Five steps to saving on groceries

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Laura Waite has a busy life. She's a full time realtor and mother to 2-year-old Charlotte. She spends a lot on groceries, but feels like she's wasting.

"We eat out, order in, sometimes we waste food. I just want to get more organized with my shopping habits," Laura said.

My goal is to put her on the right path. The first step, enroll in a coupon class. Kroger hosts free classes every few months where local pros guide you through the process.

"If it's under a dollar I don't waste my time," said Laura.

Big mistake. Double coupons make a big difference when coupled with a sale. Step number three -- take advantage of price matching websites. "Savingourway" and "youngandfrugalinva" tell you what's on sale, and where you can find a coupon.

The most important key to saving in the stores is planning and organization. You'll never maximize your savings by fumbling through piles of coupons inside the store.

So Laura starts reading the circulars, making a list and matching the coupons before she leaves the house.

"I think I'm outgrowing my flip file here," she said.

So we put it to the test. Laura tends to look at what's in front of her, but quickly learns our fourth rule -- there are better deals beyond the eye line.

"You have to look at the per ounce...That's 22 ounces and this one's 30 ounces," she said.

The cheaper product is two shelves down. Which brings us to the last point: product loyalty. You have to be willing to try different products to score the best deals. Laura didn't change what she bought, just how she planned it. Her best trip to date saved her $113-a whopping 35% off.

"I'm much more organized, planning for the future. Not just what I need that week. Buying things that I know I'll use if they're on sale at the time so that when I do need them, I don't have to pay full price," Laura said.

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