Super Saver: Cut your grocery bill in half

January 22, 2009 7:36:37 AM PST
It's time to kick off a new year of savings.We have ways to cut your grocery bill in half for 2009. We found a super saver mom, Faye Prosser, who feeds her family of four on just $60 a week.

That tab includes cleaning supplies, medicine, even makeup. The key is she only spends $60, but she gets hundreds of dollars worth of stuff.

Saving money has become a passion for Prosser, who is a mom of two. Nine years ago, she quit her job to be a stay at home mom. Since then, she's found ways to cut the family budget.

She has a three-prong approach. First, she takes advantage of the in-store promotions like buy one get one free deals or extra rewards each store offers.

Second, she matches those deals with coupons she keeps organized in a binder. Prosser says, "With couponing I can save 50 percent off my grocery bill a week. I have my coupons divided by product type, alphabetical order, and I use baseball card pages to hold it in."

Prosser's third approach is meal planning for the week ahead.

She adds, "Planning meals based on what I already have in [the] pantry, fridge, freezer, and then supplementing meal plans on what's on sale in stores this week."

Once she has her plan, she goes to the store armed with coupons and her list. She sticks to that list. We followed her along at Harris Teeter to see her at work.

On this shopping trip, she starts with fresh hot bread from the bakery. She says, "These are on sale buy one get one free, so that makes $1.50 each, and I have a coupon for a $1 off, so that's 50 cents for a fresh baguette."

She grabs some peppers and a bagged salad on sale. Next on the list is hot sauce. She says, "Normally $1.59 and I have a .75 coupon for them, and Harris Teeter doubles coupons up to 99 cents so I'll pay 9 cents for this."

Croutons aren't costly for Faye either. She adds, "I have [a] coupon for 55 cents, and the coupon will double to $1.10 and the product is $1.09, so that makes the product free."

Prosser finds another good deal on tuna for her kids' lunches. She says, "It's typically $1.39. This coupon will take off $1.10. So I end up paying 20 cents for a can of tuna."

Prosser also stops just long enough to grab some new coupons on display in the store and then she heads to the toothpaste aisle. She adds, "On sale for $1.50 each. Then I have a 75 cent coupon that will double to $1.50, so how much am I going to pay for them, nothing."

It's time to check out. Prosser says it's key to know the store's policies on limits and double coupons. Her total before coupons is $56.53. But after the store deals and doubles her total bill is $4.96, which is better than 90 percent off her grocery bill.

Prosser's a real pro at super saving. She even has a book and a Website, and she teaches classes on saving. Her company is called Smart Spending Resources.

Her Website is www.smartspendingresources.com. Check out her Website to find how you can sign up for one of her classes and be a super saver just like Prosser!

Couponing can be intimidating, but Prosser's proof it's worth it. She says memorize the rules and give yourself a couple of months to build up a good stock of coupons. As always, we want to hear tips from other super savers.


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