Nick's 2 Cents...Grocery Savings Tips

Most people can't stand going grocery shopping, not because of crowds and bad parking, but because of the money you have to spend to keep yourself and your family fed.

The average family of four spends about $150 per week on adds up to $600 per month. In fact, for most families, groceries are usually the second largest monthly expense, right behind mortgage or rent payments.

Experts recommend several strategies for keeping your payments low when at the grocery store. First, don't ever go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Shopping when you are hungry causes you to spend more on foods you wouldn't normally buy.

Next, when you compare products, don't just look at the overall price. Look for the unit price, which shows you the cost per pound or per ounce...that is where you will find the deal.

Of course, you should always check your weekly or daily newspaper, or go online, for coupons. A few cents here and there can quickly turn into dollars saved.

Experts say to not be afraid of buying store brands. Action News 5's Nick Paranjape picked 20 random items at a Piggly Wiggly store, and compared the generic items versus name brand. Nick was able to save nearly $23 on what were essentially the same items.

A few final tips: Beware of marketing strategies by the store, everything from eye-level products for kids to items on "endcaps," or the end of isle shelves. When you are standing in the check-out line, don't be tempted by candy or magazines, which can quickly add to your bill. And finally, always check your receipt, to make sure you were charged correctly.