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Tips from America's Smartest Shopper

Contest winner Emily Graves is a busy, working mom looking after her husband and two kids in Ottawa, Kansas. Each week she creates a spreadsheet comparing the sale prices of common grocery items, sharing it on her blog with her 20,000 readers who use it to shop at a store that price matches. But, her shopping tips don’t stop there.

Let It Sit

“When shopping online, a lot of times you can put the item in your virtual shopping cart and just leave it there overnight,” says Graves. In some cases, the store will email you a coupon trying to get you to go ahead and complete the checkout on that item, she says.

Also see: 5 Food Labels to Ignore

Watch for Patterns

“There’s definitely a pattern to the sales. Around Thanksgiving time all of your baking supplies will be on sale. In the summertime, Powerade or any pop or anything like that will usually go on sale,” she says.

Also see: 5 Fraudulent Foods

Shop Your Menu

“Make a menu plan and stick to it — especially when grocery shopping, because that will help you stay on budget," she advises. "But you can plan your menu around what’s on sale. You’ll kind of get used to the cycles of what goes on sale and when and plan your menu around that.”

Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.