If it feels like food prices are out of control, you are not imagining it. Consumer prices through December 2021 increased by 7%, the largest annual climb since 1982. Here are seven money-saving strategies you can use now to help reduce your tab at the grocery store.
- Don’t Wing It – Planning ahead is the only way to resist tossing too much stuff into your shopping cart. Plan your meals for the week, make a list of what you need and force yourself to stick to the list.
- Download Store Apps – Know what’s on sale before you plan your meals and take advantage of digital and loyalty deals.
- Max Out on Sale Prices – When pasta, bread or other shelf-stable or freezable items are at super-low prices, buy one to use now and two to use later.
- Buy Reduced – Keep an eye out for those yellow labels in the meat and produce departments. They typically are on foods that are near their expiration date. But those meats frozen now will be fine when thawed for use, and any less-than-perfect fruits or veggies you don’t consume right away will make great soups, stews, sauteed dishes, fruit pies or crumbles.
- Skip the Pre-Cut Stuff – Unless they are yellow-labeled, you’ll pay up to twice as much for the convenience of pre-cut veggies and fruits. Buy the whole product and prep it yourself to save a bundle on your food costs.
- Try Shopping Mid-Week – It’s when a lot of stores begin their weekly sales, yellow label overstock from the previous week’s sales, and sometimes even make last week’s sale prices still available.
- Use Coupons – They are not as ubiquitous as they used to be, but clip any coupons you can find in your mail or newspaper. If you join their loyalty program, some stores will send you coupons on the products you buy most often.