How to Use Grocery Store Circulars to Save Money

Do you often find yourself taking the grocery circulars that come in your newspaper to the recycle bin without looking at them? Have you walked right by the sales promotions posted at the store each week without a glance? While many people will purchase an item on sale if they notice it on the shelf, you can save significant money each week by paying attention to your local grocery store promotions and stocking up on items when they are on sale.

Susan DiMezza saves at least 35 percent each week on her family’s grocery bill by shopping the grocery store sale circulars and combining the discounts with coupons.  “It may seem a little time consuming, but it’s really not and I save a lot of money,” said DiMezza. “I’m usually not the favorite person to be behind in the check-out lane, but the cash register employee and I usually have fun seeing how much I save.”

Use the following strategies to reduce the money you spend on groceries each week:

Know the Regular Prices

Many stores will advertise a sale that is only a slight bit lower than the regular price. While any money saved can be helpful, it may not be worth the gas for a special trip if it is a small savings. Or you may find a better deal on the item next week. Save your grocery receipts for a few weeks and create a spreadsheet with the prices for items you commonly purchase. By knowing the price savings, you will be able to make informed purchasing decisions.

Get Rewards Cards

Since most stores require that you have their rewards card to receive the sale price, apply for the rewards cards at all of the stores in the area where you regularly travel during the week. Some stores allow you to use a Smart Phone app instead of the card or key ring tag. Check on your store’s website to find the details of their program.

Get a Copy of the Circulars Each Week

Find out what day the grocery store circulars come out in your paper and when the stores change their specials, which is usually Wednesday. If you do not get the newspaper, you can look up the weekly specials for each store on their website. Another strategy is to have a neighbor with a newspaper subscription save copies of the grocery circulars for you.

Combine with Coupons

One of the best ways to make the best use of promotions is to combine the sales with coupons. Each week clip coupons from the Sunday paper as well as finding coupons online. Before looking at the circulars each week, DiMezza goes through her coupon stash to familiarize herself with her coupons.

Make a List of Items from Each Store

Look at the circulars for each of the stores nearby and circle the items that are typically on your shopping list. Keep a lookout for items that you know that you have a coupon for. Then compare the sale prices to your spreadsheet of regular prices to determine the cost savings.

Write a list of items that you want to purchase from each store. Pull out the coupons for all items on your list and be sure to check expiration dates to make sure it is valid. Attach the shopping list and coupons to the sale circular. DiMezza recommends bringing the circular with you to the store since there have been many times she has found that the store has not reduced the price on the shelf.

Stock up When Possible

Look through the items on your list and determine if you can stock up on any products. Think about your storage space along with the rate your family goes through the item. It may be worth buying as many packages of toilet paper as possible for your family of six, but you may only want to buy a few jars of mayonnaise.

Incorporate Trips to the Store in Your Regular Driving Route

Look at your calendar for the week and determine when you will be driving past the stores during your normal routine. If you must make a special trip to a store, be sure that the cost savings is more than the amount you will spend in gas. “Whenever I pass a store, I run in with my list and make the purchases – and only the purchases on my list,” said DiMezza.