Food costs take a bigger bite out of the family food budget than just a year ago. During the recent gas price crises, we soon discovered that the hikes in the price of gas increased transportation cost of the food at the grocery store, causing a significant jump in prices. Downsizing of product amounts in canned goods also has raised the cost of food. While the price may remain the same, you’re getting less in quantity. So it’s essential to make a plan to save money on groceries, as possible. Here we have five easy ways to do just that, each and every time you shop.

1.Shop the sales. While this may mean visiting a few different supermarkets, this single measure can save you 20% on a week’s worth of groceries! If you think this is too time consuming, consider that you can save money on groceries, to the tune of $80 a month, assuming you spend $400 a month on food. That’s significant. Besides, shopping a few stores for the sale items means that your list will be fairly short at each store, making for a quick trip through the express line. If you put that $80 into a savings account, you’ll have a whopping $960 at the end of the year. That’s worthwhile!

2.In addition to sales, don’t forget the dollar type stores. You’ll find canned goods at half the price of the supermarket. Things like laundry and dish soap, toiletries, makeup and school supplies are just a dollar. Big savings!

3.Know your prices! Homemaking websites often have free printable ‘price books’, where you fill in the regular price of items you typically buy. This helps you save money on groceries, because you won’t be fooled by a grocery flier advertising items at regular price. The price book system also allows you to spot a really good price when you see it! If you see your favorite brand of coffee discounted by a couple of bucks as a promotion, stock up on as much as you can. Non-perishables and freezer foods are excellent candidates for your strategy to save money on groceries.

4.Plan your menus. If beef, pork or chicken is on sale, plan a couple nights of meals around these meats. When you’re serious about saving money on groceries, you can save even more by buying in quantity, ‘value pack’ sizes. Freeze what you won’t use this week and pencil in dinners for future weeks. This strategy can boost your grocery savings by another 10-20%.

5.Become a coupon nerd. Organize your coupons so that you use them before the expiration date. Keep your eyes peeled for when that food shows up on sale. Then, use that coupon for even more savings.

To save money on groceries does require a bit of organization, but that’s it. Using all of these grocery budget saving tips can save a dedicated grocery shopper anywhere from 40-50%! Think what you can do with that extra money!