Free groceries -- it's every household shopper's dream. And in reality, it's not just a dream; it can easily happen with the right amount of resourcefulness, intelligence and determination. If you want to be the thriftiest of shoppers, use these tips to help you score some groceries for next to nothing or even free. Some stores even end up paying you to take their products, with the right combination of coupons!
Along with scouring your Sunday paper and clipping from the mailers, print internet coupons from services that provide free printable discount certificates. You may have to install some software in order to print them, and to endure some advertisements, but in the end, the value of the coupons is tremendous. Look everywhere for coupons. Ask your friends for extras, buy large packs off of eBay for incredible low discounts, and pull newspapers out of the recycle bins.
Sometimes, if you have an unfortunate product experience, you can write to the company and tell them about what happened -- maybe your favorite cereal had a band-aid in it, or perhaps your Jell-O never set. Frequently, in an attempt to keep your business, the company will send you a coupon for a free product that they make, which you can add to your coupon collection.
Set aside some time to browse the weekly ads, and as you do, match coupons with the sales. It's harder to do this for fresh foods, like produce and meat products, but for items that can sit in your pantry for weeks or months, it's great to wait until you've spotted a good sale and have an excellent coupon, then stock up and save them for later. Mark on your shopping list which products you have coupons for, and be sure to keep them in order for when you go through the checkout line.
See if your local store will double your coupons; some places have this awesome policy. Basically, it means that the store will honor double the value of a coupon, and in some cases, if the sale is good as well, you can get an item for free or even get a credit towards the rest of your total.
Ask stores to price match if you're trying to be efficient about your shopping and a price is lower somewhere else. This is especially helpful if an item is on sale at one store but there is a coupon at the other; if the latter store price-matches, you can get both great deals at the same place.
Try shopping at discount stores and use manufacturer coupons (which any authorized seller of that item should honor) to get an even better deal. Discount stores may not have the high-quality fresh food you want, so plan your shopping trips accordingly.
If you put all of this into action, you could end up walking away from your grocery store, pushing a cart full of groceries you didn't even pay for! And for more free stuff, come visit us at GarageSaleCow.com, where we've got tons of resources at no charge for a frugal fanatic like you.