Slashing your grocery bill

Seven On Your Side
May 28, 2008 2:26:15 PM PDT
With food prices on the rise, how can you cut your grocery bill in half? Tappy Phillips and Seven On Your Side teamed up with one of the nation's savviest shoppers to show you how to save hundreds at the supermarket.

Stephanie Nelson knows a good buy when she sees it.

She is the Coupon Mom. She's got her own Web site that shows shoppers the way to the best coupons and deals at individual area supermarkets.

Stephanie: "You're going to see your grocery bill drop dramatically."
Tappy: "How much would you say you could drop it?"
Stephanie: "Well, 50 percent should be your goal."

We put her system to the test. Our first stop was the in-store ads, where we found coupons.

"So here are three items that are absolutely free just by checking the store ad," she said.

Stephanie starts with Sunday paper.

"I actually buy a few copies of the newspaper, so that I have more than one set of coupons," she said.

And multiple coupons allows Stephanie to stock up when she sees a good deal.

"So I will actually get this item free," she said, holding boxes of pasta. "So I'll get four boxes free today."

One of Stephanie's biggest tips is to combine offers. Use a coupon with a store promotion for extra savings.

"This item is usually $3," she said, about a box of frozen pretzels. "It's on sale for $1.69 and I have a 75-cent coupon, which the store will double. So I'll pay 19 cents for a $3 item."

Stephanie stresses that you can't be brand loyal if you want to get the deep discounts. And you'll get the biggest savings if simply plan ahead, just an hour a week.

"It's not very hard to do this, and it really does pay off when you look at the amount of time you spend compared to what you save," she said.

And we did save! Stephanie got free tea and women's deodorant for just 24 cents apiece. And she got three packs of cat food, all free.

"I'll admit I don't have a cat," she said. "But I'm going to give these to charity."

The next stop was the check out counter.

"This is the fun part," she said.

Our groceries total was $71.30. Then, we used our ShopRite card and dropped $20 off.

Next came the coupons. The grand total was just $5.02.

To find out more about other supermarket deals, check out