Holiday Food Savings: Top 5 On Your Side ways to save at the grocery store

CLEVELAND - If you think you spend too much on groceries each month, you might be right. It's estimated Americans spend more than $600 a month on groceries.

But, just in time for the holidays, we have the top 5 On Your Side ways to save money on your groceries.

It seems like everybody is rushing around these days especially when you're shopping. You want to get in and you want to get out.

But when it comes to grocery shopping, you'll want to slow down. It won't drive you nuts spending an hour on prep time. In fact, consumer experts say if you do that you can save up to 50 percent on your bill.

Number 1: Watch the register. Reports from Money Magazine and Information Week estimated that there are 1 to 2.5 billion dollars worth of scanner errors every year.  Instead of worrying about moving your bags around, watch the screen. Even ask your clerk to stop while you put your bags in the cart.

Number 2: Mobile coupon apps. There are some like Yowza that are zip code specific. So, all you have to do is look up your neighborhood stores that participate and the coupon will be scanned at the counter. Another similar app is Ibotta. It's pretty easy to use and sometimes you can use regular coupons on top of it.

Number 3: Avoid peak days and hours. Make sure you avoid paydays. Those are usually Fridays. And look out for government assistance days - things like retirement checks come in on the 1st, the 15th, and sometimes the 31st. Plus, stay away from long holiday weekends. If you think about it, there will be more on-sale items if it's not so busy. Shop on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Number 4: Buy in season. If you buy out of season, that can jump the price up big time. For example, if you buy an ear of corn in season, it's about 10 cents. If it's out of season it can be almost 10 times that. Some of the fruits and vegetables in season for November include cucumbers, eggplants, and you can even throw in some avocados.

Number 5: Check your store's weekly ads then plan your meals for whatever is on sale. Even 20 minutes of planning can save you big time. Look for those buy one get one free coupons and double up. Plus, consumer experts say if you can, try not to be too super brand loyal, because that's always going to make it a little bit more difficult to save.

Another helpful tip for the road: If there's something on sale that you want and the store has run out, don't be afraid to get a rain check for that product at the sale price.

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