While shopping at the grocery store for all your necessary items might seem convenient, it could actually be costing you more. Shopping around for the best prices might take some extra time, but with a little research it ends up being a little more money in your wallet.

According to Daily Savings  “the number of people surveyed who visited a supermarket dropped from 87 percent in 2011 to 71 percent in 2012, while warehouse clubs, dollar stores, drugstores and ethnic markets saw double-digit growth in foot traffic in that time”.

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to be a little flexible about what you buy each week. Having a set meal plan is great, but you also have to be creative and willing to roll with the sales and promotions at your local grocery store.

“Perfecting your grocery shopping strategy doesn’t have to mean avoiding all the snacks you love or spending all weekend clipping coupons” says Tara Struyk from Life Hacker. “In fact, how far you go is entirely up to you. After all, being frugal is about more than just saving money, it’s about living well on less. And that, in my opinion, is all about balance”.

It’s not hard to guess that grocery stores like Shoprite, Publix and Stop and Shop grossly mark-up their products. While I personally won’t buy certain items from the dollar store, (cheese, milk, etc.) it is cost effective to shop there instead of grocery stores.  The infographic below shows what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing.

Thanks to Daily Savings for the fabulous infographic!