Food Prices Going Up: Plan Ahead

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October 28, 2010

Food Prices Going Up: Plan Ahead

Saving money at the supermarket is essential. Making sure you head to the supermarket with a written list (and a full stomach) is a great starting point! But there is more…

Saving money at the supermarket is essential. Making sure you head to the supermarket with a written list (and a full stomach) is a great starting point! But there is more…

Plan your shopping list - experts say that planning meals in advance and making detailed shopping lists can cut your grocery spending by 20 percent or more. Check your pantry, fridge and freezer before you go – too often we buy duplicates of what we already have. Check out the store flyers, many stores now post online, and build your list around what’s on sale and the best coupon deals.

What’s for dinner? Write up a menu of the meals and snacks you plan to prepare for the week. Plan meals with recipes that can be used easily for two or more meals. Serve one and label and freeze the other for a later date.

What’s your budget? When you spend $60 at the supermarket one week and $100 the next, you may not realize that your monthly grocery bill is one of your biggest expenses. Save your receipts and analyze them – you will be amazed at how much you spend on groceries and how much you can save by shopping more carefully.

Read the price stickers – and always look at the “unit price” sometimes small sizes are more economical than jumbo packs due to production efficiencies (especially true for canned and jarred packages.)

Look carefully at the end of aisle displays - items on aisle “end caps” are often attractively displayed to entice shoppers to make additional purchases; these displays are not always a shopper’s bargain. Likewise, items on the upper and lower shelves are often cheaper. Big brands often pay big bucks to have their products at eye level.

Buy produce in season - eating in season is one key way to cut your food bill. Check the cost between fresh, frozen, and canned. Fruits and vegetables in season are very similar to the nutritive value of frozen vegetables; out of season frozen will actually be better as they are packed at the peak of freshness rather than picked before they are fully ripe and flown or trucked in thousands of miles.

Don't be distracted by the magazines at the checkout - watch the cash register, remember that there are human errors in inputting prices – most stores will double the value of the product if it is scanned incorrectly.

More money-saving strategies from SupermarketGuru.