Reader mail: Can I save more with store brands?

Speaking of coupon dispensers, our next question this week pertains to them.

Q: "I often see coupon machines on the shelves of the grocery store, but the coupons in them aren't usually for things on sale. Is there a strategy for getting good discounts with these?"

A: Absolutely! You're right in noticing that most of the time, the coupons in the store's coupon dispensers don't link up to the best sales in the store. That's also true of the coupons we receive in the newspaper each week. Their greatest value comes when the price of the featured item takes a big dip. I regularly "shop" the coupon dispensers in my stores. If I see coupons for an item I like, I will take a few to hold onto until the sale price drops. About six weeks ago, my store's coupon dispenser offered $2 coupons for turkey bacon. But the turkey bacon was on sale for $4.99, a relatively high price. I took a few coupons from the dispenser and held onto them for four weeks ... when the price of the turkey bacon went down to $2.99.

Now, I took home turkey bacon for 99 cents a package! If I had used those coupons the week I found them in the dispenser though, I would still have paid $2.99 a package - three times the price.

(c) CTW Features

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her Web site, www.super-couponing.com. E-mail your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

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