Going to the grocery store is only going to be more expensive.
Food prices increased 1%, while food at home increased 1.4%, the fastest monthly gains since April 2020, according to the latest Consumer’s price index figures. And food price inflation is likely to only intensify in the coming months.
In 2022, “all food prices are projected to increase between 4.5% and 5.5%,” according to the US Department of Agriculture. Food Price Outlook.
Food prices at home are expected to rise 3% to 4%, and food prices away from home are expected to rise 5.5% to 6.5%, the USDA said. in their March report.
From Russia invasion of ukraine is exerting upward pressure on food prices, even as the Federal Reserve attempts to combat inflation raising interest ratesthe report said. “The situations will be closely monitored to assess the net impacts of these simultaneous events on food prices as they unfold.”
The forecast for almost all food categories, with the exception of fresh vegetables, was revised upwards.
However, it’s not just staples like fruit, milk, eggs and meat that are becoming more expensive; inflation has led many food and beverage companies to raise prices on your favorite packaged goods, too (or make the package smaller, also known as “shrink inflation”).
Tyson Foods, Coca Cola and PepsiCo announced price increases, citing supply chain and labor issues. Even Oreos, Ritz crackers and Sour Patch Kids candies cost more, thanks to a 7% price hike earlier in the year.
To avoid getting ripped off on groceries, here are some pro tips for cutting costs or getting more cash:
Ibotta and Checkout 51 are two of the most popular apps for earning cash at the store, according to Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst for DealNews.com. The average Ibotta user earns between $10 and $20 per month, but the most active users can earn as much as $100 to $300 per montha spokesperson told CNBC.
You can also get cash back for online grocery orders with CouponCabin.com (there’s a free app, as well as the browser extension), which offers up to $6 back on Instacart, 2% back on Vons, 1% back on at Kroger and 5% back at Seamless, advises Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert.
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If you’ve already done your shopping, take photos of your purchase receipts using an app like Get rewards to earn points that are good for free gift cards at stores like Target or walmart and it can offset future grocery purchases, Woroch suggested.
This tried-and-true technique helps reduce your shopping list to weekly essentials and save you a lot of money along the way.
When you plan your meals ahead of time, you’re more likely to only buy the things you need, said savings expert Lisa Thompson at Coupons.com. If planning isn’t your thing, at least go shopping with a rough idea of what you’ll be cooking next week to stay on track and avoid impulse buying, she added.
Give your budget an extra boost by planning whatever the weekly special is, Ramhold advised on DealNews.com. “Doing so will help you save money and can even help you expand your recipe repertoire and get you out of a mealtime rut.”
Generic brands are often much cheaper than their “premium” counterparts and just as good, according to Ramhold. “If you don’t have a preference, it will be an easy switch, but if you do, consider trying a few generics at a time to see if there are any that don’t mind switching.”
Be open to trying new products, even if it means a break from your favorite laundry detergent or coffee creamer, Thompson added.
“Maybe you’ll discover some new products you love that cost less in the process.”
A consumer shops at a Costco store in Miami on September 28, 2021.
Joe Raedle | fake images
When it comes to the rest of the items on your list, you can save more by buying in bulk or choosing, say, some frozen veggies over fresh or non-organic where you can. Joining a wholesale club like Costco or BJ’s will often get you the best price per unit on items you can stock.
Then, keep your pantry organized, with soon-to-expiry foods out front so you know how to cook or consume them before they go bad, Woroch said.
You can even use a site like cooklist.com to find new recipes using ingredients you already have at home, he said.