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      Smart shopping means smart savings

      According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of 2013, the average cost to feed a family of four was anywhere from $146 to $289 dollars a week. And if food costs continue to increase, it should be time to show those prices our shopping saving prowess.

      â??We stick to the list, and that helps a lot because then you're not buying random stuff,â?? said teacher, Sally Beauchamp.

      Beauchamp teaches Home Economics at the Iron Mountain Community Schools and said she focuses on budgeting and healthy shopping.

      â??I never usually allow them to make anything from a box. They have to make it from scratch. Thatâ??s healthier; there's no preservatives in there, there's no coloring,â?? Beauchamp said.

      Another tip: change up your purchasing route. Perhaps you're used to hitting produce, dairy, then deli, but by switching up, it can help you concentrating on the task at hand, which is the first step in winning the battle against overspending.

      And you've probably heard it many times before, but itâ??s worth reading again: Coupons. Many stores like Angeliâ??s in Iron River have permanent weekly sales.

      â??Our eggs are .99 cents for a dozen,â?? said manager, Bill Carlotto. â??We always have â??Milk Mondaysâ?? where you get a half gallon of milk and get the second free,â?? Carlotto said.

      Weekly specials mean that planning meals ahead, though sometimes a tedious task, is very effective way to save. But some products, as Gary Simonson in produce explained, are generally a pretty good deal.

      â??Produce prices have really stayed the same. We have little items that have any major impact as far as prices going up,â?? Simonson said. â??Citrus is the best deal right now because it's actually the end of the citrus crop, and there really isn't anything else that's starting up yet.â??

      Another piece of advice: start from the outside perimeter of the store and work in. The further in, the more processed the food tends to be. Also, many stores have â??Reduced for Quick Saleâ?? sections, so if you arenâ??t opposed to eating soon-to-be expired foods, itâ??s a smart detour in your grocery shopping route.

      According to Yahoo Finance, some other tips to saving include buying generic or store-brand items, shopping at night when distractions are less, and using various grocery apps available to help in budgeting. And finally, when groceries are purchased, itâ??s smart to adhere to the motto, â??Waste Not, Want Notâ??.