How Becoming A Smart Shopper Can Save You Money By Amberly Ashton In this ever changing economy people are looking for different ways to save money. Some are lucky and don't have to live by a budget. There are others who live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe a member in your household lost their job or fail ill. Now you're faced with scrunching every single cent. Maybe you never thought about saving at the grocery store. If you want your money to go further and be able to keep more of it in your pocket, then shopping smarter can help. Anyone can shop smarter! There are a few steps you have to take but it will be so rewarding. Trust me! The first thing I do when I am planning my shopping trip is look at the local sales ads. Did you know that Wal-Mart will ad match any local competitor's advertised sale price? This doesn't just apply to groceries either. Always check out your local newspaper ads for sale items. Some items you just have to get at Wal-Mart but they are not always the lowest price around. Bring your local paper with you on your next trip and when you are checking out show the clerk the items you want to ad match. You will be surprised how much you can save. Wal-Mart also accepts coupons but you have to decide if they are the best place to redeem them. They do not double coupons so it may make more since to use them elsewhere. Most people think the Sunday paper is the only way to get coupons. That's not correct! You have many different options. Is it worth it to buy two or three papers just to save? For me it is. You can also look online and see a preview of which coupons will be in the Sunday paper before hand. If you don't think the savings is worth the cost of the paper than you can opt out that week. But you could always trade coupons with your friends to get extra ones for products you use regularly. You can almost predict when stores are going to run sales on items by when the coupons are in the Sunday paper. Experience has shown that items usually go on sale two or three weeks after it appears in the coupon section of Sundays paper. Coupons can also be printed online for free! There are several different sources you can print from. Most of them let you print the same coupon two times. When searching for coupons to print always watch for high value coupons of at least $1.00 or more. With coupons this high you could actually walk away from the store paying next to nothing for that item. If you are searching for printable coupons, keep in mind that if you think you may use it, print it! There are only so many available and when that number has been reached, you can't get that coupon any longer. If printing coupons is not for you, there are sites that you can choose the coupons you want and just pay a small handling fee for them. You will receive the purchased coupons in the mail. This is how I get multiples for the items I use regularly. Usually most towns have at least one local grocery store that will double the value of the coupon. Normally, they put a cap on the amount and double up to $1.00. For instance, if the coupon is for .55 off than you will receive the max of $1.00. Always read the coupon rules of each store. You can ask a store clerk for them or you can find them online. I prefer to shop at stores like this. My savings is always tremendous! Some stores have loyalty cards where you save more than non-members. Most store cards allow you to earn points for your purchases. If they have a gas station associated with their store you could save on your gas or save your points for special items that the store promotes. Where there is a store loyalty card their is usually the offer of digital coupons. Digital coupons give you the benefit of letting you go online to the stores website and manually pick which coupons you want. They will be stored on loyalty card and automatically redeemed when you buy those items. No matter what type of coupon you use, it pays off in the long run. I have a family of five and I love couponing. I'm not an extreme couponer but I am always proud of my savings. It allows me to purchase special items for my family I would normally not be able to afford along with cutting my grocery bill almost in half.