There are few activities that are less enjoyable than wasting money. We just want to stock up on as much food as possible without going broke. The trick to beating this dilemma at the grocery store isn’t living exclusively off ramen noodles.

Delicious and healthy shopping deals are more plentiful than you think. Here’s a list of six dollar-saving shopping hacks to get more food for your buck at your favorite grocery stores. Your wallet and stomach will thank you. 

1. Shop Store Brand

peanut butter, dairy product, jam, spread
Nicole Landry

While it’s hard to give up our favorite name brand foods, grocery stores have come a long way in making their bargain brand products just as tasty if not better than name brand.

Trader Joe’s is the best example for cheap, store brand food. In particular, their Sriracha Hummus is my favorite hummus, and it’s under two dollars! The same size tub of a larger brand of hummus would cost more twice that, so don’t let a name and fancy logo steal your money. And don't worry. It wasn't involved in their recall

2. Avoid Prepackaged Produce

basil, herb, salad, spinach, lettuce, vegetable
Nicole Landry

When it’s time to get fresh produce, avoid the pre-cut and prepackaged fruits and vegetables. While they may save you time at home, it sure stings your wallet. For example, at Kroger you can get spinach in a plastic box for almost four dollars, but if you simply walk over to their unpackaged produce, a whole bundle of spinach will cost you about 99 cents.

The same rule applies to fruit. While they might look beautifully cut in their neat packaging, you’re really just paying for the plastic. 

3. Buy in Bulk

goody, chocolate, milk, cereal, sweet, corn, candy
Nicole Landry

Just because an item is listed with a better price or “low value” doesn’t mean it’s the best deal. Most stores will have the price listed per ounce of an item on the label. Most often, the larger sized item will have a lower price by weight than the smaller version of it.

This is especially helpful at stores with great bulk selection like Whole Foods. You can directly compare the price per pound of these items versus the cost of the already boxed goods. However, sometimes the larger quantity is in fact more expensive by total and by weight, so always make sure to read the labels.

4. Hit Up the Frozen Veggies and Fruit

tea, beer
Nicole Landry

While I explained how to save on fresh produce earlier, buying frozen fruits and veggies is an even better way to save! It’s a myth that fresh produce is the healthiest form of produce. Frozen vegetables are actually frozen immediately after they’re ready for harvest, locking in their nutrients.

Frozen vegetables also don’t experience as much damage or chemical processing than fresh produce go through in order to arrive at the store. Because of this, frozen produce is often much cheaper than fresh.

Added bonus points for the fact that they won’t spoil, so you can stock up for all your smoothie and stir fry needs.

5. Become a Rewards Members

pizza, beer, tea, coffee
Nicole Landry

My favorite part about grocery shopping is that stores will give you free money. Well, not literally. If you sign up to become a rewards member at your preferred store, you can get deals on items for simply being a member.

If you’re comfortable with allowing the store to track your purchases to better understand how their costumers shop, you gain access to exclusive sales. At Kroger, you can check out using your Plus card or phone number to save on almost everything in store – even gas! Being a “valued customer” can feel pretty great.

6. Score Some Coupons

Now you may have heard or seen the insanity that was TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.” That is not the kind of couponing you need to concern yourself with. All the time and effort it often takes to coupon usually does not justify the money people normally save with traditional clipping.

Along with member rewards, most major stores now offer apps that allow you download coupons for items you specifically want. As previously mentioned, Kroger has this as part of their program, so you can save on stuff you were already going to buy!

Target also now has “Cartwheel” where you can download the coupons ahead of time then scan the barcode with your phone at checkout.

No more digging through newspapers or mail ads. The savings come right to you. The food deals are already out there so you might as well take them.