So the other day I was walking through my local grocery store, and I couldn't believe how high the cost of food is. I don't live on campus, so I don't have the luxury of a meal plan or dining hall within walking distance. Besides bills and gas, each month a majority of my money goes toward groceries. Having a dining hall close by and not having to cook my own food are definately things I miss about living on campus. But I try to only buy things that are on sale or I try to go to a discount food store (like Aldi's). But sometimes it's difficult, not to mention time consuming, to find items that are on sale in the store.
And this is when I had an epiphany. My mom cuts coupons like its her job. Clipping coupons from the Sunday paper is the most exciting event of her week. But unfortunately, I don't have access to a Sunday newspaper, unless I buy it (which is just spending more money). Lo and behold, there are tons of coupon sites online, where you can go to print out coupons for major food brands and grocery stores. Some even feature coupons specifically for online shopping, and find the best deals on the web. Here are some of the better ones I've found:
- Cool Savings -- This site is great. It has coupons for pretty much anything you're looking for, including grocery coupons, pet coupons, rebate opportunities, health and beauty offers, travel offers, and clothing and accessory sales. You can choose to print out the coupons, or you can use certain coupons and offers at online stores. The only downside? You have to register to see all the coupons and offers available.
- CouponMom -- Features coupons for food and restaurants, as well as free samples and free offers. Users can print out or use coupons for online stores.
- Coupons.com -- This site features coupons for groceries, entertainment, personal care, pet care and restaurants among other things. Coupons can either be printed out or used online. You can even enter your zip code to see special deals in your area. As you check the coupons you want to print, you can see the amount you are saving added up in the left hand corner. To print, you do have to install a special coupon printer on your computer, but the site ensures there is no third party, adware or spyware within this program.
Another great tool I found is GroceryGuide. All you do is enter your zip code, and then select up to two grocery stores in your area to compare prices and see sales at each. This really saves you the time of driving all around town to get the best deals. You can see all the best deals online for free.
Utilizing coupons, whether you cut them the traditional way, or use printable ones from online, is quick easy, and can save you tons of money in the long run.