Taking a bite out of grocery bills

July 19, 2011 2:48:17 PM PDT
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Prices for staples like bread, eggs, and coffee have gone up more than 30% in the last five years. That's why it's more important than ever to sniff out savings.

Jeanne Coppola is a 21st century "bargainista." She's able to check apps on her smart phone for coupons that help her save big at the grocery store

"It really is easier because I always have my phone," Coppola says.

Consumer Reports ShopSmart dug deep to find new tools that can help you 'slash your food bills.'

"If you've got a smart phone, you can download apps from local grocery stores. And you can have circulars from those stores right at your fingertips," says Lisa Lee Freeman of Shopsmart, "so you'll know what the daily and weekly deals are."

Grocery IQ is another helpful app. You can make your grocery list on it and search for coupons, too.

"Even if you don't have a smart phone," Freeman tells Action News, "some stores have kiosks where you can scan your loyalty card and get extra savings."

Before you go shopping, download coupons from a store's website directly onto your loyalty card. That way you just swipe your card at checkout to get deals. Also, shopping with loyalty cards can help you save at the pump, too. Points earned at some grocery stores can translate into money saved for every gallon of gas that you buy.

Now Jeanne Coppola's not just saving money, she's also saving time.

"I don't have to sit down with all the coupons," Coppola pointed out. "I just pull it up on my phone, and whatever store I'm in I can see if they have the sale."

If you find you can't locate coupons for the products you like, ShopSmart suggests you try e-mailing companies directly to ask for coupons on your favorite items. They might also send you some free samples.