Bag Big Savings

Fresno, CA Always go to the store prepared. Katherine Ziller's motto ... As a self-described shopping expert and bargain hunter. That means avoiding impulse shopping ... By coming to the store with a list and any corresponding coupons.

We shopped with Katherine at this Northwest Fresno Costco ... which requires a yearly membership fee. But she says her advice applies to any store.

Start by familiarizing yourself with regular store pricing so you know what's a good deal and what isn't.

Another strategy ... When you come across a rock-bottom price ... Like on this cookie dough ... Stockpile that item versus waiting to buy it when you absolutely need it, when you're forced to pay full price. This works for things you can freeze, as well as canned and dry goods.

Though buying in bulk can often save you ... Pay close attention to unit price because sometimes smaller packs can be a better deal. So do the math.

Katherine doesn't recommend buying perishables ... Like produce ... In bulk. Many families end up throwing it out because it goes bad. And wasted food is wasted money.

Consider store brands--like Costco's Kirkland. On average ... you can save 25 to 50 percent compared to a national brand.

And don't be afraid to use coupons ... It's free money! Whether you find them from the store ... In newspaper inserts ... Or even online. In Katherine's case, they shaved 20-dollars off her total.

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