PHOENIX — A recent study of consumer spending showed the typical U.S. household could save $1,465 a year using coupons to purchase food, household items, entertainment, clothing, and more, lowering their household costs by 6.4%. The biggest savings, around $316 annually, coming from the grocery store.
“There are so many different things that are outside of our control, I can’t decide what my landlord is gonna charge me for rent, I don’t have control of what’s going on at the gas pump,” said Jessica Fisher.
But Fisher, with goodcheapeats.com, says you do have control of what goes into your grocery cart. It all starts in your kitchen.
“Shopping your kitchen first is gonna be your first line of defense, no coupons required,” said Fisher.
Meaning, use what you already have. She says deep dive into the cupboards and be creative. But when you do shop, tailor your meals around the deals by scouring coupons.
“Save the ones for things you know you would buy, food you know you will eat, it’s not a deal if you buy a dozen of something your family hates,” said Fisher.
These days, it’s not only about the coupons in the mail either. Grocery store apps now offer digital coupons that many times offer additional savings. For those that are truly tech-savvy, apps like Flipp show you the latest weekly ads and coupons from all the stores in your area. If you enter your shopping list, it matches what you need with the deals. However, don’t miss the in-store deals as well.
“Be ready to pivot when you’re in the store because so often they’re going to mark stuff down that is perfectly good food, just because it has a clearance sticker on it, it’s not bad food, it’s just close to the sell-by date or too much was shipped into the store and they need to unload it quickly because they don’t want to waste that food,” said Fisher.
According to the study on spending, coupons can help save you around $272 a year on household items, $264 on eating out, $160 on entertainment, and $135 on clothing.
Another critical step to getting those savings is signing up for your favorite restaurant and retailer rewards programs and email lists. Many times, initial sign-up will net you an immediate discount offer. Fisher suggests setting up a separate email account to make it easier as you sign up for more locations. In the end, all of it can lead to hundreds of dollars in savings every year with a little bit of diligence and dedication.
“The bottom line is really just being able to make the most of what you have,” said Fisher.