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Getting The Good Stuff Cheaper: Groceries

BOSTON (CBS) - Two weeks ago we spent the week talking about saving money. Conclusion from listeners; "It's hard to save!" Most folks do not want to give up their current lifestyle to save.

We all want the good stuff cheap. So how can we buy the same goods and services we want and pay less in order to save?

To do that you will need to spend your time. The adage that "time is money" is so true!

We talked about groceries 2 weeks ago but it deserves another look. Groceries take a big bite out of our budgets. I try to save on average 20% on my groceries! I know you are thinking extreme couponing but I don't do that. I don't have a lot of time for this but I have a system and it works for me.

Once you set up a system it will not take much time and if you can save 20% or more on groceries that will add up in a year. With the average family spending $5,000 a year on food, that's $1,000 in savings.

Get a notebook or use your cell phone to keep track of what your family likes to eat and uses. And where you can buy it at the best price. That's the price you want to beat.

Head to Walmart or Target and check their prices. I have found that they are 20 to 30% less than some grocery stores for staples and frozen goods. My daughter's gluten free bread is 40% cheaper at Walmart.

Track the sales at your grocery store for many are cyclical. Stock up if you have the storage space. I never pay shelf price for Hellman's mayonnaise!

Some folks love BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club. And some of stuff you buy there is of exceptional value. These clubs work best for a large family. Many folks end up throwing out food because it either goes stale or they are really tired of eating the same cereal for a month.

And use coupons when you can. I staple them to my grocery list so I don't forget them.

I don't often buy generic brands. I like the real thing and if I can buy them with a coupon or on sale for the same price as the store brand I am happy.

One more thing: I found a good book Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There by Mark Di Vincenzo. I have been using his suggestions to find the best deals. The book on Amazon is $11.23 or you borrow it from your local library and take notes.

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