NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 4, 2013

Cha-ching: Love a bargain? Buy next year's gifts now

(Continued)

She gets revenue from advertising on her site and makes a few cents every time someone prints a coupon. Buckles also teaches classes on saving money.

“The first thing you need to do is plan your meals,” says Buckles. “That’s No. 1. Look at the flyers this week. You should plan your meals around the loss leaders. Loss leaders are what the grocery store (uses) to entice you to come to the store. They’re possibly losing money on these. This is what pulls you into the store.

“Make a list, and stick with the things that are on sale. You also want to stockpile appropriately. If you know you make meals with chicken like say three times a week, you want to buy enough for a month because you know it’ll go on sale again by then.”

HOW TO FIND DEALS

Melissa Buckles, a Troy, Mich., mother of two, runs the website BargainShopperMom.com.

Buckles has this advice for people trying to shave expenses:

GROCERY SAVINGS

Get the Sunday newspaper and look carefully at what’s on sale at the stores you use. Clip coupons for the things you regularly buy, and look especially for sale items (called loss leaders) that also have coupons for double savings.

Plan your meals for the week based on what’s on sale, especially for things like meat and produce.

Look in your pantry for what you already have, and make a list of the things you’ll need for the week.

At the store, stock up so you’ll have a month’s worth of items you use all the time, buying at the sale price rather than full price.

Add coupons to stretch your dollars even more.

Figure out the unit price to make sure what you’re buying really is a good deal. Bigger isn’t always cheaper.

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