Spending too much on groceries can quickly eat up your monthly food budget. Here are number of useful tips that are easy to put into practice and that will help you keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket.

1. Don’t buy frozen dinners.

Instead of buying these overpriced convenience meals, freeze your leftovers or put together your own frozen meals.

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Then, when you need something for dinner or would like something to eat, you’ll have several delicious meals to choose from that are not only cheaper but also better for you.

2. Use coupons.

Even if you only save a dollar a week using coupons, you’ll still end up saving over 40 dollars for the year.

Steer clear of using coupons for things you don’t need or don’t usually buy.

Only use coupons for things you are going to purchase anyway and only when you really are getting a good deal.

3. Keep an eye on the scanner.

If you shop at a store long enough you will be overcharged at some point, probably several times.

Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by paying attention to what the store charges you and by bringing mistakes to the attention of the cashier whenever you see them.

4. Purchase off brands and store brands.

Another way to save money on food is to buy the store brand or off brand of things you buy on a regular basis such as ketchup, mustard, cereal, and canned goods.

The money that you save by switching will add up over time, and you may find that you can’t tell much if any difference between some of the off or store brands and the higher priced name brands.

5. Do the work yourself.

Give less of your money to the grocery store by grating your own cheese and carrots and shredding your own lettuce.

Also cut and marinate your own meats and cook up your own hamburger patties instead of buying the packaged ones.

6. Leave the kids at home.

Kids can help you to add unneeded items to your cart.

If you find yourself often caving into them, leave them at home with your spouse and get the grocery shopping done yourself.

7. Don’t shop while you’re hungry.

You could make it a point to shop on Saturday or Sunday after your family breakfast.

You could also keep a non perishable food item in your glove compartment such as pretzels or dried fruit so that you’ll have something to snack on before you begin your grocery shopping if you’re feeling hungry.

8. Meal plan.

Planning out your meals can help you to eliminate or cut down on purchasing groceries you don’t need.

It can also help you to stop making extra trips to the grocery store in search of something to make for dinner.

If you’re busy and find it hard to have regular family dinners, planning your meals can also make your dinner time more enjoyable by getting your loved ones together to talk and have quality time together.

Article by Ken Hill. Visit Ken’s lens at http://www.squidoo.com/mealplanninginfo for more articles. Plus freebies and information about places you can get started menu planning online.

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