The Practicing Parent: Tips to save money on groceries

If you're like me, groceries are a large chunk of your budget. And when it comes to saving, coupon cutting and sale shopping are obvious ways to hold on to your money. But there are other tips you can use to save even more. Money Expert Stacy Johnson offers a few ideas you may not have thought of.

"You probably already know about things like buying on sale and using coupons. Hopefully also things like using a list. So what else is there? What else can you do?" Johnson said.

He says whole chickens are cheaper than cut-up, whole fruit is cheaper than pre-sliced, block cheese is cheaper than grated and he says don't pay someone to do your slicing for you.

"Generics and store brands: that' a simple way to save 20 to 50% on stuff that's sometimes identical. Worried about quality? Many stores offer a money-back guarantee on their house products, so if you don't like it, take it back," Johnson said.

He adds another thing that really matters is where you shop.

"Sure you know about warehouse stores. But what about farmers markets, food co-ops, buying clubs? What about local places? They can often get you screaming deals on things like organics," Johnson said.

Another great place to save: salvage grocery stores.

"This is where you'll find dented cans, torn packaging, get the picture. It's not pretty, but it's cheap: up to 50 percent off," Johnson said.

Finally, take care of the food you do buy. Buttering cheese prevents mold. Transfer small amounts of perishables, like sour cream, into smaller containers. Store things air-tight. Freeze things before they go bad.

"If you want to squash your grocery bill, there are lots of ways to do it. A list of food co-ops, salvage grocery stores can be found at Just search for "saving on food."