5 smart ways to stretch your dollar at the grocery store

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By Kelsey Mulvey | Source: Chase

Thanks to these smart tips, grocery shopping has never been easier

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Between organic meats, fruits and vegetables, and the occasional bag of chips, your grocery bill can add up quickly.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports the average American spends nearly 6 percent of their annual income on groceries, and an additional 5 percent dining out. And when you factor in all the expired groceries you throw away and unnecessary takeout orders, you could be spending more.

Why spend the extra money on expensive produce or perishables when it could go into your vacation fund?

Knowing how to properly shop for food not only saves you money at the grocery store, it can decrease how often you dine out. Play your cards right, and you can save more than $2,000 on food a year.

Here are five smart ways to make the most of your grocery budget:

1. Schedule smaller, strategic trips

Buying all your groceries in one fell swoop seems efficient, but it’ll cost you.

“People have good intentions, but don’t use everything they buy,” says Amanda Li, registered dietitian and founder of nutrition coaching practice Wellness Simplified.

Small, frequent trips to the store forces you to use what you have, and only make trips when you need to replenish supplies.

Many people buy duplicate ingredients, which is why Li recommends making a grocery list ahead of time.

She estimates making several trips to the grocery store—and taking stock of what you already have—can save you $20 per week.

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