Before you wander into a grocery store – a potential budget-busting experience – have a game plan and take advantage of all the ways you can save. Cutting your grocery bill weekly really adds up over the long haul. Savings let you obtain something you need, or be financially prepared for an unforeseen emergency.

Be Aware of Your Own Inventory

What do you actually have in the cupboard? If you’ve already got 6 boxes of pasta, because you always buy one, that’s not a great way to keep your costs down. Once you’ve realized what you already have on hand, you can build your meals for the week around them.

Check Online for Digital Coupons

Yes, you can still get the Sunday paper and clip away until your heart’s content, but going digital is even easier. Visit your grocery store’s site and check out the coupons to find out how you can save money on groceries with just the click of a button. Generally, these are either downloaded to your shopper’s card or attached to a phone number that you enter at the register. Look for things that you use regularly, or items you can easily keep in your pantry.

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Get a Shopper’s Card

Speaking of that shopper’s card – do you actually have one? Most stores offer special discounts and deals to those who have a card. This can be a card that simply attaches to your keychain, lives in your wallet or is even just attached to your phone number. Find out what your store’s policies are and make sure you use it every time you shop.

Sign Up for Rebate Apps

While it may take you a little extra time when you get home, you can save a fortune by using rebate apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 and BerryCart. Simply select the products that are eligible for a rebate using the app, scan the barcode on the product and then take a photo of your receipt.

Hot tip: Take a browse before you go shopping to get the maximum out of these handy little apps. Payment is usually via Paypal or gift cards.

Make a Meal Plan for the Week

If you’ve never done this before, getting started may seem difficult. However, once you’ve figured out what you already have on hand and what’s on sale, you can start putting the two together to make meals that will keep your belly full and your bank account happy. Additionally, having a plan of what you’re going to buy keeps you from going off the list, and spending extra cash you don’t really have.

Make Those Meals Pull Double Duty

Getting more familiar with using your leftovers or “upcycling” to an entirely different meal is familiar territory for those who like to save money on groceries. For example, that homemade spaghetti Bolognese can easily turn into a yummy pot of chili with the addition of a can of beans and some spices. Done with that chili? What about a round of burritos?  Even roasting a chicken on Sunday can see you getting at least 4 meals for your week. With a little creativity, you can slash your grocery bill in half.

What’s your trick for saving money on groceries? Do you have a tip or trick that we seem to have missed? Let us know on social and maybe we’ll feature your tip in an upcoming piece!