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New Jersey mom can feed her family ... for free

Tips to Getting Your Groceries for Free?

Is the cost of food turning your grocery shopping plans into a stressful weekly event?

A New Jersey mom named Cyndi has figured out how to get a whole week's worth of groceries -- for free. 'I got started couponing because in our family we had some layoffs, our grocery bill was huge, and I had to make the cut somewhere,' Cindy explains.

Motivated and creative, she came up with a system that has her going beyond savings so she sometimes even gets money back from the store on purchases. Now, she keeps her budget in check and finds healthy foods for her family at the same time.

She starts by downloading coupons at home and then checks which stores (if any) in her area are offering double coupons.

Next, she writes a strict shopping list. If she finds a coupon on a manufacturer's website, she says she can 'stack' that in addition to a store coupon and get an overage of savings.

'Some stores will even give you cash back,' she said.

One of her other secrets goes against what might seem obvious: if you have a coupon for a specific product, don't think big. 'Buy the smallest package, because you're going to get the best bang for your buck,' Cindy explains.

'Taking the most money off on a smaller package is much better than buying a larger package.' That strategy helps her feed her family for a lot less money.

Do you have any great couponing tricks? Let us know in the comments below.

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veraju February 18 2014 at 9:33 PM

I agree. The one store in my area that double coupons only do it on Tuesdays AND the coupon cannot be over 50 cents off.

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Rachel February 18 2014 at 9:30 PM

I challenge this coupon lady or any couponer to come to my store and do this. It can't be done. Stores in my area have stopped doubling coupons, they make it SO hard to coupon. Its retarded, they get reimbursed the amount on the coupon, but they act like its money our of their own pocket. The manufacturer pays them back the money I would save IF they would just except them. Had one cashier say coupon wasn't valid because item wasn't as pictured. When coupon clearly says ANY! So sick of Extreme Couponing making it look like its achievable. I honestly think they contact manufactures for coupons to be shown in show so their items are showcased. Just a bunch of rigged set up ahead of time deals.

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1 reply to Rachel's comment
Nae-Nae February 18 2014 at 11:38 PM

I am sorry that the stores in your area don't accept your coupons or do so with great prejudice....my daughter coupons and so does my niece...they get a lot of usable things with their couponing. eg...ALL laundry detergent was on sale @ FD- 2 for $5, mfg coupon was for $2 off per bottle limit of 4 per transaction. She paid $2.28 for 4 bottles of detergent!!! It is attainable, it depends on the stores used and their coupon policy! Sometimes you can use price matching + coupons to save even more! It takes patience to do this...it is NOT for the faint of heart!!!! Just follow some of those extreme couponers...they have websites that teach you how to do it! They let you know anout things that are going on sale and tell you how to get more bang for your buck! Check them out first BEFORE you bash the process! Every experience is a learning experience....just find another store or look for their actual policies regarding coupons. Sometimes the cashiers just don't want to do it...and figure you are NOT going to press the issue. If managers are doing it also you need to call their CORPORATE OFFICE...and let them know that is your next step. Usually they will be trying to keep you from making that call...by not only honoring your coupons, but sometimes offering other incentives for you to utilize their store!! IJS

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veraju February 18 2014 at 9:21 PM

Kudos for her and others who do that. I've been using coupons since my college days. Unfortunately, where I live in VA there is only one store that will double coupons and their prices are so high that most times it is not a bargain AND like some of the other commenters, most coupons are for items I don't want or use. I won't buy something just because it is a bargain or get something that's free if I'm not going to use it. It would go to a food bank, etc. So, I guess extreme couponing is not going to help me. :(

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ksdmusiclover February 18 2014 at 9:12 PM

Sadly, the true benefits of couponing come primarily in non-food items. Packaged food goods have little nutritional value, and huge numbers of people (formerly myself, as a single parent without child support) depend on them, because of affordability. I have never felt better, since eating more naturally, and have become aware that those who eat well do live longer. I commend the many dedicated couponers for their hard work; it's just too bad that healthy items don't have long shelf lives, have gotten ridiculously expensive, and only go on sale occasionally. I have also noticed that packaged items have shrunk in size, while going up in price - are we not supposed to notice?

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dhartson February 18 2014 at 9:03 PM

works for me !!! no EBT card ? Perfect !!! Just took a little work. Good for her!

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Bengaluru Hudugi February 18 2014 at 8:59 PM

I don't use canned products and we are vegetarians, haven't seen coupons for produce.

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2 replies to Bengaluru Hudugi's comment
Rachel February 18 2014 at 9:33 PM

Me neither. Well once on Extreme couponing and I don't know where they lived to get such coupons. My local papers have junk coupons. Extreme Couponing shows coupons for $1.00 off one. My papers I'm lucky to get a $1 off 3 its so sad.

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mixinitupright February 18 2014 at 10:26 PM

try talking to your produce manager. In our local store he will most times give a discount on the slightly bruised or really ripe produce items that people won't buy because they aren't as pretty or won't last as long. Thay are just as good as all the other produce. The worst that can happen is that your local produce manager will tell you no. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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n2cruella February 18 2014 at 8:59 PM

I just zone in on my everyday items. Check the Sunday paper and there are several good websites that will give you a heads up on what is on sale if you don't get the paper. I like the Krazy Coupon Lady. It now only takes about an hour a week of checking prices for the best buys.

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orchid449 February 18 2014 at 8:44 PM

Dont forget that if you get a product that you dont really use/like, & it only costs ie) 29-59 cents, just give it to the local food pantry. They cannot thank you enough.

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moragnb February 18 2014 at 8:39 PM

Buy organic ! Never buy canned foods !

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orchid449 February 18 2014 at 8:39 PM

Those machine coupons from CVS, are still good even with an expiration date now... even had some $5 off $30 order....save them for when the item is on sale. Check with your local CVS to verify this.

Can use 2 manufacture coupons on a single "BOGO" transaction.

When ENJOY THE CITY has a great sale... those WINN DIXIE COUPONS COST $.40 EACH. THAT STILL SAVES YOU $4.60 OFF YOUR $30 ORDER.

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