Grocery prices have definitely become noticeably higher, and whether it's from the price of milk, produce, or even boxed Kraft and Kellogg products that's pushing up your bill there comes a time when you can't ignore the added strain on your budget. Between the greater global demand for food items and higher oil prices that make transporting grocery goods more costly, we need to find ways to cope with the higher prices since they don't seem to be moving any time soon. SmartMoney has come up with eight of them, so hopefully there are a couple that you can apply to the way you grocery shop and help cut your food costs.
- Stockpile: While buying an armful of peanut butter at once is unnecessary, if your favorite brand is on sale now then it's better to buy a jar now then one at full price in two weeks.
- Explore the store: Take time to compare prices around the store for the items on your list. For example, if you're in the market for cheese then check out the cheese counter, the deli and the dairy case.
- Try store brands: Did you know that most store-branded goods are produced by the same manufacturers that make the name-brand items? For example, Birds' Eye frozen veggies also makes store-brand versions, but a 14-ounce package of the store-brand broccoli is 44 percent cheaper than the brand name.
There are five more on the list so just read more.
- Buy must-go foods: Ask the supermarket staff when they mark down items that are approaching their sell-by date or have become less attractive, like bruised apples or crushed bread.
- Shop on Sundays: Consumers who combined their coupons from the Sunday newspaper and the weekly sales circular reported saving an average $678 annually.
- Think outside the supermarket: Find bargains at drugstores and pharmacies (for milk and meds); Superstores (for snacks, cereals, and cleaning supplies); Online (often there's free shipping on bulk items); Warehouse clubs (for alcohol, prescription medications, and pantry staples), Discount grocers (for anything); Surplus stores (for dry goods.)
- Check unit prices: Buying the bigger size isn't always the best deal.
- Become a coupon connoisseur: Join your supermarket's loyalty club because many offer bonus sales and check online coupon sites.