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Welcome back to our blog series on smart shopping at the store! Getting groceries shouldn’t be stressful, but money woes and worries affect many of us, and make trying to eat well difficult (when it should only be enjoyable). But when it comes to ballin’ on a budget, have no fear — our local grocery store is here. See some of the ways in which you can save money on your next bill, without sacrificing taste and flavor.

Set a budget.

They say that if you don’t know how much is in your account, it’s a good time to check. This is crucial to helping you figure out what your grocery budget is, and is a necessary way to save some moolah. Budgeting can be so hard to do, but it’s also entirely worth it. Even just acknowledging how much money you have is a great practice, and can serve as a great reference for the next time you hit up your local grocery store.

If you’re new to budgeting, start reasonably — set a range for yourself that makes sense, instead of limiting yourself to a set dollar amount. Make sure to mentally add up your prices as you put things in your cart- well, let’s be honest. You’re lugging a basket around and wishing you had grabbed a cart instead. But the fact remains: set a budget, and be conscious of what you’re planning on getting (and how it fits into your original plan).

Plan your meals…

Mmm, pizza you think to yourself as you walk through the frozen section. Ooh, burritos! I should make those. Or do I want enchiladas? The internal dialogue could go on and on, and it’d be spewing the same message each time — you need to figure out before you go to the store what you’re going to get, and definitely try not to shop when you’re starving.

Pick a day of the week to plan out your meals, take a solid inventory of what ingredients you already have, and make a list of what you next need to get. Make sure you’re being reasonable — if you have a busy week ahead of you, now might not be the time to try making paella or beef bourguignon.

…and stick with the plan!

Not only do you need to plan out your meals, you also can’t forget to stay with your original plan. Of course, there’s a time and a place for flexibility, but when you’re trying to shop smarter, you have to cut back on some of those last-minute cravings and changes in plans.

A lot of times, we end up feeling surprised at the grocery store bill when we added things that we weren’t already anticipating. Avoid this feeling of surprise and panic at the price by setting some limits for yourself and your meal prepping. Find yourself suddenly wanting to eat the sloppiest, juiciest BBQ pork sandwich? Save it for next week’s meal plans — we promise we’ll still have the ingredients at our local grocery store.

Join a rewards program.

Getting discounts on shopping, simply through shopping? You’d be crazy not to go for it! Our rewards program is a great place for you to get additional deals, all of which can make it easier for you to cut back on your grocery bill. With the Garden Fresh Marketplace rewards program, you get 1 point for every $1 you spend, and those points can be turned around to get you free products and even more savings.

Our local grocery store has been committed to providing Detroit with a place to get incredible groceries at equally incredible prices. See for yourself at Garden Fresh Marketplace, and put your smart shopping tips and tricks to the test.