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Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten to the grocery store checkout line only to have your jaw drop at the insane amount you owe. ($7.30 for blueberries? What?!) No more, so long as you use these nine money-saving hacks.

grocery tips list
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Plan, plan, plan

We can’t stress this one enough. Plan recipes for the entire week, making sure that they use some of the same ingredients. (Say, stuffed peppers on Monday and stir-fry with peppers on Wednesday.) Next, make a list. Knowing exactly what you need ensures that you won’t spend money on ingredients you won’t use.

RELATED: 6 Foods You Can Cook Once and Eat All Week

grocery tips alone
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Shop alone

When you shop with kids or significant others, you’re way more likely to be coaxed into buying stuff you don’t actually need. Go it alone and stick to buying what you know you need without peer pressure.

grocery tips Sale
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Stock up on sales

When things you buy regularly go on sale, take advantage. Just be aware of the item’s shelf life, lest you spend money on stuff that will go bad before you’re able to use it.

grocery tips prepared
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Skip the prepared foods aisle

Obviously it’s way easier to grab a big container of quinoa salad, but the cost ($8) is significantly more than that of making it yourself (about $4).

grocery tips shevles
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Know where to look

Name-brand items, which are usually the most expensive, are typically placed at eye level. As you walk through the aisles, look up or down, where the cheaper, generic brand versions are located.

grocery tips inseason
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Shop in season

When fruits and vegetables are out of season, the store charges a lot more for them (say, $7 blueberries) since they’re not as readily available. Plan your meals around what’s in season to save money--and get better produce to boot.

grocery tips meat
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Try meatless Mondays

Meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal. By making filling, delicious vegetarian dishes, you’ll save money. If you really can’t go totally meatless, relegate chicken, steak and fish to side dishes, so you’ll need less of them.

grocery tips prep
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Don’t buy serving-sized portions

Yes, they’re convenient, but perfectly portioned products cost more to package. Instead, invest in a good set of Tupperware, buy the regular sized packages and divvy it up yourself.

grocery tips frozen
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Buy frozen when you can

Contrary to popular belief, frozen food isn’t inherently less healthy than its fresh counterpart. In fact, fruits and vegetables are frozen at their peak--so they’re a great alternative to pricey produce that’s out of season. Plus, they’re cheaper and last longer. Win, win!

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