Food can be expensive, and with high gas prices and a poor economy, many people are trying to find new ways to make ends meet. Here's a list of ways to save on groceries, according to the Bargainist.

Take a list

Going grocery shopping without a list is like throwing your money away. Make a list of everything you need and check the pantry, fridge and freezer so you don't buy items you already have.

Be sure to stick to the list. Items not on the list are unnecessary items.

Make a weekly menu
Jae C. Hong, AP

Having a weekly menu makes your grocery list complete and that the family has enough food to eat throughout the week.

Shoppers don't have to make a new menu for each week, instead they can duplicate the menu and shop for two weeks. Be sure to plan a night for leftovers.

Don't go when you're hungry

Consumers should avoid grocery while they're hungry because it makes them want to buy more than whats on the list.

Eating a meal before grocery shopping makes it much easier to stick to the grocery list.

Have a budget
Carolyn Kaster, AP

Before going to the grocery store, set a spending-limit and stay under that limit. Not knowing how much to spend makes it all too easy to spend way too much.

While grocery shopping, shoppers should keep a running tally to make sure they stay within the budget.

Have a pantry checklist
Tom Smart, Deseret News

Consumers should have a list of each item and how much of it they normally have in the pantry. When they run out of a specific item on the list, put a mark by it.

Keep receipts and put them into a spreadsheet
Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

This can be the price list. Having this list will help people know when sale or bulk items are a good buy. This also helps to compare prices with various stores.

The spreadsheet can also be used as a checklist when a shopping list is being made.

Use the Internet

Amazon and other websites have grocery sections with great prices. Many sites include free shipping, meaning you won't have to spend money on gas to drive to the grocery store.

Make frozen vegetables your friend
Larry Crowe, AP

Frozen vegetables last much longer than fresh vegetables, so consumers won't have to buy them as much.

Ease off the meat
Bebeto Matthews, AP

Meat can be expensive. It doesn't have to be removed from the menu completely, but having several meatless meals a week of pasta or chili cuts down on costs.

Families can also try using small amounts of meat with meals, instead of making it the main ingredient.

Look for specials

Every grocery store has specials. Look for them in the newspaper and on the higher and lower shelves.

But don't buy items on sale unless the item is already on your list.

Stock up on sales

Sales can be a great way to get the food you need for cheap. If it's an item you use on a regular basis, take advantage of the sale by stocking up on the item.

Cook and freeze
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Cook big amounts of food then freeze the it so can be used for additional meals. Plan around 5-6 meals, cook them all at once, freeze them, then use them throughout the week.

Give store brands a try

Store brands are frequently just as good as name brand products. Store brands often taste the same as brand name products but they don't have the same advertising.

Avoid "one-item" trips

These trips waste gas and make it hard to only buy one item. Making a grocery list and a weekly menu should make reduce the necessity of such trips.

If "one-item" trips are still needs, try to find the reason.

Don't buy groceries at gas stations or convenience stores
Paul Sakuma, AP

These are the most expensive places to buy groceries. Buying food for the family is much less expensive at grocery stores.

Don't buy sugar cereals
Paul Sakuma, AP

Cereals with a lot of sugar are generally less nutritious and cost more than healthy cereals. Look for healthy cereals and add some fruit to them if they need more flavor.

Plan one big trip for bulk items

Fresh food items can be purchased at the store during the other weeks. Buying in bulk will make your grocery bill smaller because items are usually less expensive when they're sold in bulk.

Deep freeze
Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel, MCT

You can use freezers to stock up on frozen vegetables, meats and other items.

If you don't have a big freezer, ask around. Someone you knew might have one you can use or buy for cheap.

Eat your leftovers
Larry Crowe, AP

Keep a list on the fridge of the leftovers inside it. That makes it harder to forget you have them. Leftovers can be used for lunch or dinner the next day.

Also, plan a day or two each week for leftovers and be sure to eat them all.

Keep junk food off of the grocery list
Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr, AP

In addition to having almost no nutrition, junk food also costs a lot of money. Fruit and vegetables are usually less expensive and they're better for the whole family.

Go grocery shopping when the kids are gone

When kids go grocery shopping with you, they usually want certain items that aren't on the list. Saying no isn't always that easy. Going grocery shopping when the kids are at school makes it much easier to stick to the list.

Store savings cards
Joe Giblin, AP

Savings from these cards can seem small at first, but over time, they can really add up.

Stay away form frozen dinners and prepared meals
Abi Jones, AP

These usually lack much nutritional value and are more expensive than buying other food and cooking it yourself.

Drink a lot of water

Drink water instead of kool-aid, sodas or Tang. Water is better for you an it's much cheaper.