Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grocery Cost Cutters

As grocery prices continue to rise, how do you control your shopping at the grocery store so you don’t need a government bailout?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts a 2 to 3% increase in grocery prices this year, on top of the 6% increase from 2008. A report out of Chicago shows a box of cereal is up almost 40 cents, a can of chicken noodle soup is up 20 cents and a jar of baby food is up 25 cents.

Here are a few suggestions on how to be a smart shopper:

Bread. Go to a bakery outlet store. Sometimes the price of bread can be half of what it would be at the grocery store.

Rain Checks. Ask for rain checks on out-of-stock sale items. Also, watch for more stores offering deeper discounts.

Avoid Loyalty Shopping. Don’t be afraid to switch stores to get better deals. Loyalty shopping is costly and retailers will respond.

One bright spot for shoppers is that fresh fruits and vegetable prices have begun leveling off and even dropping, according to the USDA.

Three agricultural economists from Purdue University also predict some additional relief. They say as the price of oil and gas drops and demand for corn-based ethanol drops, the prices of some grocery products will eventually level off.

~ Via KAKE News.


Christine the Soccer Mom said...

I'd like to make another couple of suggestions:

1. Create a monthly menu and stick to it as much as you can. It focuses your shopping, you can schedule in "leftover nights," and prevents the usual, "Hmmm...what looks good today?" shopping.

2. Also, if you're at Sam's or Costco's (or some other such bulk place), keep in mind that it's not always cheaper than shopping generics at the local Publix or Kroger's. Honey Nut Cheerios bulk at Sam's is, indeed, less than Honey Net Cheerios at the local grocer, but that Malt-O-Meal stuff tastes the same and is even less than the bulk price at Sam's.

3. Lastly, beware of price per pound. First, if you aren't going to eat it all in time, buying a gigantic package of something won't save money because you'll waste some of it. Second, don't assume the big package is less per ounce! They've "trained" us to think so, but very often, the smaller packages are running less per ounce than the larger ones.

Jean M. Heimann said...

Great tips, Christine! Thanks for sharing these.