The summer before my senior year of college I was interning at Snagajob. It was the first time I didn't have a meal plan. I had no idea what to buy or how much it would cost, but after a while I started picking up a few tricks. My goal was to buy ingredients for quick, semi-healthy meals that would leave me with a full stomach and a full wallet. Check out my tips:
Buy the basics.
The best thing you can do to save money is be resourceful. I always buy fish and chicken because they're a good source of protein and can be cooked a variety of ways. Fried, baked, broiled, you name it. Also, buy the grocery standards like milk, eggs, veggies, fruits, etc. Once you have all your necessities, you can get a little fancy but keep in mind how you could repurpose ingredients.
Know your grocery store.
I recommend finding one grocery store you like with low prices and sticking to it. For one, you will start to learn what day they do markdowns and start new sales. And second, nowadays a lot of grocery stores have apps that allow you to store electronic coupons and make grocery lists on your phone! (Kudos to modern day technology.)
Store brand is your friend.
I used to be extremely brand loyal when grocery shopping, but I started to realize that brand name and store brand often have the same ingredients and taste for most items. Some things I stick to my guns on, for example, I can't live without my Captain Crunch. However, items like milk, eggs, drinks, etc. won't taste any differently if they are store brand, I promise. This is a super easy way to save some extra bucks.
Make a list.
There is nothing worse than going to the grocery store hungry or with no clue what to buy. You will aimlessly throw things into the cart, and before you know it, you'll have spent $100 on cookies and chips. Writing down the things you need will help you save money and avoid impulse buys.
Using these tips, you'll be in and out of the grocery store as fast as Supermarket Sweep without breaking the bank. You can eat cheap and eat good!