9 ways to fight the rising price of groceries

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably noticed your grocery bills climb to crazy heights during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaving the grocery store with only a few bags of groceries for $100 can be depressing. Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your grocery bill by at least a little, or maybe even significantly.

Have a grocery budget

When you have a set amount you can spend on weekly groceries, that can stop you from making impulse purchases or overspending. Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend and then make sure you stay within the budget.

Sign up for rewards

If you haven’t signed for grocery store loyalty card programs, you’re missing out on savings. When you enroll, you’ll generally receive significant discounts on eligible items. Many grocery store loyalty programs may also offer discounts per gallon on gas.

Give store brands a chance

Most grocery stores offer their own quality brands of milk, eggs, pasta, toilet paper, health and beauty products and many other items for much lower prices than brand name products.

Watch for sales

Take a few minutes to flip through those sale ads to look for items you would typically buy that are on sale. You might find fruits or vegetables discounted for the week, meat on sale, boxes of pasta for $1 each and other items you can stock up on to use later.

Make a grocery list

One of the best ways to save on groceries is to enter the store with a grocery list in hand. Take time to look in the fridge, freezer and cabinets so you know what you need before you go and don’t duplicate items you already have.

Plan meals before shopping

Instead of going into the grocery store with only a vague idea of what you might cook that week, plan a few meals around items that you can use in more than one dish. For example, you might prepare baked chicken and then use leftover chicken in another dish like soup, salad or sandwiches.

Don’t limit yourself to eye-level foods

Always check out the lower shelves, too. You may find a lower-priced brand you like just as much as that pricey pasta sauce you’ve been eyeing.