Working parents can all agree on a few things: we need more sleep, our kids have too many toys, and it would be nice to save a few bucks on groceries. Every time we turn around, it seems the price of meat, dairy, and other items goes up a bit and each of those incremental increases means more stress on our wallets.

Clipping coupons is one way to save a few bucks on your grocery bill, but that can be time-consuming and tedious. Ultimately, saving money at the grocery store requires time, discipline, and a calculator. And believe me, it’s possible.

Here are some things that you can do to save some money at the grocery store.

1. Search for BOGO’s

Big grocery store chains usually publish a mailer each week with bargains and deals. Grab a copy at the store or get on their mailing list and study it. You can likely also find it on their website. Many stores offer buy-one, get-one promotions each week and they are on items that you would probably buy anyway — bread, some meats, condiments, chips, treats, etc.

Plan to purchase a pair or more, if it’s an item that your family will use often. Also, remember that many of these items go on sale every couple of weeks, so if you plan properly, you can time the sales just right and save on that item again and again.

2. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Planning is crucial for most things in life, and food is no exception. If you take the time to map out what you plan to eat, when and what you need for those meals, you can save yourself extra money and extra trips to the store. Take stock of what is already in your cupboard and try to make use of those items as meals or as ingredients. There are few ways to waste money more quickly than by tossing uneaten or expired food.

3. Buy in Bulk

There might be some items that if you buy more, you can save money. For instance, if you have a membership to a big box store (Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, etc.) you might find that buying large amounts of meat will save you money compared to what you’ll pay at your neighborhood grocery store. That also goes for other items like cereal, drinks, snacks, toiletries, and paper products. You might have to shell out a little more up front, but you can save money on the back end.

4. Comparison Shop

Some grocery stores might be known for their meat selection, and others for their produce. If you know where to go to get the best deals, it can save you money. However, it might cost you gas and time to travel to each store. But if the bargains are good enough, it will be worth it. Go online and get familiar with the selection and offers at each store before you head out, and you will likely see some savings.

5. Make a List and Stick to It

This is probably the most important thing to do. Create a list of items you want, add up what you expect them to cost, and try not to impulse buy. This will control the amount you can expect to pay and limit the amount of extras that you purchase, which will push your grocery bill higher and higher.

6. Use a Cash Back Credit Card

Some credit card companies are offering deals that give you cash back on what you spend at the grocery store. It’s usually 2-3%, so it’s not a huge amount of money, but it does add up. Be careful though. It’s still a credit card, and you must be disciplined to put the money aside or else you’ll find that owe the credit card company lots of dough.

What's your best tip for saving money at the grocery store? 

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