Five Simple Ways To Save Big On Groceries

generic supermarket AP

"Coupon Mom" Stephanie Nelson feeds her family of four on less than $100 a week.

How?

Check out her nickname!

Nelson, who founded CouponMom.com, calls her method "strategic shopping," and thinks of grocery shopping as a fun game of sorts.

On The Early Show Friday, Nelson shared five tips to help you shrink that total at the bottom of your bill at the supermarket:

DOES YOUR STORE DOUBLE COUPON?

That's when the store's double the value of coupons. Shoppers don't realize stores do it. But double coupon-ing literally is when you have a coupon for 50 cents off, and the store doesn't mind just swiping off $1.00 on the same, single product. Also, ask your store, "Do you have 'buy one, get one free' offers, and how do they work? What kinds of special promotions do you offer?"
Once you know your store's rules, you can combine them to pay the lowest possible prices for items, and sometimes get items for free.

GET A STORE LOYALTY CARD

One great thing about a card is that it means the store will send you coupons every month. Another great thing is the electronic discounts you can get. What are electronic coupons? Certain grocery store Web sites, such as Kroger.com, will direct you to shortcuts.com, where you can go through all sorts of name-brand products that you would be buying when you go to the store, and just add the discounts to your Kroger card for when you actually go to the store. So, if you see a coupon for Dannon yogurt online, just add it to your Kroger card and swipe the card when you buy the yogurt.

ONLY SHOP ONCE A WEEK

That reduces impulse shopping. Plan your week's meals around your store's sale items and make a comprehensive shopping list. Taking a few minutes to make a detailed plan will save you the time of unplanned trips to the store during the week, which can kill your budget.

STOCK UP ON SUNDAY PAPERS

Over 75 percent of grocery coupons come from the Sunday newspaper. Buy two-to-three copies to save the most.

BE BRAND AND STORE FLEXIBLE

Buy the brand that's on sale with a coupon, or get the store brand if that's less expensive. "Good enough" will do! Check ads for area stores and shop at the one with the best deals on your items that week. Don't go to the same store out of habit every week without checking other store prices.



CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann and a crew visited Nelson in Atlanta, to prepare a profile of her. While they were there, she prepared homemade brownies for them that cost her a total of -- 50 cents!

Strassmann did some "strategic shopping" with Nelson, and filed this report (click on the arrow in the image below):

  • CBSNews

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