The Secret To Cutting Your Grocery Bill In Half

embed groceryPhotographed by Anjali Pinto.
Sure, everything changes once you become a mom, but that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Elizabeth Street, an international collective of mothers who understand what it’s like to do everything one-handed, is here to help you discover everything from the newest green-friendly beauty products to the chicest home decor ideas — whether you’re raising a little one or not. This article was originally published October 8.
Tiffany Zezula is a lawyer, mother of two little girls, and a master couponer. Before you roll your eyes, consider this: Zezula regularly hits the grocery store and has the store paying her for the groceries, thanks to coupons. Other shoppers literally gather around to watch as she checks out because she ends up getting so many items for free.
According to Tiffany, who has this down to a science, gathering her coupons takes her no more than 30 minutes a week and she never pays for staple items. Let that sink in for a moment: The woman never buys paper towels, toilet paper, or mustard. With her grocery bill whittled down to 50 percent of what it used to be, she can focus her spending on organic produce and dairy, and local meat and seafood. The secret is in knowing your local store's coupon policies, stocking up on staple items when they're on sale, and doing just a little bit of legwork. Check out Tiffany's five tips to couponing below:
1. Study your store’s circular. It probably comes to your house (it may be one of those annoying pieces of mail that you usually toss — don't!), or look it up online, but find out what’s on sale that week. Those are the items that you want to stock up on! Don’t be afraid to buy four or more of an item that you know that you use. You don’t have to be as intensely motivated as the people on Extreme Couponing, but do keep a decent stockpile of nonperishable goods that you use. The more you study the store’s circular, the more familiar you’ll get with a good versus great sale price.
2. Find coupons and use them. You can find coupons at sites like coupons.com or on a manufacturer’s website. Get the Sunday paper where you can find inserts filled with coupons (RedPlum and SmartSource). Also, don't be brand specific if you don’t need to be. You’ll find more coupons for more items if you broaden your search.
3. Sale item + coupon = great savings. That’s the gist of it. There are a variety of ways to save, but essentially you are looking for an item in the store circular and finding a coupon for that item. For example: Pasta is on sale for $1, you have a coupon for that exact manufacturer’s pasta for $1. You just got the pasta for free! Bonus: Find four of those coupons and get four of them for free. Also, make sure you are a store reward member.
4. Research your store’s coupon policy. Many stores double or triple a manufacturer’s coupon amount up to $1. Therefore a $.75 coupon is really worth $1.50, a $.50 coupon is worth $1.00, but a $1 coupon is always worth $1.
5. Know the experts. Check out Livingrichwithcoupons for more information on the basics to couponing!

More from Living

While Hermione's life outside of Hogwarts didn't get nearly enough screentime in the Harry Potter movies, it's getting the credit it deserves on the ...
When ex-teen Rachel Gelmis was drug tested, she knew she was clean. But the test thought differently. Her results were, like, insanely positive for a lot ...
If you, like many people, would do just about anything to own a former Leonardo DiCaprio residence, you have a second chance. It's entirely possible that...
DIY cotton candy ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream maker? Winning
Any recent grads freaking out about their job prospects need not fear: Apparently the demand for exorcists has never been higher. The Telegraph reports ...
I don’t expect my son to be a saint. I just hope he grows up with the good sense to see bullying and fear-mongering for what they are
It's not every bottled water company that tells us we should be drinking tap water. But Just isn't like any other bottled water company we've heard of...
(Paid Content) Your next weekend away has to be in Toronto. Period
Ah, the great wedding gift dilemma. Do you give the couple a few dishes or a new shower curtain? Or do you just call it a day and hand the bride and groom ...
Tonight marks the first of three presidential debates between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Because of the debate's close proximity to New...
It's no secret that food is one of the best categories for nostalgia. Who doesn't wax poetic about snack foods like Dunkaroos? But not all of our favorite...
If you've got a Trader Joe's in your neighborhood, chances are it's your go-to supermarket. It's cheap, convenient, and the snacks are unbeatable. It ...
Turmeric has quickly become classified as one of those magic superfoods — you know, the ones that you're always hearing about. This spice is basically the ...
9:45 a.m. — Starbucks reward, bitches! OBV I get the most expensive thing that I can concoct. A Venti 5 shot soy latte. Yum