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Tips on saving money at the grocery store

Experts say have a plan before you leave the house.

ATLANTA — Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you want to save money at the grocery store, you need to have a plan before you leave the house.

Financial Planning Expert Dr. Michael Thomas, of the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, says preparing for a trip to the grocery store means creating a meal plan with the exact items you need, then setting a budget that dictates how much you can spend.

“That can be on a weekly basis, on a bi-weekly basis or for the month,” Dr. Thomas said. “You can ebb and flow with that but you’ve got to be accountable to your spending plan.”

Stick to the shopping list that you’ve created based on your budget and meal plan.

He said it’s important to look for coupons and sales, but you have to incorporate that into your plan.

“We’re taking both of these pieces of information and meal prepping for the week at least on paper,” Thomas said. “This is what we’re going to go to the store and buy, this is what we’re going to save.”

Consider off-brand products instead of name brand items.

“If you’re used to spending $3 for a loaf of bread, there may be an off-brand that’s only $1,” he explained. “That’s a $2 saving for one purchase.”

Some experts suggest shopping alone. Bringing your children or spouse might bring demands for items that aren’t on your list and aren’t within your budget.