Have you created a household budget? Do you follow it closely each month and make sure you only spend what you allocated within your budget? Some people do, right down to the last dime. Others try, and maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. And then of course there are people who have never created a budget, for whatever reason.

Creating a monthly budget can be a real eye-opener.

In many cases two of the largest expenses on your budget will be your mortgage\rent, followed by the amount that you spend on groceries.

While reducing your mortgage is not a quick and easy thing to do, reducing the amount you spend on groceries each month can be easy.

Smart Coupon Strategies That Will Reduce Your Monthly Grocery Bill

There are several million coupons out there that can be used to help families reduce their monthly grocery bill. In many cases people have been able to reduce the cost of food for their family by 30% to 50%.

This is particularly true in cases where people are quite disciplined about using coupons.

But even if you take a casual approach to using coupons, you can save a lot of money on your groceries if you put in the time and energy required. You will need to have patience and flexibility, as well as be open to trying new brands of products to save money.

We all know that coupons are intended to get us to buy a specific type and brand of food so if the item you have a coupon for is not one you need, or will use, you should not bother with it.

Did you know that there are lots of places to find food coupons? You can clip coupons from newspapers and magazines, find them online, look at stores for coupon bulletin boards, and look at the local library. There are some stores that give you coupons when you check out.

Get organized before you head out to the store.

Sort your coupons by type of food and pull out the coupons that match your shopping list.

Place them in a container you can take with you to the store.

Always watch the expiration date and the cash value of coupons.

Make sure you use them before they expire.

As well, always follow through with rebate type coupons instead of throwing them into the trash. Throwing them out is like throwing actual money into the garbage.

If your grocery store offers a loyalty card, sign up so you can get coupons sent to your email account, and bonus points that accumulate when you check out.

We’ve even recently started receiving coupons for milk and butter, which was a nice surprise. You can also get the store’s credit card to add to your points and to get additional coupons.

Buying items that are on sale with coupons means you are using smart coupon strategies. If you have a coupon for something that you don’t need right away, why not wait until it goes on sale so you can increase your savings and stay within your food budget?

Look at the weekly ads from the stores near you. You may want to visit more than one store if other stores have sales for items you have coupons for and that you need.

But first, ask if your favorite store will honor coupons from the competition. A lot of stores will allow this because it keeps you at their store. You will also save time and gas by not driving to multiple stores.

It used to be that people were hesitant to use coupons because they thought stores would be less than pleased with them. No one wanted to be the one who takes forever to check out with their coupons.

Today it is easy to scan coupons which make using them quick and convenient. Using coupon strategies to reduce your monthly grocery bill will work for you if you are willing to do the work and are patient. It is not for everyone, though.

Click here for a list of where to find US coupons and Canadian coupons.