smart spending

7 ways to save money on groceries

Set yourself up and be proactive
Set yourself up and be proactive © Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Set yourself up and be proactive

Set up a separate email account just for coupons and manufacturers' newsletters, Pavini says. Also, visit the websites of your favorite stores and manufacturers. And check the grocery store ads that come in your mail every week.

"If your coupons won't scan or a cashier is reluctant to accept it, don't be afraid to speak up or ask for a manager. It also can be beneficial to have a store's coupon policy with you when you shop," Pavini says.

Also, whenever you make an online purchase, check for a coupon code, she says. At the very least, you may find free shipping. You also can stack coupon codes at certain online stores, but it usually has to be for different types of deals. "For example, you could apply a free shipping code in addition to a 20 percent off code, but you could not apply a 15 percent off code on top of another 20 percent off," Pavini says.

Here's another tip from Pavini: When you enter a store and begin shopping, walk to the left instead of the right. Stores often will have more "budget busters" offered on the right side of the store, as most shoppers walk that way first.

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