Save Money on Groceries If you are grocery shopping on a budget, you probably look for deals wherever you can find them, especially since food prices seem to be rising rapidly during this rough economic period. There are a few simple ways to save money at the grocery store, and all that is required is a little bit of planning. Once you become accustomed to following these steps, you'll pat yourself on the back for becoming a more savvy grocery shopper and saving money.

You will need a couple of things in order to accomplish your goal of saving money at the grocery store. You will need access to coupons, as well as a frequent shopper card for each grocery store where you intend to shop. There are various methods of collecting coupons. The Red Plum and Smart Source inserts in the Sunday paper are a good source, and there are many sources of printable grocery coupons online. In addition to grocery coupon websites, you also should check the corporate web sites of products that you use often, because they might offer coupons that you can either receive by email or print immediately from their web sites. Be sure to shop at the grocery stores that will maximize the value of your coupons. For example, many stores will double, and sometimes triple, manufacturers' coupons up to a certain amount.

Next, apply for the free frequent shopper cards at all the grocery stores in your area in order to get the best prices. Check those grocery stores' web sites as well. Many of them offer programs where you can download instant savings coupons for certain products directly onto your shopper's card. There are no paper coupons to clip, and you receive the discount on the purchased items when your card is scanned at the register. Try to match up your coupons with sale items by checking the store fliers each week. Fliers usually are available in the grocery stores, in local newspapers, and on the stores' websites.

If you have the space, load up on staple food items when they're on sale. Pasta, rice, canned foods and other non-perishables are always good to have on hand. Meats, cheeses, breads, and vegetables all can be frozen, so make room in your freezer for these items, or consider using a large chest freezer to store the extras.

Buy store brands whenever possible. In most cases the ingredients are identical to those in name brand items, but they're usually cheaper. Be careful, though! Using a manufacturer's coupon on a name brand item could result in a lower price than the store brand, so be sure to compare the final cost of each item.

A final tip: If you buy items in bulk, consider joining a warehouse club. Examples include BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club. Be sure to comparison shop to be sure that their prices are indeed lower. In most cases you can get great deals on items that you use frequently, especially if a store issues its own coupons and then accepts manufacturers' coupons on top of those.