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Use coupons wisely

Clipping coupons and saving money has become the subject of TV shows. Yes, you can save money, but be sure that you are able to use the food within a reasonable period of time to ensure you enjoy foods at their safest and highest quality. Consider these tips:

  • Organize your coupons in categories for easy shopping, and place your coupons in a place that’s easily accessible. If you leave your coupons at home, you won’t save any money.
  • Check the policies of your grocery store to see if they honour coupons printed from couponing websites.
  • Read the sales ads and pair a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon for added savings.
  • Shop for good nutrition and value. Be cautious about the temptation to buy high-sodium, high-fat foods even if you are saving money in the process.
  • Be sure to use coupons for items that you normally would eat. Resist the urge to buy a food just because you have a coupon.
  • Look at the back of your grocery receipt. Some stores offer coupons on the back of receipts.
  • Read the “best if used by” and “sell by” dates on foods, and select foods with the longest shelf life for best quality.
  • When you return home, label the foods with the date of purchase. Organize your pantry in “first in first out” order so you rotate your food supply for best quality.

About the author

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Julie Garden-Robinson is a North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and professor in the department of health, nutrition and exercise sciences.

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