You probably hate to sound like your grandparents, but the cost of buying food at the grocery store won’t stop going up and prices stand to go even higher if the price of corn continues to rise. It seems like everything is so much more expensive than it once was.
It feels that way because it’s true and if your grandparents are saying that today, they, like you, are right. The price of food is going up at an alarming pace and it’s rising faster than our paychecks. This is called food inflation and experts advise that this will likely continue. Hot and dry conditions in the Midwest has led agricultural experts to predict a smaller corn crop this year and that spells trouble. Corn is in just about everything we eat all the way to your favorite soft drink that likely has corn syrup as an ingredient.
Although you’re trying to save money, you’re likely making some mistakes that are costing you more than you think. Here are a few ideas to help keep your bill under control.
Your Empty Stomach
You may have thought it was nothing more than a wives’ tale but it’s true. Shopping on an empty stomach makes everything look more appetizing. Even those rotisserie chickens that look like they’ve been cooking since last week will look like a great dinner idea if you go to the grocery store hungry. Eat something before heading out. It will make you a little more choosy once you grab your cart.
Start in the Back
Yes, it’s true. The way products are positioned in your local store is based on a lot of expensive research that tells grocers how you think and purchase.. The produce and bakery areas are at the front of the store complete with the bargain bins that are hard to pass up. Day old pastries and cans of soon-to-expire beans are placed in the front of the store to entice you to buy. Starting at the back of the store and working forward makes it easier to resist those bargain bins. Often those bins aren’t as much of a bargain as you think.
Speaking of Produce
We hear a lot about how the most nutrients are found in fresh fruits and vegetables and we take that to mean that we have to buy them fresh from the produce area. That isn’t true. Head to the frozen isle and purchase your healthy food from the freezer. All of the same nutrients are still there but you don’t have to worry about the produce spoiling like you would if it were in the fresh produce area.
Don’t Buy from the Checkout
Remember that you will always pay for convenience. Items placed in the checkout lane are there to entice you to make a few impulse buys and the store knows that if it’s an impulse buy, you aren’t concerned with how much it costs. How much could a Snickers bar really cost? If you really want some candy, head to the candy isle and see if there’s a generic equivalent.
Although extreme couponing is harder and more time consuming to pull off these days, clipping those coupons and doing some old fashioned price comparisons is still one of the best strategies for saving money at the grocery store. Be wise. Use what’s at home before buying more of it at the store.