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Shop cheaply with these tried and true tips

Friday - 8/10/2012, 3:43am  ET

grocery shopping (AP)
Shopping with a list can save money. (AP)

David Burd, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The drought of 2012 will go down as one of the worst droughts in more than 50 years. Gasoline prices will go up (as usual) as will food prices. Keeping this in mind, here are some tried and true ways of saving money at the grocery store.

  • Don't go shopping when you are hungry. When you get home you will start asking yourself why you needed the party-sized coffee cake.

  • Don't bring children with you. The last thing you need kids screaming, "Mommy buy me this ... Mommy buy me that!" Because guess what? You will buy them that -- if only to shut them up.

  • Items on end-caps are not always cheaper. Vendors pay more money for those locations - and for good reason.

  • Buy the store brand, not name brand. It's much cheaper. Here's a little secret: Some stores use name brands and put their own label on them.

  • Never buy toiletries at the grocery store. Buy them at the pharmacy where they are much cheaper.

  • Don't buy microwavable popcorn. You will pay for this dearly. Instead, pop your own.

  • Out-of-season produce is more expensive -- because it's out-of-season. Besides, it doesn't taste as good.

  • Don't buy pre-cut fruit. Do you really want to pay more for someone to cut up your fruit?

  • Pre-packaged salad is easy, but it's also expensive. Save by cutting your own lettuce and vegetables.

  • Canned beans and grated cheese are two obvious price busters. Buy beans in the bulk section and grate your own cheese.

  • Lastly, and this is a big one: Don't walk into a grocery store without a shopping list. Bring a list, you'll stay within your budget and won't buy on impulse.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)