Remember when you could save $10, $20 or more a week at the grocery store, just by clipping coupons in the Sunday paper?
Those days seem to be gone, because coupons aren't what they used to be. But there are still ways to save.
Shoppers Using Fewer Coupons
If you find yourself using fewer coupons, you're not alone. The number of coupons used in 2012 dropped 17% from the year before, according to an industry group.
Savvy shopper Megan Fenno, who blogs at CIncySavers.com, says the Sunday offerings are slim.
"They are a little sparse in the newspaper these days, and they are not as high value," Fenno said.
But she says you can still save big if you:
--Make a list and don't add to it in the store.
--Buy laundry detergent at big box stores, not the grocery store where it is typically more expensive.
--Stock up when your favorites are on sale.
"If I see shaving cream, and it's on sale, I always buy more," Fenno said. "Make sure you buy enough to cover until its on sale again to hold you over."
Result: She doesn't even miss clipping coupons.
Doesn't That Stink?
But from the "doesn't that stink" file, all the reasons the couponing craze has been waning.
-Coupon values are getting smaller
-Coupon doubling is disappearing
-Most coupons are for new or unpopular items, instead of things everyone wants like Tide and Cheerios.
Doesn't that Stink!
Finally, stores are limiting the number of coupons you can use per trip, as a result of all the extreme couponing shows on TV where shoppers clear out the shelves of discounted products.
Bottom line: Plan that grocery trip in advance and take advantage of sales. You may not miss all those coupons from ten years ago.
That way you don't waste your money.