Fru-Gal: A step-by-step guide for saving money in the grocery aisles

The Fru-Gal Deborah Morris
The Fru-Gal Deborah Morris

We would all like to save money at the grocery store. With some planning that will take you as little as an hour a week, you can save a substantial amount of money on your grocery shopping.

Use this step-by-step guide to help you.

First, before you shop, check out weekly sales fliers, match up sales with your coupons and make a list. The bulk of your coupons will come from your Sunday paper, which can save you up to $15 a week. Ask your neighbors and friends for their coupons if they aren't using them.

To get additional coupons, check out and Remember, you can only print out two coupons per computer. Kroger, Meijer and Target offer digital coupons to load on your loyalty card or to your phone.

Knowing coupon jargon will help you become a savvy shopper. Here are some definitions that will be helpful:

■ Blinkies: Coupons that are dispensed from small machines attached to store shelves.

■ Catalinas: Coupons that print out of a machine at the store checkout. These are typically based on your shopping habits, making them very valuable to you. The best catalinas are those that offer savings on your entire bill rather than a specific item.

Here are some examples of catalinas being offered at Kroger right now. Buy two 25.4 ounce Pantene shampoo or conditioners and get $4 off your next shopping trip. Match this deal with your $3 off on two Pantene products coupon found in the April 28 Sunday newspaper.

■ Peelies: Coupons affixed to the outside of products that earn you discounts on that product or a related one. (For example, a ketchup bottle might have a coupon for hot dog buns attached to it.) Peelies sometimes may be redeemed on different sizes or varieties of the same product. Check the fine print.

■ Tear Pads: Notepads of coupons that are located on store shelves. Check out the freezer doors and seasonal displays.

■ Stacking: Using multiple coupons per item. Check out stores' coupon policy to see if you can use a manufacturer coupon and store coupon on the same item. Target, RiteAid and CVS are a few of the stores that allow this practice.

This week's deals:

■ Unilever is offering up a free coupon booklet. To request yours, call 1-866-204-3942 (this call will be automated); state your name and address (be sure to spell any difficult or hard to understand words); press the pound key.

■ Purchase $25 of participating P&G products in one transaction at participating retailers, you can get a free Monster's University adult movie ticket by mail. Or purchase $30 and receive a free Monster's University adult and children's movie tickets.

■ Get a free rental at Redbox with promotional code DVDNIGHT.

■ Sign up for Halo Pet's email newsletter to receive more than $10 worth of coupons. Visit Halo Pets on

■ Text PICNIC to 827438 and receive mobile coupon from Target.