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Know when to shop
Wednesdays are a great time to get your hands on those manager markdowns. Food that is nearing its "sell by" date is typically reduced midweek, Woroch says. Grocery stores also release new circulars on Wednesdays, so you get a double bonus since stores usually honor last week's deals, too.
"Don't forget to check for paper-goods sales the first and third week of the month, and bring along your coupons to get extra discounts on these essentials," Woroch says.
And don't skimp when shopping, McFalls says. Just because you are shopping smart doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality. "Search for high-quality, brand-name items on sale, or (find out if) the price can be reduced by using coupons," McFalls says. "A good wholesale club (also) offers high-quality, house-brand items at savings comparable to brand-name items."
Brian Nickerson, co-founder and CEO of Chippmunk.com, a savings search engine, says the best time to find the deepest discounts are right after major holidays or events.
"For example, the best time to buy Christmas ornaments is on Dec. 28, when inventory needs to turn and will be priced at its lowest point. Not everyone can plan that far ahead or afford to shop that early, though, " Nickerson says.