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NEWS | Feb. 23, 2011

Save hundreds on your grocery bill

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer Hudson Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Taking the time to go through ads and cut coupons is not necessarily at the top of the 'to do list' for many Americans, but spending the time to clip out a few of those .50 cent coupons can cut your monthly grocery bill in half.

At a Shop to Impress course, held by the Fleet and Family Service Center at Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station, participants received guidance and tips on how to take a $100 grocery bill and cut it down to $50 or less.

"If you're like most Americans, your grocery bill is one of your top monthly expenses. But unlike your mortgage, car payment and other monthly expenses, you can easily and dramatically cut your grocery expenses in half just by using coupons," said Kim Brown, a financial specialist at FFSC.

For example, a leading brand of cereal costs roughly $4 dollars. If the shopper takes a competing store's coupon at a $1 off, adds in a manufactures coupon at .50 cents off, and mixes that in with the additional grocery store promotion of buy one get one free - a consumer is now paying $2.50 for two boxes of that cereal ... a 70 percent savings!

"There are some grocery stores that will not take competing store coupons, but most of them do. They also take the manufactures coupons that come in the Sunday newspaper. So essentially, you can double your savings by using two coupons vice just the one," said Mrs. Brown.

One tip provided by the course was for members to go to a money savings website called which provides a detailed list of all Charleston area grocery stores with postings of store ads and in-store sales right at their finger tips. Members can also find printable manufacturer and competitor coupons, making doubling the savings that much easier.

"My goal as a financial specialist is to make sure our service members and their families become financially independent," Mrs. Brown continued. "There are a lot of service members in debt, so just by saving on groceries each month, a family could pay off a debt or spend that money on something needed like a new washer. We ultimately want them to be able to save for that rainy day, begin an investment or save for retirement."

The next scheduled course on how to save on your grocery bill is March 3 at the FFSC. For more information or to register call 764-7472 or 764-7480.