7 Tips to Save More on Groceries by Couponing

Most people complain that they don't have enough time to clip coupons. While this may be true for some, for others it's less an issue of having enough time and more an issue of setting priorities. According to a study by Nielsen, a leading global marketing and advertising research company, the average American watches about five hours of TV per day, and the average Facebook user spends almost 16 hours per month on the website. On the other hand, it takes less than two hours to rack up savings of $100 or more per month by couponing - and even more if extreme couponing strategies are utilized.

Would you rather spend time watching reruns, or actually saving some money? If you choose the latter, here are seven tips to help you out:

1. Establish a Filing System
Staying organized is key to maximizing your savings with coupons. Start a home filing system and categorize coupons by expiration date. Then quickly check your file prior to every shopping trip at the grocery store.

2. Shop on Double Coupon Days
Most national grocers designate one day of the week to double manufacturers' coupons. Find out when this is for your preferred grocer and shop exclusively on that day.

3. Combine Coupons With In-Store Discounts

Most coupons are redeemed shortly after they're issued. To improve your savings, wait until you can partner them with in-store specials - just be careful to not let them expire.

4. Stack Coupons
There are basically two types of coupons: those that are issued by the manufacturer, and those issued by the grocer. You can stack these coupons to multiply your savings. For example, if you have several manufacturer coupons plus an in-store coupon good for $5 off $50 in purchases, just make sure your total exceeds $50 after your other coupons are applied.

5. Buy Multiple Copies Of Your Sunday Paper
The Sunday paper is your best bet for finding coupons. But to double your savings, buy two copies. Add coupons to your filing system to make sure you don't miss their expiration dates.

6. Go Online
There are a wide variety of printable coupons available online. Visit manufacturers' websites and other websites dedicated to printable coupons, such as BeFrugal.

7. Check Store Policies
Many grocers limit the amount of coupon doubling you can do, and may or may not accept competitor's coupons. Look for your grocer's posted coupon policy, or check with customer service - the more familiar you are with your grocer's policy, the more you can save.

Final Thoughts
Groceries are typically the second-largest monthly expense for most households, right behind the rent or mortgage payment. Even if you just pay attention to your Sunday paper or watch for the discounts printed out with your grocery receipt, the savings can be significant. So why not take advantage of them?

What other couponing tips do you have for saving money at the grocery store? Tell us in a comment!

This is a guest post by David Bakke, an avid couponer and contributor for Money Crashers Personal Finance, a site dedicated to helping readers save money, build wealth, and invest for the future.

Image thanks to karmadude.

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