When planning a grocery shopping trip, it helps to get yourself organized. Planning ahead will help keep the costs down and will prevent you from making unnecessary "spontaneous" purchases that will probably end up languishing in the pantry for the next few months unused.

Search your closets, cabinets, and bed-side table to see what items you need: milk, yogurt, bread or cereal, meat. Ideally, you (and everyone and your household) should make a habit of writing down whenever something is running out (or already has). For example, if someone starts using the last (or second to last) toilet paper roll, make it that person's responsibility to put "toilet paper" on the list. A good place to keep such a list is on the refrigerator.

Make a Shopping List that is necessary during the week. This consists of the items you need to replenish, as well as new stuff you want to get. Plan out your meals for the next week or two and write down the ingredients you'll need. When you make the list, try to group items together based on where they are in the supermarket or grocery store. Put all the produce together, all the meat together, all the dairy together, etc.

Go by the aisles one at a time to see what you need until you get used to the store and know where to go to get just the stuff on your list. Watch for deep discount sales on items piled at the ends of aisles, but also watch out for not so cheap sales on things that are impulse foods like convenience food. Supermarkets do both and sometimes the sale is only marked on the end of aisle display.

Check the sale prices and compare between brands before buying the products. Bulk quantities are often, but not always, cheaper.Look for offers on sale too, Buy One Get One Free Offers are a great example.

Plan how much you're going to spend before paying at the cash register. As you add items to your cart, keep track of the cost in your head or with a calculator to avoid spending over your limit. It helps to round the prices up to the nearest dollar, that way the actual total will come in lower than you expect when you check out.

(Wikihow, Nicole Willson)