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Hungry Eyes: Is your grocery store trip terrorizing your overall budget

You've probably heard the advice that you should never go food or grocery store shopping when you're hungry, because you tend to overspend as a result.
That typically rings true and plays out accordingly, if you happen to have skipped lunch en route to the supermarket. The result is leaving with a higher receipt total than originally planned and enough frozen Hot Pockets to last you for seemingly an eternity.
Aside from the "don't shop hungry" tip, what else can you do to save money at the grocery store?
For starters, never use a credit card to go food shopping, unless of course an emergency arises and that's your only means of nourishment or you plan on paying off the balance within 30 days. Far too often, individuals, families and a whole host of consumers opt to answer the paper or plastic question with the latter, only in this instance their not talking about bags.
Using a credit card at the grocery store only means you'll be paying more than face value for frozen chicken, pizza shells and milk.

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Two more important elements of savings at the grocery store seem obvious, but often are overlooked: coupons and shopping lists. Both suggest you'll need to spend a few minutes as far as prep time before you hit the store, but that in turn leads to money in your pocket.
Not using a grocery list is especially perplexing, given that it is relatively easy to take stock on what you need or don't. Heading into battle unprepared means you could easily get ambushed by sales, special buys or devoid of a clear understanding of what you actually need. You've probably been in the situation where you fill your shopping cart full, only to come home and realize you bought items you didn't need.
Of course, you can rationalize that spending spree by stating that you'll eventually use what you bought at some point, but what about items that spoil quickly? That's literally money thrown away. That same sentiment applies to grocery store shoppers that buy an item or product that is on sale, when in actuality they really don't need it.
Another thing you don't really need at the grocery store? Kids, if you can help it. They'll be the ones flanking the shopping cart and constantly asking if they can have, well, everything you pass by; moms and dads often oblige and thus spend more as a result.
Implementing and applying only a few small adjustments to your grocery shopping repertoire results in not only a more streamlined approach to the trip but also food for thought on how to save money.

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