Grocery shopping is the necessary evil in most women and men’s existence. We have to shop so we have food in our homes, but we hate forking out all the money groceries cost. By the time we recover from the hassle of one week’s financially expensive shopping experience, our cupboards are bare again, and it’s time for another trip.

Don’t give up though. There are many ways to save money when you go to the grocery store, you just have to learn to work a little harder and be more vigilant. Many have discovered how to cut their grocery bills almost in half by just doing a few easy things.

Number one rule is never go to the store hungry. Eat something, a candy bar or a full meal, to stave off your hunger. Everything looks good when you’re famished, and you will end up filling your basket with useless, expensive items.

Another suggestion is to go alone. Leave the rugrats and other half at home if at all possible. Yes, it’s nice to have someone help out with the chore, but the more people you have in your entourage, the more suggestions and begging for unnecessary food items you will have to endure. Just make sure they help you unload all the food once you get home

Always make a grocery list before you go shopping. Having a list will keep you from wandering the aisles aimlessly, picking up things you don’t need or you already have at home. A grocery list also helps keep you on track with your goal of spending less money.

We have all been behind the coupon lady at the checkout line. You know, the one who has an organized accordion binder with a coupon for every food item in her cart? But laugh if you must, she is saving a ton of money. Coupons are great. Check out the Sunday paper for their coupon flyers. Go through them and snip out the items you use the most. Remember though, when redeeming coupons, only use the ones you know will give you a savings. Don’t purchase an item you would never have bought before except for the fact you now have a dollar off coupon.

While you are perusing the Sunday paper for the coupon section, also look at the weekly flyer from the major grocery chains where you normally shop. Each week the grocery stores have specials, and it can be economical to buy several cases of your favorite soda at a reduced price since it’s an item you buy on a weekly basis. It will save you money in the long run, but be careful about shopping at multiple stores. If one store has ketchup for sale and another store across town has toilet tissue for half off, make sure you are not wasting your savings in gas expense looking for bargains at multiple stores.

Name brand items are normally priced higher than the store brands. Most stored brand items, with a few exceptions like paper products and cleaning supplies, are just as good as brand names. Not only is the store brand cheaper, but many chains offer special savings if you buy a certain quantity of their brand.

A further area to save money is by going through the bins of discounted damaged goods. There is nothing wrong with a busted bag of kitty litter, or a few dented cans of soup. You can find exceptional bargains if you are willing to take the time to look, and if you don’t mind a small number of dings and a few less ounces of laundry detergent in a busted container. The marked down section in the meat department is another place to save money at the grocery store. Just be aware any meat you buy that is marked down needs to be cooked up right away, or frozen immediately.

Everyone loves to save money for the fun things in life. Following this advice will help you keep a bit more cash in your billfold.

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