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Daily Q&A: How much money can really be saved if you shop carefully for groceries?

Your article on ( Elizabeth Leamy's book, SAVE BIG) was interesting. However, $10,000 yearly savings in grocery costs is hard to believe, and I am surprised you included it in your article. What is the average yearly cost per family on groceries? Reliable publications may put it at a high amount of $11,000. How can you save $10,000 on total cost of $11,000?

-Tony Manolias.

First, as Elizabeth Leamy points out, the Internal Revenue Service says the average family of four spends $10,692 a year on groceries.

So, the amount of spending is going to very as is the savings.

Now it is possible to actually go grocery shopping and get money back or at least pay pennies. My sister was a master of this at one time. She could pick up $100 to $200 worth of groceries and end up with all of her groceries free and receive a little change or pay as little as $1 or $2.

It baffled everyone.

How? With grocery coupons, coupon doubling, price matching, sales, rain checks, instant rebates etc. — all of which is mentioned in Leamy's book — it is possible. Most will never do all of this, but it is possible.

Also, factor in that Leamy makes recommendations that affect your overall lifestyle, not just normal grocery shopping. In her book, Leamy's chapters on groceries actually lists $21,051 in total savings through various methods.

It's much like the coupon section of your newspaper, which on Sundays will carry hundreds of dollars in grocery savings. But unless you are purchasing those products, you aren't going to realize that much savings.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How much money can really be saved if you shop carefully for groceries? 03/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:58am]
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