Couponing's Best-Kept Secrets:

Another reason to shop earlier in the week is that stores will raise prices on many items later in the week. My store recently had a sale on a brand-name cereal. At $1.25 a box, it was already a great price; with a $1 coupon, I took it home for a quarter. That sale ran Sunday through Wednesday. On Thursday, the same cereal was still on "sale," but the new sale price? $2.50 a box. The price doubled in one day! This is one of those hidden little games the stores play, too. The same items may be on sale, but the sale price is a lot less attractive as the higher-traffic shopping days approach

If you never clipped a single coupon, you would save a great deal of money just by shopping earlier in the week. If I had purchased my cereal on Thursday instead of Wednesday, I would have paid twice the price! Now, think about many other items in the grocery store take similar jumps in prices as the end of the week nears, and you'll see why it makes sense to shop on the days the sales overlap.

If you need even more convincing, consider what happens when the same product is on sale in both sales fliers. I've seen crackers on sale for $1.99 in the long-cycle flier while in the short cycle flier, the same crackers were on sale Buy One, Get One Free! The smart shopper who is in the store on the days that the sales overlap, will not only get the crackers for $1.99, they'll take home a second package for free. And if they use a coupon on each box ... Oh, the possibilities!

(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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