A couple of weeks ago I had a post here that gave tips on how to spread your food budget better. Those tips talked about specific foods and how they can go a long way towards meals and saving money.

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Corie Howell via Compfight

Another way to save big money is with grocery store shopping cards. These days, most grocery stores offer their own card that allows you to get discounts on different foods on a weekly basis. Some of those discounts are on products they’ve had put together under their own name, while others are name brand products that happen to be on sale for a few days.

When compared to retail store’s shopping cards, these deals are easily a much better option for you. One reason is that you actually save money while you’re in the store. Many of the cards at retail stores build up points based on how much you spend, then send you a coupon for a certain percentage of a discount, with the caveat that you have to spend so much money to use it. I have that deal with Staples, only I don’t spend $100 a month there, so it’s fairly useless. But with a regular card you could save upwards of 50% of some items, and even if you save 10% it’s a good deal.

Another reason is that you’ll get special coupons in the mail offering deals that no one else can get. It doesn’t always work great on name brand items, but if you happen to eat meat you’ll find that getting even a 25% discount on meat is a great way to stretch your budget.

In my area there’s one grocery store chain that not only gives you feed deals, but is tied in with Sunoco gas stations to give you discounts on the price of gas. The more points you accumulate, the lower your gas price is, and if you get a lot of points without using them you earn free gallons of gas. With the price of gas that’s a pretty hard deal to pass up.

To be fair, there are some retail stores offering cards that can bring you pretty good discounts and offers. One of those is Barnes & Noble, where you get 10% off every purchase, free shipping if you purchase online, and coupons for discounted purchases of anywhere from 15% to 50% via email. However, you pay $25 a year for the luxury, which works great if you go often (which I do), whereas grocery store cards are free.

This is definitely an option you should look into if offered by your grocery store. Your food budget will go further and you might get other goodies along the way.

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