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Grocery Shopping Tips

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By Kelly Kennedy

The grocery store is full of delicious items that may all seem tempting to buy however use these tips to keep your costs down and not purchase more than you need.

Before Heading to the Grocery Store

Check to see what you already have so you don't buy more than you need.

Plan your spending to avoid impulse buys like candy bars at the checkout or unnecessary snacks.

Grow your own fruits, nuts, and veggies or make it yourself to save!

Prepare a menu list of items for the week based on the week's breakfast, lunch and dinners, around what you already have, and what's on sale.

If your local area has food co-ops, sign up! A food co-op can greatly reduce your weekly food bill by as much as 50%.

Shop for products before you run out of them. If you run out of an item the price might increase the next time you go to purchase it so buy it when the price is down.

Due to volume discounts, larger stores are generally cheaper than smaller ones so shop there for non-perishable items.

Avoid trips to the convenience store because prices are raised up.

Keep an ongoing grocery list during the week and take it when you go shopping and stick to it!

If you go to the supermarket early in the morning you might have a better chance of getting marked down items like fresh produce.

Shop alone so you get done fast and wont buy any additional items.

Don't shop for groceries on an empty stomach because you'll want to buy everything you are craving.

Clean out your refrigerator, so you can easily put your groceries away.

The best sales are on the front and back of your supermarket flyer so be sure to check it out.

While Shopping

Stick to your shopping list.

Ask for help rather than wasting time looking for items or better deals.

Meat is a good source of protein but it's costly. Cheese, poultry, eggs, peanut butter, dried peas, beans, lentils, and some fish are some great alternatives for less.

Buy whole chickens instead of just the breasts. Buying breasts separate is very expensive.

Buy locally grown foods; they are fresher, and more nutritious.

Shop the sales! Go to different grocery stores to get the best deals.

Most bargains are found on the higher and lower shelves. Look for store brand products not name brand.

Look for unadvertised specials.

Shop for items that you use regularly. Once you run out, you will have to pay whatever the supermarket charges and the price might have changed.

Stock up! If a product you use is on sale, buy as many as you can and store them to last you until the next sale.

Wait until the item goes on sale. If you study your products and stores, you can have enough to last until the item is discounted again.

Take advantage of your freezer and stock it with frozen or dairy items, such as cheese, butter and milk that are on sale.

Buy in bulk when the unit price is less. Packaged items do not always mean lower prices.

Just because an item is marked that it's on sale doesn't mean you are getting it for a lower than normal price so be sure to know your prices.

Use store savings cards.

Try generic or store brands. You can usually return it if you aren't happy.

Buy in season veggies and fruit.

Always check the expiration date on dairy products.

Convenience foods are more expensive. Prepare a meal the day before to save time instead of spending more on prepared foods.

Check the day old bread bin, and the reduced merchandise cart.

Ask for a rain check if an advertised special is out of stock. Look for more coupons for that product until it comes back in, you might save double!

Breads and rolls freeze very well so stock up at bread outlets.

After Shopping

Return any product that is spoiled.

Send out for rebates to get items free, or close to free!

Study the sales cycles of the stores you shop at, so you will know when to expect certain items to go on sale.

No store has the lowest price on all items; it will vary so be sure to investigate.

Watch as the clerk rings up your purchases and be sure to check your receipt. Lastly, make sure you have all your bags before leaving and empty your cart completely, don't forget underneath the cart if you used it for larger items.

About The Author: Kelly Kennedy writes for www.savingdimes.com, a great online source for information about saving money and living the frugal life