ROSWELL, GA (WTOC) - No matter how much we dread it, all of us eventually have to go grocery shopping. Most of us spend far more than we intend to. But, one expert, Stephanie Nelson- the coupon mom, says you don't have to break the bank if you first learn how to use store discount programs.
Some stores are known for their 10 for $10 sales. Nelson found it on cake mix that normally sells for $1.67 a box.
Nelson: "That does not mean you have to buy 10 they're actually $1 each so you can get what you need. In this case I have a coupon for 35 cents which the store will double so it will only cost me 30 cents for cake mix."
That was just the beginning of the deals she found on items everyone buys.
Nelson: "I am lucky they have close out prices on pasta. I have a coupon for it. I would actually get this one for free...We're going to buy an item that is usually $1.19. We have a coupon for 50 cents off and the store doubles coupons which means they'll take $1 off so we'll pay 19 cents for deodorant."
To maximize the savings, the coupon mom never leaves home without first clipping those coupons from the Sunday sales circular, searching her website for discounts and of course holding on to all of the deals she gets at the register.
Nelson: "I got this coupon weeks ago when a this item was at full price. The key to using coupons is to wait until the item goes on sale before you use the coupon. So in this case, this item is on sale. It's sale price is $2.69. I have a coupon for $1.50. I'll pay 1.19 for the family size box. That's a good deal."
Shopping with the coupon mom was almost like being on a treasure hunt. I never knew what deals we would find next.
Nelson: "It's about more than clipping coupons or even looking in the sales paper. When you come to the store, you need to keep your eyes open for deals that are right here in plain view like this bacon at buy one get one free. Some stores charge full price for the first item and zero for the next - meaning you have to buy 2 items to get the benefit of the sale, but many grocery stores will charge half price for each item which means you only have to buy one to get the savings. I only want to buy one. I'll do the math so instead of paying 5.63, I'll pay 2.61 minus 1.50. I'll pay 1.30 for this big bottle of lotion instead of 5.63 that's a good price less expensive than the store brand."
There's a real science to what she's doing.
Now that she has everything on her list, it's time to check out.
Nelson: "We started at $98 full price and we got down to $17.76 which is a savings of $76."