Make Ends Meet: Tips to save on grocery shopping

Make Ends Meet: Tips to save on grocery shopping
Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 10:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Inflation may have cooled down a bit but going to the grocery store still takes a lot of cold hard cash.

What we make and what we need to spend never seem to be in line. 

With a few tips and fundamental changes, it is possible to save a few dollars. 

Summer is perfect for picnics, family grill outs and holiday parties but with food prices still higher than ever before making ends meet and making a great menu feel like an impossible task to meet.

“As consumers, we have to kind of get used to the new normal that we’re living in,” Lisa Thompson, a Consumer savings expert for Shopmium, said.

That new normal comes after facing the Covid-19 pandemic, global supply issues, the conflict in Ukraine, unpredictable weather and more. 

Shopmium is a simple and free way to get exclusive offers on everyday brands found in the supermarket and one of many ways families are fighting inflation and that new normal we face.

“We are seeing the prices still tick up a little bit for the most part but in 2023 that will be slower than it’s been,” Thompson said.

According to the FDA, although our food prices will rise at a slower pace in 2023 the prices, we are paying are above what they say are “historical-average rates.”

”Rarely do consumer package products go down once they’ve gone up in price,” stressed Thompson.

Consumer packaged goods may be one of the few things that go up and don’t always come down. They are things that we use up and must replace often like cosmetics, cleaning products, food and drinks. 

To make money or save money, it may take a little work. Try price comparison by app, website or reading store circulars.  

“You want to price compare between brands but also price compare between retailers,” explained Thompson.

Check more than just one store in the area for cheaper prices and more than just one brand. There are free grocery price comparison apps like Flipp and other websites that can help you decide where to shop and what to buy.

”It’s really the kind of future way to coupons,” laughed Thompson. “It’s hard to find the old-school paper coupons.”

Some apps like Shopman will give cash back on certain products you buy. Cash-back credit cards can also help you shop smarter.

“Get all the cash back that you can,” exclaimed Thompson.  Changing any habit can be hard, but it’s literally worth it when you make money-saving changes to your grocery shopping routine.

“Be mindful of when you shop,” stressed Thompson.

Even paying attention to the days of the week can make a big difference in how easy it is to save.

“Wednesday is the best day to grocery shop,” explained Thompson. “That’s when most retailers start new sales. The shelves will be stocked. There are fewer people at the store.”

Also, remember, convenience can be costly. Grocery items already cut, washed and ready to eat or cook are also the most expensive.

“Stay away from that section,” exclaimed Thompson. “Chop your own onions. Wash your own veggies.”

Summer is the perfect time to pick produce from local growers

“Scout out your farmers market,” shared Thompson. “See what products in your area they are offering. It may be cheaper than the grocery store.”

The later you visit your local farmers market, often the lower the prices as they prepare to pack up and leave for the day. One of the oldest money savings tips in grocery shopping

“Don’t shop when you’re hungry,” proclaimed Thompson. “It really does make a difference. They’ve done studies that show people will buy more when they’re hungry, even if it’s not food.”

Thompson stressed Saturdays are the worst days to go to the grocery. 

According to the Time Use Institute, around 41 million Americans find themselves strolling the grocery store aisle on Saturdays.  

Also, make a list and stick to it. It cuts down on impulse buys. Planning meals for the week also helps to keep you from buying food items that you don’t necessarily need. 

Shopping alone without a spouse or children also helps keep things you don’t need out of the bass cart. 

If they want something they have to add it to the approved list.