupons that you can print and use. More stores are starting to offer paperless coupons that can be added right to your loyalty card. Also see sites like Cellfire.com, Upromise.com (this also helps you save for college) and Savingstar.com, which is one of my favorite sites.
Besides using coupons, it's a good idea to follow grocery sale cycles. Never purchase an item just because you have a coupon, but hold onto the coupon and wait for a sale on the same product.
Search through the circular before heading to the store. This is a very important step in order to save money. Have your coupons on hand while putting together your grocery list. Try to organize your coupons within your list, so you are not searching for coupons at the checkout.
Maybe this month should be renamed Save-tember. Start slow and select three coupons that you are going to use each week and start there. Either way, it's a great excuse to jump start the year to save money at the grocery store.
Make sure to visit Bucktownbargains.com for more money saving tips and list of current printable coupons.