As a college student, saving money while grocery shopping may not be as easy as it seems. Shopping smart takes some effort, but it's worth it in the long run–and your pocket will thank you. Here are a few helpful tips on saving money in the grocery store. 

1. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk will not only save you money, but it will save you multiple trips to the grocery store. Most grocery stores have a designated section where you can fill up your bag with foods such as nuts, beans, rice, flours, or other grains, which all last for a long time. By doing this, you're saving more money by not buying individual boxes of each item. Stocking up on items that you use often at stores like Costco or Sam's Club will also save you money in the long run (and they have free samples so it's a win-win situation). 

2. Look for Special Deals and Coupons

Stores often have ads or fliers that promote deals of the week-Take advantage of this! It will help you to save money since you're buying things on sale and also may inspire some ideas for you to create healthy and cheap recipes.

3. Make a List

Before you take your next trip to the store, write out a list of all of the things you need first and purchase only those items. Sure, a bag of Cheetos or a Snickers bar might look good once your there, but sticking to your list will help you to stay within a budget and prevent mindless spending.

4.  Purchase Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

If you're someone who doesn't eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, buying these items frozen is a key. You may have the intention of following that #cleaneating diet on Sunday night and spending $50 on fresh produce, but by Wednesday you may have resorted to Chipotle and those $5 strawberries have gone to waste. Buying frozen produce is often cheaper than fresh produce and has the added bonus that it won't go badly as quickly.

5. Don't Buy Pre-Cut or Pre-Made Items

That pre-made salad or the pre-cut watermelon may be a time saver, but these items are often extremely overpriced. If you go to your local grocery store, you'll see that on average, pre-cut fruit packages can sell for around $4 for one serving. Instead, you can save nearly half of the price if you buy fresh or frozen items and cut them yourself. 

6. Stick to Shopping on the Perimeter of the Store 

To save the most money and to make the healthiest choices, shopping on the outside of the store is a good rule of thumb. This is typically where the fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables will be along with the fresh meats and dairy. The inside aisles are usually composed of the processed or prepackaged foods, which are not as nutritious and are more expensive.

7. Purchase Store-brand Items

In regards to the above tip, when it comes to items that you do want from the inside aisles, purchasing the generic store-brand items is cheaper than name brand products. For example, items such as chips, cookies, and condiments are much cheaper and taste just as good when buying the store brand as opposed to commercial items like Chips Ahoy or Oreos.

8. Don't Shop on an Empty Stomach

Studies have shown that those who have gone to a grocery store hungry have been more likely to purchase items impulsively and buy also buy items that are not as nutritious. Again, this will prevent you from wanting to buy that snickers bar we were eyeing earlier. Having a meal or snack beforehand will help to prevent this from happening and will save your wallet and waistline.