Feeding a family can eat up a big chunk of a budget -- especially as rising fuel prices rise boost the cost of produce, meat and dairy.
Now, some savvy shoppers are turning to special coupon sites to slash grocery bills and other household expenses.
Upper East Side mother Victoria Pericon, on her website, Savvy Mommy, offers tips on saving money at the supermarket. But who has time to clip coupons?
She said, "I have four children and I already have a job, so I don't want couponing to be another job for me."
Instead, Pericon uses sites like Red Plum to quickly scour coupons online. Red Plum aggregates coupons that can be redeemed in your area.
In these tough times, couponing is more popular than ever, says Clarky Davis, the Debt Diva, who notes "about 75 percent of consumers are actually using coupons."
Pericon took NBC New York shopping at a Gristedes supermarket on York Avenue and 87th Street in Manhattan to compare savings.
NBC New York shopped without coupons, Pericon shopped with them. We bought tea, orange juice, butter, corn flakes, cookies, chicken, olive oil, salad mix and a few other items. Pericon also used a store bonus card.
The savings with coupons were substantial. NBC New York's grand total was $64.12. Pericon's cart -- with the same types of items but using coupons available online -- was more than 40 percent less. Her total was $37.62.
Bob Capano, co-manager of the Gristedes on York Avenue, says that "especially during these tough economic times, many customers find that very valuable."
Now that technology makes it easier and faster to print and redeem coupons, there are savings that are too good to pass up.