How to cut your monthly grocery bill in half, from a woman who lived on $14,000 a year

Grocery shoppingStephen Chernin/GettyAvoid the center of the store as much as possible — rather, ‘shop the perimeter.’

Your grocery bill can quickly add up.

Danielle Wagasky, who stretched $US14,000 a year to cover her family’s needs for five years, would know.

After adding up all of her purchases one month, she was shocked to find out that she was spending $US800 on groceries for a Nevada-based family of four. This wake-up call inspired her to get smart about grocery shopping, and she managed to cut her expenses in half.

“The grocery bill is one thing you have absolute control over,” she writes in her book “Living a Beautiful Life on Less.”

“You are not locked into a contract like you are with cell phone or rental agreements. You are not stuck with a monthly rate like you are with the Internet and cable … A grocery bill is different, and that’s why it’s the most important expense to learn to control.”

Here’s how she learned to control her grocery bill, and how you can too:

Stock up seasonally.

Neilson Barnard/Getty

Sometimes, when you buy is more important than where you buy.

'Buying seasonally is a great way to save and build up a stockpile,' Wagasky writes. 'Each month grocery stores offer certain sales on items.'

For example, in the summer, barbecue items will be at rock-bottom prices, making it the perfect time to stock up on chips, crackers, ketchup, relish, mayo, and mustard.

Along the same lines, seasonal fruits and vegetables are cheaper, and they also taste better. Consult this handy graphic to determine what's currently in season.

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