It seems like everybody’s ‘tightening their belts’ these days, so the folks at Grocer Watch have put together a list of tips to help you get the most of your money when it comes to grocery shopping!

Just follow these 12 simple tips to save:

1. Don’t feel the need to fill your shopping cart.

Shopping carts are getting larger because testing reveals that they encourage customers to buy more. Make a conscious effort to not fill an enormous cart, or grab a basket instead of a cart whenever possible.

2. Go beyond milk, bread, bananas and eggs when comparison shopping.

These four items are the ones customers most commonly rely on to compare prices between stores, but you’ll have an easier time identifying deals if you make a longer list of the items you purchase most and the price you usually pay. Keep it in your phone for easy reference while out shopping.

3. Start shopping in the middle of the store.

You typically find the produce section in the front of the store, where the bright colours put you in a good mood and inspire you to buy more. Stay on your game and stick to your budget by starting more in the middle, surrounded by the less vibrant boxed and canned food.

4. Don’t be afraid to ditch items at the last minute.

Supermarkets have started making checkout lanes more narrow to discourage the over 60 percent of shoppers who change their minds about an item while waiting in line. Personally, I think it’s more considerate to return the item where you found it or give it to an employee to return, but whatever you choose, don’t let the narrow confines of the checkout lane pressure you into buying something you don’t actually want.

5. Wear headphones and listen to upbeat music while you shop.

Stores intentionally play music with a slower beat to encourage shoppers to move more slowly through the aisles — and buy 29 percent more! Put on your favourite workout mix instead and you’ll automatically move at a brisker pace while shopping.

6. Buy cheese from the dairy case instead of the deli counter.

Stores often sell their deli cheeses in plainer packaging in the dairy case, for a lower price.

7. Ask store employees about complimentary add-ons.

“The butcher will tenderize meat for you, the baker will slice a loaf of bread, and the florist will usually give you free greenery to go with your loose flowers,” says one supermarket expert. So don’t be afraid to ask!

8. Ask about discounts on bakery or meat items that are about to expire.

Employees may agree to mark down prices on items that are expiring the next day — just ask!

9. Double-check the details of a sale price.

Often a sale will apply to a certain size package, but the store will advertise the discount between the sale-price item and a different-sized, non-sale-price item. Check the details to make sure you are picking up the right one.

10. Do a little maths before buying in bulk.

Buying items by the piece in the produce section can be cheaper per pound than buying multi-packs. (Plus you’ll be able to inspect each fruit or vegetable for defects, which can also save money.) Check out the prices and do a little maths to figure out if you are getting a good deal or not.

11. Take a closer look at “10 for $10” promotions.

A “10 for $10” promotion boosts sales on an item — even if the promotion actually increases the price per item! So always double-check that these specials are truly deals.

12. Don’t assume endcap displays signal good deals.

Supermarkets sell these end-of-the-aisle areas to companies so they can promote a specific product.

For more tips, head to grocerwatch.com.au.