How to Save on Your Grocery Bill

A full cart doesn’t have to leave you with an empty wallet.

Purchase oranges, onions, and potatoes in bags rather than individually. You’ll pay roughly half the price, says Kati Neville, coauthor of Fix, Freeze, Feast (Storey, $15, amazon.com). Even Real Simple’s food editors do this, since those items are staples that will get eaten before going bad.

Don’t buy nongrocery items at the supermarket. Health and beauty goods are usually cheaper at mass-market retailers, like Target. And you’ll find the best deals on paper products at warehouse clubs.

Opt for frozen seafood over fresh. Vacuum-packaged salmon, flounder, and tilapia fillets and bags of frozen shrimp cost 20 to 40 percent less than their counterparts at the fish counter. (If that sounds unappetizing, consider that most “fresh” fish has been previously frozen during transport.)

Buy ground beef and chicken breasts in bulk or family-size packages and you’ll save big: 20 percent on ground beef and 50 percent a pound on chicken.

Find out an item’s cost per unit (CPU). It’s listed on the shelf sticker next to the price. It will tell you what an item’s cost per pound or ounce is, which can keep you from getting hoodwinked by packaging.