Know Your Cycle
Find the best time to buy. Like clothes at a department store, grocery items go up and down in price over time. A box of cereal that costs $2.99 one week could be as little as 99 cents a few weeks later. Some products go on sale more often than others do; you may get a great deal on boneless chicken breasts every two weeks, but your preferred brand of coffee may take up to three months to dip in price. Start paying attention to your favorite items and record how often they go on sale, and you'll shave money off your grocery bill within weeks.
Know when to use your coupons. Just because you find a coupon for an item doesn't mean you have to use it that week. In fact, that may be the worst time to use it. Jill Cataldo, author of the newspaper column and video series Super Couponing Tips, says, "The week a coupon for an item comes out in the paper is usually the week that that item costs the most in the store. The average expiration date on a coupon is between 30 and 90 days, so you should wait to use your coupon until that decreased price comes around." Find out when items at your local grocery store go on sale with grocery match-up sites like Savings Angel, Coupon Mom, and Grocery Game.