7 Strategies To Combat Supermarket Inflation

7 Strategies To Combat Supermarket Inflation

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So far this has had a minimal impact on food prices here in the US, but we are still experiencing food inflation to a lesser degree nonetheless. What can you do about it? Well here are seven strategies for saving money when you grocery shop.

#1: Pay attention to shrinking packages
Instead of increasing prices, many manufacturers are simply making their packages smaller in hopes you won’t notice. For example, a carton of Breyer’s ice cream use to be 1.75 quarts, but not too long ago, they shrunk it down to 1.5 quarts. Tropicana orange juice is another example, going from the standard 64 ounces down to 59. Be on the look at for this trick.

#2: Use a coupon clipping service
Manufacturers’ coupons are a great way to save money, but many Americans don’t use them because (a) they don’t subscribe to a newspaper, or (b) they don’t think they have the time to clip them. Those aren’t good excuses because there are actually coupon clipping services out there that will sell you hundreds of coupons for just a couple dollars. Do a Google search and you will find dozens of them. That being said, the cheapest way to get coupons is still clipping them yourself from a Sunday paper.

#3: Compare canned vs. frozen
Due to the rising popularity of frozen foods over the past few decades, many shoppers nowadays completely ignore the canned food aisle. Obviously you can’t buy a frozen pizza in a can, but there are fruits, veggies and many other things you will find in cans for dirt-cheap prices. So make sure you don’t forget the canned options.

#4: Credit cards with grocery rebates
There are a number of reward credit cards on the market that give a higher rebate at supermarkets. Examples of store-affiliated cards include the Kroger MasterCard, Target store card, and Meijer card. If you prefer a major credit card that gives a rebate at all grocery stores, there are several options such as the Capital One Cash Rewards, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Chase Freedom, and Discover More. You can search a credit card listing to compare offers.

#5: Buy in bulk and freeze it
Often times, small households of just one or two people won’t buy perishable food in bulk, because they don’t want it to go to waste. But the great thing about bread, meat, cheese, and some produce is that it will taste just as good even if it’s been frozen. Being a bachelor myself, I use this technique all the time. For example, when bread is deeply discounted I will stock up on it and throw the extra loaves in the freezer. When I’m ready for another loaf, I just take it out to thaw and I’m good to go.

#6: Food in bags vs. boxes
For items that are available in both boxes and bags (like cereal) it’s almost always cheaper to buy the bagged version. Manufacturers love to use boxes because it allows them to disguise the amount of contents inside. With bags on the other hand, you usually can see exactly what you’re getting and the price per ounce is almost always cheaper.

#7: Never grocery shop when you’re hungry
This may sound like a silly tip but it’s the truth. Hunger is a powerful human instinct. When we go to the grocery story on an empty stomach, we often compensate for that hunger through buying more food (because everything looks good we’re starving). This can cause us to pay less attention to price and/or buy more than we need. So the best time to grocery shop is after you’ve had a meal, not before.

Author Information
Mike is the founder of CreditCardForum.com, a site for card reviews (his most recent being the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express). In addition to the reviews, he also blogs about all kinds of other credit card related topics on the site.

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Categories: Consumer Tips