Cutting down on costs at your Commissary is one way of managing your money well. Here are a few ideas you can employ to save money on your next run.

• Come up with a budget that is just at part with or if possible below what you can actually afford. Build a list of grocery items within that budget.

• Check out the coupon collection that most people ignore in the front of the Commissary .

• Have a list ready before your next trip to the Commissary, making sure to include common kitchen items such as coffee, milk, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, onion and garlic.

• Keep tabs on item prices, especially items you frequently use, so you can come up with a workable budget on your next grocery run.

• Limit your Commissary visits to once or twice a month. You can save on travel costs and decrease your chances of overspending.

• Plan your meals ahead of time. This helps you avoid missing an ingredient and saves you money if you choose meals that have common ingredients. Mayonnaise, for example, allows you to make both sandwiches and macaroni salads.

• Branded goods and choice-cut meats have cheaper substitutes that do not have to do away with quality. Go for those substitutes.

• Purchase goods in cash and save yourself the trouble of going over your budget.

• Buy snacks for your travels. 24/7 mini stores are usually more expensive, especially if you live in Europe. Bringing food in your travels eases hungers pangs without hurting your wallet.

• It pays to be inventive in the kitchen: You can make something special out of leftovers which can potentially maximize your savings.

Follow these tips and you will be in for a good surprise once you have tallied up your expenses for the month.

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