10 tips to help you spend less on groceries

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I’m happy for the masks right now, especially happy to have to wear one in the supermarket. That way, no one can see my open mouth or read my irritated, sticker-shocked lips as I put deeply more expensive products in my grocery cart.

Supply chain issues, inflation, labor shortages, weather issues, strong consumer demand and rising wages in the supermarket sector are all price drivers. In turn, food costs eat into our household budgets.

According to a market research company IRI, food prices are expected to increase by 5% in the first half of 2022. The price of beef, poultry, eggs and staples such as cereals, soup and mayonnaise are expected to continue to climb.

Considering that a family of four can expect to spend up to $1,020 a month on food, according to a to study by the United States Department of Agriculture, the rising cost of food is becoming increasingly difficult to bear. Fortunately, there are still ways to save. For example, you can stock up on staple foods around which you can cook a meal, such as rice, beans, and pasta. Compare prices and browse sales flyers to find the best deals. Try to prepare meals that don’t require you to buy expensive cuts of meat or fish.

Here are ten practical tips:

Make a list: Writing down, memorizing, and sticking to a list is one of the easiest ways to save money on errands. It can help you reduce your grocery bill by 20-30%. Not only can you limit spending and avoid impulse purchases, but you can also save time and be less likely to forget something and have to make a second (or third) trip. To make it easier for you, take inventory of what you have on hand and make your shopping list based on the configuration of your grocery store. If you’re not sure how to best format a shopping slip, check the web. There are hundreds and thousands of templates you can download and print.

Use coupons: Shopping with coupons is really a simple way to save. January is a great time to start: Manufacturers are launching lots of new coupons now that the holiday shopping season is over and many Americans have pledged to save more and spend less. Grab a Sunday paper, go online to print internet coupons, or download digital coupons from your favorite grocer’s website or mobile app. Review the coupon policies of your favorite stores (Price Chopper doubles manufacturer coupons up to 99 cents face value) and match your coupons to discounted products for maximum savings.

Track sales cycles: Prices can fluctuate, but there is a revolving sales pattern, with many products predictably priced lower at certain times of the year. That’s when you’ll want to stock up to save. January is National Soup Month, for example, so it’s the best time to buy canned soup. You’ll find popular football foods at great prices in February around the Super Bowl, so stock up on chicken wings and frozen fries. March is National Frozen Food Month, so frost peas, poultry, and ice cream will be well priced. With a little forethought, you can stretch your shopping dollars and stock up on must-have items with a lot less cash out of your pocket.

Take advantage of loyalty benefits: Capital Region food retailers are continually unveiling and reinventing new promotions and loyalty programs that provide access to exclusive coupons, online ordering, grocery delivery and more. If you are a member of Price Chopper’s free AdvantEdge Rewards program, you can earn points when you shop online, in-store or purchase gift cards. You can then withdraw $1 from your total order for every 100 points you earn. If you prefer, you can snack on a student loan with Rewards points instead, or redeem points for fuel savings at the gas pump, kitchen gadgets or digital magazine subscriptions. With My Hannaford Rewards digital program promises, shoppers can access personalized offers, coupons, and earn 2% on every purchase of eligible store-branded items.

Order your shopping online: Most major retailers now offer same-day grocery pickup and delivery when shopping online. Associates will shop for groceries on your behalf, wrap your goods, and place your purchase outside your door or inside your vehicle. This is not only convenient, but you can very well save money. You’ll avoid expensive impulse purchases and save gas. Look for promo codes or consider free services to avoid convenience fees.

Create a meal plan: ” What are we eating ? You’ll only wonder once a week if you plan your meals in advance. Taking the time to plan your meal strategy will help you save time and money, because you’ll have everything you need and nothing you don’t. Planning your lunch and dinner plans ahead of time will also help ease the stress of meal prep throughout the week and give you the freedom to focus on creating nutritious feasts.

Buy generic: Buying private label products is a great way to save up to 30% on select groceries. Most private label products are comparable in taste and quality to their well-marketed brand name counterparts. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, one in five shoppers said the store’s brand was in their grocery selection because they preferred it over more popular lines.

Concoct frozen dishes to prepare in advance: Along the same lines, cooking a week or month of meals for the freezer in one go can make for economical, stress-free, and nutritious dinners. If you have a meal ready and waiting for you at home, you’ll be less likely to run to the supermarket for the umpteenth time or to a last-minute drive-in. If preparing, packaging, labeling and freezing a month of nutritious meals in a single weekend sounds absurd, just freeze the ingredients – browned meat, cooked rice, grilled chicken – that you can grab and defrost in a snap.

Reduce food waste: Every year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States, according to ReFED, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending food loss and waste in the US food system. That equates to 130 billion meals and over $408 billion in food thrown away every year. There are a number of things you can do at home to reduce waste and save money. Don’t be tempted to go out and buy more food or get takeout when there’s plenty to eat in the fridge. Serve smaller portions. Eat leftovers. Keep your fridge clean and organized so it’s easier to see what you have. To show creativity. Learn some recipes that you can prepare for consuming food, such as stir fries, frittatas, and soups.


Enjoy credit card rewards: According to a study by NerdWallet.com. The Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express is one of the best because shoppers can earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in spending per year. So that family of four spending up to $1,020 a month could pocket an extra $360. It’s a free week of groceries, and more. Another great option is the $0 per year Citi Personalized Charge Card because it automatically pays 5% in your highest eligible category each month, including groceries.

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