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Simple Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill

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Struggling with a too-big grocery bill? Here are simple ways to slash it down to size:

Only Buy On Sale

Woman talking on cell phone by vegetables in supermarket
Paul Burns/ Digital Vision/ Getty Images

Start a stockpile, and only buy items when they are on sale.

Plan Your Menu Around the Sales

Enjoy cheap meals throughout the week by planning your menu around the weekly sales flyers.

Be Willing to Substitute

Have a recipe that calls for an ingredient that you don't have? Then, see if you can substitute it for an ingredient that you do have. It'll save you money at the store and space in your pantry.

Buy Ingredients Instead of Prepared Meals

Frozen dinners and boxed mixes may be convenient, but they're also more costly. Get in the habit of buying the ingredients that you need to prepare the foods that you eat, and watch your grocery dollars go further.

Shop Seasonally

Foods are cheapest when they're in season, so learn when all of your favorite foods are in season, and buy them then.

Switch to Generic

Make the leap from name brand to generic brand, and you'll shave an easy 25% or more off of your grocery bill. Some generics worth trying: cereal, spices and baking supplies.

Buy Reduced-Price Items

Want a true bargain basement price? Then, scour every aisle of the store for reduced-priced groceries. Ultra-ripe produce, scratch and dent items, closeouts, food at or near its use-by-date – it's all reason for a reduced-price sticker.

Not sure you'll be able to use something before its use-by date? Then, toss it in the freezer, and you won't have to.

Shop at Drug Stores

Grocery stores aren't the only place to look for grocery bargains. Get in the habit of checking the drug store ads for deals on cereal, oatmeal, raisins, spices, baking supplies, soda, paper goods and more.

Cherry Pick

Stores tend to sell a few items below cost each week to entice customers to shop. Learn to spot these bargains, and snatch them up – even if it means going to more than one store.

For help spotting the bargains:

Stack Discounts

A sale is nice. A sale combined with a coupon and a rebate? Well, that's even better. Look for any and every opportunity to stack discounts, and slash that grocery bill right down to size.

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