Can you really save money with grocery coupons? You bet, more than you think without a lot of effort or time on your part either.

If you are like most of us during these hard economic times, you are probably trying to save money in any way you can. Food is your biggest variable expense in your family's budget and a good place to look for savings.

So, how exactly do you save with grocery coupons?

Always check the unit costs before buying. Sometimes you can get a better deal with coupons, and then again, sometimes not. You really need to do the math to be sure. Be sure to shop the entire section and get a look at all your options before buying and you will get a much better deal on your groceries in the long run.

Always, always keep your coupons organized. I can not tell you how many times I have gone grocery shopping and could not find the coupon I was looking for when I needed it. Which ever system you use, be sure it is easy for you to find the coupons you are looking for when you need them. Here is another tip, after clipping my coupons from the Sunday paper; I store my coupon file in the car. If I forget to bring the file into the store, I don't have very far to go to get to them. Good organization is your friend when you are trying to save both money and time.

Be prepared to buy extra when the price is right, and less when the prices are high. Maintaining a well stocked pantry will save you more than money, it will save you the time and frustration of needing to stop at the store more that once a week. The main idea here is that you everything in you pantry should have been purchased only when the prices are exceptionally low. The same principles work with perishables in the freezer too. Buy everything when the price is right and eat from the pantry or freezer when the sales are not good enough to warrant buying. Just this one strategy when done right will reduce your grocery bills without ever using a single coupon.

These are the three most important principles of saving money with grocery coupons. If you will notice, I have not yet discussed exactly how to coupon shop. If you are wondering where coupons fit into the scheme above, read the second part of this article, Saving Money with Grocery Coupons- Three More Things You Really Need to Know to Get the Job Done!

Looking for free grocery coupons and advice, check out the articles on savvy grocery shopping here.