Every two to three months, KHQA's Chad Douglas checks the prices of 16 grocery items to see how much the price has changed.
This time, we did something different.
The self proclaimed 'Coupon Queen' went shopping with Chad, and saved more than 28 dollars.
Here's how she did it.
Jen Bell loves the grocery store and she loves coupons.
How much time do you spend a week doing coupons?
"By the time I clip them, sort them, and use them, about two hours. But I've saved 9000 this year," says Bell.
You heard right, 9000 this year alone, so Jen says it's well worth her time. She also told me it's not just coupons that can save you money.
"Everybody would save without coupons if they would just look at prices and compare sizes," says Bell.
To give you an example, this 12 pack of soda is $4.19. A 24 pack of the same stuff is about $1.50 more. Also look at this laundry detergent. The bigger bottle's more expensive, but you get more loads of laundry out of it. If you were to buy two smaller bottles, it'd cost you the same, but you still wouldn't be able to do as much laundry with it.
"The stores love couponers because they make eight cents per coupon redeemed and they are reimbursed the full face value of the coupon," says Bell.
So it's a win win situation. For me though, the challenge to save money with the 16 items I bought was not a win win. I knew going in I was going to lose, but had no idea how badly. In the end, Jen save more than 28 dollars. In part because she had a Hy-Vee milk card which gives you a free gallon of milk for every ten you buy. She also had a free 20 dollar gift card for transferring a prescription to the Hy-Vee pharmacy. Still with nearly 30 dollars left in her pocket, Jen tells me this was not a good savings day for her.
"I was actually surprised I didn't save more. This was a pretty small savings for me. I normally pay pennies on the dollar and this was only a 50% savings. I normally like to see 70 to 80% savings," says Bell.
How does she do it? Believe it or not, a lot of it is done on line. She tells me most people don't realize manufacturers post coupons on their websites for you to print. She also has a strategy. She looks at the store sale ads, and then finds coupons to match. She also looks at some unique ways to save. She tells me some stores offer a nickel back for every paper bag you bring into the store.
Jen Bell is more than willing to help people save money.
She has her own website called www.americalovescoupons.com.
There you can sign up to be on a mailing list for coupons, and learn how to save money at the grocery store.