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We all need to eat and the cheapest way to do this is to buy your own groceries and cook at home. While it may be tempting to skip the home cooked meal and hit the takeaway shops, this is much more expensive and much less nutritious for you and your family. However, even if you are eating in every night, groceries can still add up.

You are not alone in thinking that your weekly grocery bill has increased in the past few months. Grocery costs are on the rise which means you need to be sneaky and smart when it comes to saving money on groceries. Whether you are shopping for one or shopping for six, there are ways to get a discount at the checkout and stay on budget.

Saving at the Check Out

Fruits and veggies are essential when it comes to your weekly grocery shop and food intake. Look for the fruits and veggies that are in season and on special each week. Locally produced fruits and veggies will also be cheaper. Buy seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, only when they are in season and stick to the year round fruits, such as apples and bananas when they are not.

Check to see what is on special by browsing through the catalogues each week. Most of us live within driving distance of two or more different chains of stores. Compare what you normally buy to each special item to see where you should shop each week. If one store has a lot of good specials, drive the extra five minutes down the road to save at the checkout.

Buying some items in bulk will also save you. Hit up Costco or Sam's Club for the big deals when you have a little extra money. Buying toilet paper, cleaning products, juices, diapers, canned food and shampoo at these bulk stores will mean that you can exclude these items on your weekly shop and save anywhere from $20 to $50 per week, depending on how crazy you have gone bulk shopping.

Stay away from impulse buys (gum, magazines, chocolate bars) when you are standing in the checkout. These items can add up. Furthermore, don't give in to your children's wines and cries when you pass the toy section or candy aisle. Giving them a treat or toy each week is one sure fire way to go overboard on your grocery bill.

You may want to switch to the home brand version of some items which are typically at least ten percent cheaper than brand names. While some items are worth the extra money, others can easily be switched to home brand without sacrificing on quality. This includes milk, some crackers, paper towel and countless others. Try the home brand version one week; if you don't like it, switch back to the regular brand.

Finally, keep track of how much you spend each week on your weekly groceries and aim to go lower every time. Keep track of the items that do not get eaten, go stale in the cupboard or are thrown out. Stay away from these items the next time you shop. Even getting rid of a few small items or switching to the home brand version on five or six items can save you a fair amount at the checkout.

As groceries continue to increase, you need to think smart when it comes to your weekly shop. Make the switch to home brand where possible and always look for specials. Doing a little bit of research and comparisons ahead of time will have you saving money on groceries in no time.

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