If you have been to the grocery store anytime over the course of past few months then you have definitely seen how food prices have escalated. Stores have been passing along increased prices to consumers who are feeling their income squeezed. At a time when gas prices are higher, you are paying more money for everything from milk and potato chips to paper towels. If you want to save yourself some money on food, here are a few things that you can start doing.
1. Use the combination approach
Everyone knows that using coupons can save you money when you are out grocery shopping. You may not know that you can save a lot more money by using grocery coupons when an item is already on sale. This is a way of getting double savings on many popular everyday items that you need. Check online and newspapers for coupons and find stores that are already offering discounted pricing.
2. Stock up on sales
Buying in bulk is an old principle that still works. Load up on meat, poultry, and fish items when they are on sale. Grocery stores will occasionally discount these expensive items in order to sell their inventory. You should buy as many pounds as possible to take advantage of lower costs per pound. Structure your meals around the savings that you have gained on these products. Store your excess inventory in your freezer so that you can make sure that it does not perish.
3. Grow your own garden
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you from having to purchase costly produce at your local grocery store. You can start an outdoor garden really cheaply by just buying some soil, a few gardening tools, and seeds. This is the perfect time of year to get started and your garden can be blooming by the summer. You can also grow your own spices outside your window sill and keep yourself from having to purchase spices to season your foods.
4. Shop wherever the deals are
Most grocery shoppers are lazy and go to the same store week after week regardless of higher prices. It is important to visit different grocery stores and shop wherever the best deals are for that week. Not getting too comfortable with your local grocery store will keep them from taking you for granted.
5. Start using rebates
Rebates are a great way to get cash back on many purchases that you get from your grocer. Stores offer rebates instead of discounts because they count on customers neglecting to fill out the form and mail the receipt to get a discount. Start taking the time to send in rebates. You can mail them in or submit them electronically online. Manufacturer rebates often give cash back or free items to shoppers that use them.
Do you have any strategies for beating food price inflation?