(Culinary.net) Among the many monthly expenses that are simply unavoidable, buying groceries is one of the few that's squarely in your own control. While it's a necessity you can't eliminate from your budget completely, there are some simple ways to save a few bucks during future grocery runs.
One of the easiest ways to spend more money (and time) than you intend to at the store is to go in without a list of items you need. Spend a few moments considering the meals you'd like to make in the near future then write down exactly which ingredients you need.
Evaluate Shopping Frequency
Overbuying perishables like fruits and veggies is one of the many ways food is wasted, but going to the store every day is an inefficiency all its own. Try making a grocery trip once per week on a day you have ample time to think through what you need, how much you need and how long it will last.
Say "No" to Snacks
It might be difficult to avoid the temptation, but skipping the snack aisles can improve your finances and your diet. While it's unnecessary to completely eliminate your favorite snacks, limiting your consumption of foods like potato chips, candy and more can save you money and lead to more nutritious eating habits down the line.
Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
Similar to walking past the snack section, pay careful attention to how often you load your cart with items from special stands and end-of-aisle displays. For one, these foods are unlikely to be part of your "must-have" list, and second, there's a decent chance these are specialty items with marked up prices.
Store Food Properly
While it may not directly pertain to shopping, learning how to store the foods you do purchase can help them stay fresh longer, which can help cut down on trips to buy more. Freezing meat in freezer-safe bags, keeping potatoes in a cool area and other appropriate food storage methods can lead to more efficient use.
Find more food tips and tricks at Culinary.net.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images