Trimming the excess fat from your budget is not as painstaking as it might seem. Although you may have little control over your mortgage or property taxes, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year on groceries, utility bills, health and beauty aids, cell phone and cable charges, back-to-school expenses, insurance, prescriptions, dining out, bank fees, a new car or pair of shoes, office supplies, and much more. This article teaches you 25 helpful ways to save money on groceries.

1. Buy ground chuck, ground round, ground sirloin, or lean ground beef when it goes on sale. Traditional ground beef might be cheaper, but it’s also a cardiologist’s next BMW.

2. Invest in a deep freezer. You’ll be glad you did.

3. Chop and shred foods yourself.

4. You might also want to shop at non-traditional stores. SavingAdvice.com advises that “Bread outlets, farmers markets, butchers, ethnic stores, and ding and dent stores are all sources of less expensive food than traditional grocery stores. The same is true within the store. If you go to the ethnic section within your grocery store, you will often find the same spices for less money than they are selling in the spice section.”

5. The Sunday newspaper is still a very good source of manufacturer’s coupons.

6. Many grocery stores have e-coupons on their web sites that you can download to your loyalty cards. There is nothing to clip or print. Just click on the coupons you want, use your loyalty card at checkout, and save.

7. Here are some of the biggest markups at the grocery store:

Batteries (Buying tip: Frequently, you can purchase batteries at CVS for 50% off regular retail.)

Bottled water (The markup is about 4,000 per cent.)

Cold soft drinks at the checkout line (You are paying extra for convenience.)

Gourmet cheese (Bypass the deli and head to the dairy aisle for better prices.)

Household supplies such as laundry and dish detergent, spray starch, bleach, laundry stain remover, fabric softener, glass cleaner, disinfecting wipes, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, light bulbs, and air fresheners. (Buying tip: You can find better deals at Target and Walmart.)

Name-brand spices (Buying tip: Drug and dollar stores have terrific prices on store brands.)

Packaged salads and coleslaw (You are paying extra for convenience.)

Plastic beverage bottles and storage (Buying tip: Try Target or Walmart.)

Pre-cut fruits and vegetables (You are paying extra for convenience.)

Pre-sliced meat (Once again, you are paying extra for convenience.)

Soy and whey protein powder (Buying tip: Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods all have much lower prices.)

8. Never go to the supermarket without:

A shopping list and calculator

Your manufacturer’s coupons and perks card

Your supermarket’s weekly circular

Rain checks (if applicable)

9. Before getting into the checkout line, look at your cart or basket and decide which items you don’t really need (potato chips, cookies, etc.).

10. Pay with cash instead of debit card or check. You will spend less.

11. Brown bag your lunch. SavingAdvice.com confirms: “This is an oldie but goodie which applies just as much today as it ever has. If you pack your own lunch instead of going out or buying from vending machines, you are going to save a lot of money throughout the year. If you never seem to have enough time to make your lunch in the morning, make it the night before.”

12. Always check your receipt for accuracy. If you catch a pricing error, some supermarkets will give you the item for free. For example, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle® will give you the first improperly scanned item for free.

13. If your supermarket “price matches” its competitors, take advantage of this fringe benefit. You won’t waste time and money going to several different stores for the best prices.

14. Skip the deli and give your wallet some time off. Why pay $12.99 for a pound of roast beef or $4.29 for 8 ounces of bagel chips?

15. Acquire a new hobby and grow some of your vegetables.

16. According to Dr. Oz, sweet potatoes, bananas, and oatmeal are three “super foods” that give you the biggest bang for your buck.

17. Why pay $1.29 for 8 ounces of sour cream when you can purchase 16 ounces of the same brand for $1.69?

18. Why pay $3.99 for 24 ounces of brand-name pasta sauce when you can buy a comparable size of the store brand for $1.49?

19. Why pay $1.29 for a single roll of paper towels when you can buy 8 rolls of the same brand for $4.99 when it goes on sale?

20. Why pay $1.99 for a can of solid white tuna when you can buy it on sale for a buck or less?

21. Instead of buying instant oatmeal, buy quick oats. An 11.8 ounce package of instant oatmeal costs up to $2.99 while a 42 ounce box of quick oats costs as little as $2.69.

22. Why pay $1.99 for a box of facial tissue when you can get it on sale for 99 cents or less?

23. Why pay $2.99 for 6 ounces of shredded cheese when you can buy 8 ounces of chunk cheese for the same price?

24. Why pay 75 cents for 6 ounces of yogurt when you can buy 32 ounces of the same brand for $2.69?

25. Why pay $1.49 for 4 rolls of bath tissue when you can buy 24 rolls of the same brand for $4.99?

This article has taught you 25 helpful ways to save money on groceries. To live fiscally fit, you must get rid of all forms of bad personal debt. This includes credit cards, overdraft protection, lines of credit, co-signing a loan or credit card, payday loans, and borrowing money from family members or friends.

25 Helpful Ways to Save Money on Groceries

25 Helpful Ways to Save Money on Groceries