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11. Study your grocery store’s selling patterns for sales

11. Study your grocery store’s selling patterns for sales
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Grocery store sales often occur in patterns.

For example, we know of a store that puts ice-cream on a “buy one, get one free” sale on the third week of every month.

On the first week, it’s only a dollar off.

Learn the patterns and hold off buying these items until you know that they’ll be at their rock-bottom prices then buy enough to last you until the great sale runs again.

12. Splurge on extra newspapers

12. Splurge on extra newspapers
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If your Sunday newspaper offers a high-value coupon for an item you buy often, it may be worth the cost to buy extra copies of the paper for extra coupons, or to ask neighbours if you can have the coupon inserts from their papers.

This is particularly worthwhile if you know that an item you want is a “buy one, get one free” sale; you can then get four for the price of two and have ample supplies in your pantry.

13. Go online to save

13. Go online to save
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More and more websites are offering coupons you can print out.

Before you go shopping, log on to the internet and, in your favourite search engine, put in the name of a product on your shopping list, plus the word “coupon”.

Just be careful – some sites want lots of personal information in exchange for access to coupons or discounts.

Read the fine print and be sure it is a reputable website before surrendering personal info.

14. Layer, layer, layer

14. Layer, layer, layer
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Use a manufacturer’s coupon with items already on sale at the grocery store.

Some people call this “layering”, others call it “stacking” – but it’s really a simple way of saving.

Say a $1.99 package of taco shells is on sale for $1.49.

If you have a 50-cents-off coupon and the store doubles coupons, you’ll pay only 49 cents for it.

15. Watch the register

15. Watch the register
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You’ve probably seen those investigative shows that uncover just how many errors supermarket scanners make – the numbers are staggering.

Knowing this, keep a watchful eye on the cashier’s display as the cashier scans each product.

Make sure that discounts for sales and coupons are applied.

Make sure that the clerk keys in the proper codes for perishables without price tags (so you’re not paying for exotic mushrooms when you’re buying green peppers). Then, be sure to keep your receipt. This is a good practice for a few reasons.

If the item is on sale but doesn’t ring up with the sales price, you can bring the receipt back to the store for a refund.

If you get home and one of your items is damaged or has a broken seal, you can easily return it.

Finally, many register tapes are printed with valuable coupons on the reverse side.

16. Don’t fall for limits

16. Don’t fall for limits
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Keep your money in your purse when you see signs like “Limit six per customer”.

Stores know that customers will buy more of an item if they think there’s a shortage – and there generally isn’t.

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17. Shop less often

17. Shop less often
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Try to stretch out the time between grocery-shopping trips.

Instead of going once a week, go once every two weeks.

You’ll be forced to make your current food last longer and use up the food sitting patiently in the pantry and freezer.

18. Befriend your butcher

18. Befriend your butcher
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You know that tougher meats are less expensive than tender meats.

But did you know that many butchers will run these cheaper cuts through the tenderiser if you ask?

Your tough cut will turn into a tender bite at no cost.

19. Use kosher salt

19. Use kosher salt
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Inexpensive kosher salt is not only tastier than regular table salt, it’s also more frugal.

Each flake or crystal is far bigger than its table-salt cousin, which means that a single pinch will go a very long way.

This saves you money in the long run.

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team