UNITED STATES—Look we are all feeling the pain at the grocery store or supermarket, whatever you call it. When you have rapper Cardi B complaining about the price of lettuce and others celebrities complain about the price of eggs (who can afford it) you know it is bad. In the past month, I have been doing my best to keep track of what I’m spending, where I’m spending it and if I’m truly maximizing the best of my funds. For starters, I hit the supermarket at least once a week. I’m not someone who likes to go to the supermarket simply once a month and spend $400 to $500 in a single trip.

Why? Your fridge, your freezer and your cabinets are likely empty. As a result, you’re going to purchase everything in your power that you can to replenish. What’s the problem with that? You might be wasting money on things you do not consume, which means you’re throwing money in the trash as a result people. Me personally, I do not like to waste money, I work too hard for every single penny I earn, and I cannot afford to lose any.

Something I’ve learned when you hit the store, you have to look for a deal. Look there are people who have the luxury of just buying what they want without looking or thinking about the price of the item. Most Americans cannot do that, and as a result we have to pick and choose what we purchase and how much of it that we actually purchase at the same time. This is why making a list is important. You tend to stick to that list and rarely will your deviate. However, if you don’t make a list, but go into the supermarket with a small idea of what you need, you tend to purchase those items, but the price is not something you’re considering.

There is a strong possibility you could have $10, $20, $30 or even more by sticking to the list that you crafted. In addition, if another supermarket has cheaper items you want on sale compared to the place you normally shop, don’t be afraid to shop there. I know I know shopping at multiple stores is something so many Americans hate to do, but guess what it works to your advantage at times when you do it. Gas is still high, I mean over $3.00 is crazy when close to a year ago, we were slightly under that amount, but the pandemic and inflation caused it to propel back up and it has leveled slightly, not grand though.

If you shop in a region where the stores you tend to shop are all in close proximity it doesn’t hurt to visit more than one establishment. In addition, another way to save money involves coupons. Look, the days of having to clip them from the Sunday newspaper or the circulars are long over. Everything is digital nowadays, with many retailers getting consumers to utilize their app. It does suck for those who are old school because sometimes you just don’t want to bother with that headache that is technologically driven.

However, by doing so you can save a lot on your bill, as I witnessed someone who had a $200 grocery bill knock it down to $170 with coupons he received in the mail alone. You might say it is only $30, but that is money you can use for a trip to the gas station, money towards a bill, or a special treat that you like to have during the week. The retailers should not penalize people who don’t download those digital coupons though. Give the customer the discounted price because someone not having a phone or the app to download a coupon should not be a crime in my opinion.

The more you help the consumer to save money, the more money the consumer will ultimately spend. Perhaps the biggest tip I recently learned is NOT to make multiple trips to the store in a given week because it tempts you to spend more money. If you take one trip you’re likely to get the ingredients you need to craft dishes for the week and you’re not going to be tempted with an impulse purchase you don’t want or truly need. It could be tempting to do so, but if you truly think about that extra trip is not needed.

No matter how you look at it, you’re going to spend more money on groceries nowadays than in the past, but there are still ways to save a little if you follow the tips above.