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ON YOUR SIDE: How to save big at the grocery store, despite rising prices

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:07 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 7:51 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Chances are you’re digging deeper into your wallet to pay for your groceries.

Save in the Meat Aisle:

Let’s start where there’s the biggest sticker shock. Beef prices are up about 20 percent. Look for markdowns or nearly expired meat. Then freeze, freeze, freeze. Also, get your protein from eggs.

“Maybe do an egg base meal with a salad,” said Tobi Stanger of Consumer Reports. “An omelet, quiche, something like that. If you do that once a week replacing chicken, pork, or something you can save a little money.”

Tobi Stanger is an expert when it comes to your grocery bill. She says buy store brands.

“We have done testing of store brands and we have found they can be as good as or better than name brands and cost 25% less,” said Stanger. “Is that across the board from food to say paper towels? We looked mainly at food, but we did find there’s high-quality stuff.”

Stanger says not all food prices have skyrocketed.

“You can often save with legumes for example,” said Stanger. “It’s not that they haven’t gone up, but they’ve gone up less.”

Prices on frozen fruits and veggies have risen, but only about 2%, and can be nearly as nutritious as fresh.

Be Nosey for Deals:

Find out when products are half-off.

“You might want to talk to the store manager, when those things are loaded on the shelves, is there a particular time when there’s going to be more of those,” said Stanger. “So you can take advantage of that.”

Get the grocery store card. Cut the coupons. Shop with an app. These small steps add up to big savings. Also, get cashback. Shop with a credit card that gives you grocery store points.

“If they are offering a three percent shopping at a supermarket, that’s pretty good,” said Stanger.

Membership fees will pay for themselves if you frequent those stores like Sam’s and Costco. Buy in bulk. Larger packages often have lower per-unit pricing.

Some apps don’t just offer coupons, but rebates if you shop at certain stores. That means you’re getting paid to shop. Three Consumer Reports likes are Basket, Ibotta, and Flipp. Basket shows real-time grocery prices online and in-store at local grocers, so you can see where to shop for the best deals; it crowdsources its data, the same way a traffic app like Waze works. Ibotta and Flipp both identify manufacturer promotions and coupons and offer direct rebates after you buy from a participating retailer.

Click here for Consumer Reports links to these apps: https://www.consumerreports.org/food-shopping/how-to-save-time-and-money-at-the-grocery-store-a2751262166/

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