Smart grocery shopping tips

Use smart shopping strategies to reap additional savings while you're in the store

Eat before you shop. Going to the store with a rumbling tummy is one of the biggest budget (and diet!) busters. Why? Everything looks tempting on an empty stomach.

Bring cash. You can't overspend if you're not carrying any credit cards, debit cards or your checkbook. Use your price book, shopping list, coupons and fliers to estimate how much you'll need. Plan for any in-store steals you run across by bringing an extra $10.

Tote your tools. You'll need your price book, coupons, shopping list, a small calculator and a pen when you shop.

Be strategic. Brands pay a premium to place products at eye level in the middle and ends of aisles. To avoid pricey items, look up high and down low on supermarket shelves for the best prices, check behind items at the front of the shelf for larger bonus sizes and shop the perimeter of the store to find your grocery basics.

Store up on sale items: Build your shopping list around sale items. If nonperishables (like canned and dry goods) are on special, buy extra. That way, you'll always have staples on hand in your pantry and still save.