Some love to shop for groceries while others see it as a mere errand. But whether you like it or not, you will need to buy food for your home at some point. In 2016, the average American household spent more than $7,000 a year on food alone and that figure continues to increase as the years go by.

It means that grocery shopping takes up a huge chunk of your household budget and more often than not, you probably go over what you intend to spend because of a few items that’s not on your original list.

Resisting the urge to pick up a product or two is a huge challenge, especially because supermarkets are designed to inspire you to shop. But you can always outsmart your supermarket by following these five tricks that will keep you within budget while improving the quality of food that you’re buying.

1. Scout for Products Before You Go Shopping

Let’s face it; creating a meal plan can be challenging, especially if you have no idea with what ingredients are available. This is why it’s smart to scout for products beforehand to know if any of the items you need are available or not. This will not only make meal planning easier because you know exactly what you need, it will also keep you from grabbing products that will only end up in your pantry unused. If you don’t have the time to go around your local market, visit websites such as www.mercato.com for a wide variety of organic and local products from your community market and artisan shops.

2. Don’t Feel Guilty if Your Cart’s Not Full

Have you ever wondered why shopping carts in supermarkets are huge? Studies revealed that they were designed to be bigger than needed to encourage consumers to buy more.

So, the next time you’re shopping for groceries, don’t feel guilty if there’s still a huge space in your cart. Grab only what you need and visit the aisles where these products are located. If you’re one of those who can’t resist temptation, just shop online where you can easily search for the products that you need and skip the other items that’s for sale.

3. Discover the Beauty of Local Shops

There was a time when grocery shopping meant visiting community markets and artisan shops. But with the advent of supermarkets that carry everything in one place, these local shops have been slowly forgotten over the years.

But they are making a comeback today, thanks to the beauty of online grocery delivery service that allows you to shop for the freshest top quality ingredients from the best local shops near you, all without having to visit the store itself.

So, if you’re craving for good steak or the freshest fish, all you have to do is order them online and have them delivered right on your doorstep in no time. You don’t only get good quality food, you also save money by not driving to the market yourself.

4. Be on the Lookout for Specials, Coupons, and Promotions

If you’re working on a tight budget, coupons and promotions could be your best friends. There are a lot of couponers in America these days because it helps them maximize their budget by getting more for less. Cutting coupons may take time, but if it means saving a few dollars each month, then it’s definitely worth the effort.

Some stores like Walmart also offer overages, which mean that if you have a $5 coupon for an item that’s only worth $3, you can put that extra $2 towards the other items on your list. You can also take advantage of specials and promotions that are offered by stores every now and then so you can stock up on non-perishable essentials that are on sale.

5. Don’t be Afraid to Ditch Products Before You Check Out

Whether you’re shopping online or in a supermarket, always go through the products on your cart before checking out and get rid of those that you only picked up because of impulse. According to studies, supermarkets have designed their checkout lanes to be narrower to keep 60% of consumers from changing their minds and taking items off their cart. But if you really want to save money, you always have the choice to return some items back in their shelves or give them to an employee.

Keep these five tricks in mind and you’ll surely have more fun buying groceries for your household, whether you do it online or in a real supermarket.