Prices at the grocery store, at least where I live, still have not come back down. They spiked last Fall due to the high gas prices but several food companies have announced they are not going to decrease the prices now that gas is cheap again.
Three young men live with me,В and keeping them fed is serious business (and money). I have always used coupons. When the kids were younger, they would clip the coupons from the Sunday paper and I would give them the savings each week instead of an allowance. This wasВ a great way to teach them about the value of money as well as math skills – they got to be pros at adding up the savings on the cash register receipt. I also taught them to price compare and we only use the coupon if the item is less expensive than another one for which we did not have a coupon.
Some things to keep in mind with coupons: Only use them for an item you would buy anyway. The stores near me routinely double coupons that have a face value under a dollar and sometimes triple them. A 75 cent coupon used during the triple promotion is the holy grail! I very frequently get items for free this way. I try, whenever possible, to match up a coupon with an item that is on sale and spend a few minutes with the store sale advertisements before shopping. I have learned, over time, to bring the whole stack of coupons with me to the store because there are often unadvertised sales.
I don't go crazy, either looking for coupons or buying items just because I have a coupon, but I routinely save around $20 a week using them. This is not a bad return on approximately 30 minutes of my time each week.