Everyone needs two things in life: groceries and money. Though it may seem like grocery shopping is a huge strain on your wallet, it doesn’t have to be! These tips will help you save money while getting everything you need.

1. Stick To Your List

grocery list pinned to cork board

When you shop without a list, you'll almost certainly buy things you don't need. It may not seem like a big deal to grab a candy bar or a tub of ice cream, but everything adds up. When you’re trying to save, it's best to avoid spending on unnecessary items.

Make a list at home of the things you absolutely need, and don’t veer off the path when you're at the store.

2. Try Generic Brands

PC club soda

Many people avoid generic brands. But oftentimes, generic brands are just as good as the name-brand stuff. Generic and name brands are right next to each other on store shelves, so try out the regular stuff next time -- it's much cheaper.

If you’re nervous about making the swap with everything you buy, try out a few generic products at first and take it from there.

3. Shop On A Full Stomach

woman putting apple in shopping basket

People grab more when they're hungry -- you know the whole 'your eyes are bigger than your stomach' thing. Except, in this case, your eyes are bigger than your wallet. Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, or you'll be loading your cart with unnecessary products.

If you didn’t have time to eat something before leaving, bring a snack to munch on.

4. Plan Meals Ahead Of Time

prepared meals in mason jars

A great way to save money is to plan your meals. When you’re meal prepping, you know exactly what you need, how much of it you need, and what items are just impulse buys. Planning your meals ahead of time also gives you leftovers, which helps when you’re cooking dinner every night.

5. Look Into Price Matching

price tag for parsnips

Some grocery stores will match their competitors' prices, and that’s your in to getting a bargain. Compare flyers at home and see if your local store will give you a better price.

Call your store ahead of time to see if it will price match; this will save you the trouble of going there just to find that it won't.

6. Grab Sale Items

promotion tags on sale items

This should be a no-brainer when you’re trying to save money. If something is on sale, reach for that before anything else. A good way to know what’s on sale ahead of time is to sift through your store's flyers or go online. You can also grab a flyer as soon as you walk in so that you’re not wandering aimlessly through the store hunting for bargains.

7. Ditch Bottled Water

cases of water in store

Bottled water is bad for the environment, but it's also pretty bad for your bank account. Skip the cases of water and instead opt for a water filter or a reusable bottle. Even when cases are on sale for a few bucks, that money tends to add up.

8. Shop At Cheaper Stores

fruits and veggies in smaller grocery store

Places like Walmart or Costco offer customers great deals. When you need to penny-pinch, shop at these places instead of the more expensive stores. You’ll wind up getting more for less at the cheaper places.

9. Bring A Calculator

calculator next to bill

It’s easy to lose track of how much you're spending. Use a calculator or your phone to figure it out. As you shop, take note of each item’s price and punch it into the calculator. If you're spending more than you should, put something back or grab a generic brand.

10. Keep An Eye On The Register

woman paying at debit machine

Sometimes stores’ registers miss sale prices. Keep your eyes on the register when it’s time to pay. Cashiers often take the scanned price for the real price, and you may need to inquire about an item that was actually on sale.

There's no need to wonder how you’re going to pay for your food this week. There are plenty of ways to save money when you’re grocery shopping, and with these tips, you may walk out with money left over!

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