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New, easier ways to save at the grocery store

With the cost of food rising, it's more important than ever to sniff out savings at the grocery store.

July 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Grocery bills are soaring, with prices for staples like bread, eggs, and coffee up more than 30 percent 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 smartphone for coupons that help her save big at the grocery store.

"It really is easier because I always have my phone," she said.

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

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

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 smartphone, some stores have kiosks where you can scan your loyalty card and get extra savings," said Freeman.

Or 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.

And shopping with loyalty cards can help you save at the pump, too. Points earned at some grocery stores can translate into money saved per gallon of gas. With so many new ways to save, you're not just saving money, you're also saving time.

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

If you find you can't locate coupons for the products you like, ShopSmart suggests you try emailing companies directly to ask for coupons on your favorite items.

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