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Grocery Shopping Tips: Skip Out on These Items

Grocery Shopping Tips: Skip Out on These Items


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Leave these items on the shelf

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A trip to the grocery store can be a fun experience when you're shopping for your favorite items, or it can be a stressful ordeal full of price comparisons and time spent trying to pick out the best product worth your dollars.

Luckily, there are two questions you can ask yourself to make the most of your trip: Is the item more expensive to buy than to make at home? And is the item inferior to a fresh version prepared in the comfort of your kitchen? If you answer yes, it’s time to put on those oven mitts and become the home cook you’ve always wanted to be. The most comforting foods are made from scratch for a reason.

From convenience items and canned goods to products that are as easy to make at home — and taste more delicious when you do — cut your bill in half by ditching these 25 grocery items.

Pancake and waffle mix

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Baking mixes are convenient for lazy weekends when you want to make classic pancakes or delicious waffles, but those premixed boxes can be swapped for the homemade variety without sacrificing taste. It’s really not that complicated — simply combine all of the dry ingredients in your favorite recipe and store them in an airtight jar until they’re ready for use. All you’ll need are pantry staples — like flour, sugar and eggs — to make sweet milk homemade waffles or next-level pancakes.

Bottled water

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Canned fruit and vegetables

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Stock

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One secret that every home cook knows is that it’s better to make your own stock than to buy it. And if you have a slow cooker, stock — from beef to chicken — is the perfect recipe. Combine leftover bone and vegetables in a pot, bring it to a bowl and voila. You have stock.

Cooking wine

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Croutons and breadcrumbs

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Don’t spend money on those dry, sawdust-like breadcrumbs that seem to have an indefinite shelf-life. Just make your own. Turning stale bread into croutons or breadcrumbs is one way to make your food last longer. Just slice the stale bread into small pieces and bake it in a low-temperature oven for croutons or throw them in your food processor for breadcrumbs. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer until you need them and never rely on the store-bought stuff again.

Frozen and canned pasta

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Pretty much everyone loves pasta. So the convenience of warming up a frozen pasta dish in a matter of minutes via microwave or countertop is pretty incredible. But learning how to cook boxed pasta perfectly will save you money, and the outcome will be just as quick and delicious.

Hot bar food

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Most places that offer hot bars make you pay by the pound — and that’s where they get you. While you may not think your food is that heavy, you’ll end up shelling out a lot more than if you were to just prepare that same food yourself.

Instant oatmeal

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Instant anything might make life a bit easier, but when it comes to making a breakfast staple like oatmeal, instant might not be the way to go. Some instant oatmeal packets are loaded with unnecessary sugars. Those handy packets also tend to be more expensive than plain oatmeal. You can make perfect oatmeal in a flash with just a pinch of salt, oats and water. And if you want to recreate those packet flavors, add brown sugar, maple syrup or berries to take your oatmeal to the next level.

Single-serve coffee pods

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According to Keurig, all K-Cups will be recyclable by the end of 2020. But unless you’re a one-cup-and-done kind of person, using single-serve coffee pods throughout the day can be pricey and not very sustainable. Try switching to ground coffee and using reusable cups if you’re a coffee lover.

Minced garlic

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Although it may be convenient, buying a jar of minced garlic is an easy way to waste money. Fresh garlic is readily available, and garlic peeling hacks will make it easy to mince.

Nut butter

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It’s pretty easy to make homemade nut butter, meaning you’ll never have to settle for the overpriced variety the next time you want to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Pesto

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Pesto is a cinch to make, and by making it at home, you can tailor it to your taste buds. Not a fan of garlic? Add less. Trying to find a use for some arugula that’s looking sad at the back of the fridge? Throw it in. The only thing you need to make the ultimate pesto recipe is a food processor or blender, garlic, basil, pine nuts or walnuts and parmesan cheese.

Pre-cut fruit and vegetables

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The pre-cut packages of fruits and vegetables may seem tempting as you walk into a brightly lit supermarket, but they are often overpriced and might not be as ripe and delicious as you like. Find your favorite fruits and vegetables that are in season and chop them yourself for a snack that’s just as tasty, but much cheaper.

Premade salads

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Premade salads are great because you don’t need to buy leafy greens and toppings separately or do any chopping, but you’re most likely paying for something you could prepare in a snap. There are countless salads that can be made with fruit, meat, eggs or whatever your heart desires. And if you’re craving a salad from your favorite restaurant, you can even make the famous Olive Garden salad at home.

Salad dressings

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After you make your homemade salad, pair it with homemade salad dressing. Salad dressings are packed with artificial flavors, colors and sodium-rich preservatives. They may also contain full-fat cheese, added sugars and unhealthy trans fat. A homemade Caesar salad dressing takes just 10 minutes to make. Experiment and make your own dressings with balsamic and other vinegars, spices or lime and lemon juice.

Refried beans

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A famous Tex-Mex recipe, refried beans are a staple if you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine. Instead of buying cans of the tasty side dish, make a pot of refried beans from scratch. The recipe is simple: only pinto beans, onion, garlic, cheese, hot sauce and lard are needed to recreate the taste you love.

Rice mix

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Sandwiches

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For the price of whatever you’re paying for one sandwich at the store, you can buy all of the ingredients and make a sandwich better than mom used to make. You can also control the ingredient ratio and its freshness will be guaranteed.

Sliced or grated cheese

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If you’re in a hurry, those bags of grated cheese may seem like a harmless way to cut corners and save some time. And if you’re making a tasty sandwich, sliced cheese can take your sandwich to the next level. But buying grated and sliced cheese instead of a block of cheese is a waste of money. Buy a block of your favorite cheese and pass on the pricier bagged stuff.

Sushi

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Grocery store sushi is safe to eat, but it’s most likely been hanging out in a refrigerator for hours. Sushi is an artful dish, but you can replicate creations from the best sushi restaurants at home. Try your hands at a spicy tuna roll or keep it simple with a California roll.

Taco seasoning and spice blends

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Taco seasoning is just a blend of ingredients that you probably already have in your spice rack — like chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt and black pepper. As for other spice blends, like all-purpose poultry seasoning and Italian seasoning? If your spice rack is up to snuff, you can just mix and match until your heart’s content.

Tomato sauce

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Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

An average American spends $4,464 a year in groceries. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stretching that budget can be challenging, but shoppers say it's possible with these tips.

Mother of four Melissa Erdelac, a recipe developer and writer behind food blog MamaGourmand, only grocery shops once a week. She makes a list based on the recipes she plans to prepare. She also picks up grocery staples like eggs, bread and milk.

By streamlining shopping to once a week, consumers can minimize impulse buys and overspending.

Study grocery ads so you know the different sale cycles. Then, stock up -- but only if you'll use the items in a timely manner. For example, February often has canned food sales, and March, which is National Frozen Food Month, often has deals on frozen items. Be careful not to overshop you won't save money if the food stays on your pantry shelf and doesn't get used.

Tanya Peterson, vice president of brand for Freedom Debt Relief, recommends paying with cash.

"When you shop, leave the credit card at home," she says. "Many studies report that people spend up to 20% less when paying with cash."

Plan your meals around what's on sale, such as corn in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. You'll get fresh, seasonal items at a good price. Peterson says buying seasonal often means saving 15%.

Store brand items -- everything from cereal to coffee to ketchup -- are often cheaper than their name brand counterparts. Plus, store brands are typically still good quality. Read the signs and labels, too, since some retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee on store brand items.

Warehouse shopping at places like Costco or BJ's can mean bulk savings. But if you don't want a dozen cans of tuna or multipacks of crackers, consider splitting purchases with a friend, family member or neighbor. You can break up multipacks of items like spaghetti sauce, loaves of bread and more, making for good savings.

"Leave the kids at home," says Peterson, a mother of twins.

She says the danger of shopping with kids is that parents may spend extra money rewarding good behavior with a treat, or they may want to silence a fussy kid with a snack.

Some simple math can help you save big. Check an item's unit price to compare products, including different sizes of the same item. Some stores list the unit price next to the retail price, but you can do the calculation yourself, too.

Peterson says large packages don't always have the greatest value midsize packages often do.

Stop by a local farm, orchard or farmers market for fresh deals.

"These are great places to find excellent prices and savings, especially on large quantities. Think bushels of fruit," says Peterson. If you don't need perfect-looking fruit, consider buying B-grade or No. 2-grade produce it has the same taste and vitamins for up to half-off.

Often, going to the grocery store means you'll impulse shop and buy extra items. These days, shoppers can order the food online or via an app and never even walk into the store.

Many consumers are using online shopping with pickup service or home delivery. Instacart, for example, charges $3.99 for same-day orders over $35, while Walmart offers free pickup with a $30 minimum at over 3,100 store locations.

*Other Grocery Store Savings Tips:

Skip convenience foods. Instead, make your own recipes, which tend to be healthier and more budget-friendly.

Minimize waste. Keep inventory of what's already in your fridge and cabinets so you can use what you have.

Shop clearance. Ask your grocer which days they do markdowns.

By keeping these strategies in mind, you could save big -- without sacrificing your favorite grocery items.


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