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Grocery prices continue to rise: how to save

Your grocery bill has probably increased. That's because food prices are skyrocketing, with the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a 7,4% rise between January 2021 and January 2022. He writes about it CNBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

What has risen in price

Here are the categories of products that have risen the most from January 2021 to January 2022:

  • meat - by 13,6%;
  • eggs - by 13,1%;
  • fats and oils – by 10,7%;
  • fish and seafood - by 9,6%;
  • all products - by 7,4%;
  • pastries - by 7,2%;
  • cereals and grain products - by 6%;
  • fruits and vegetables - by 5,6%;
  • sugar and sweets - by 5,4%;
  • soft drinks - by 4,6%;
  • dairy products - by 3,1%;
  • alcoholic beverages - by 2,7%.

It is not yet clear when the surge will stop. Meanwhile, experts have weighed up strategies to help you save.

1. Fill your pantry with essentials

“Your kitchen should be stocked with certain staples, including eggs, pasta, rice, bread, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables and fruits, onions and potatoes,” says Lynn Brown, author of Good Enough.

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Many dishes can be made with just these ingredients, and they serve as the basis for countless other dishes, meaning you don't have to buy a lot of new foods every week.

Experts say if you have the space, consider buying these products in bulk to cut costs.

2. Prepare before you buy

According to Brown, don't walk into the supermarket without a grocery list and ideas for what you'll be cooking for the week.

“Meal planning definitely reduces costs,” she said.

As you plan your meals for the week, try to come up with recipes that are easy to repurpose, the expert advises.

“The same breakfast every day for a week can be really comforting and make life easier both in terms of wallet and decision making,” says Brown.

Your grocery list probably won't prevent all of your impulse buying, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use it.

“Even if you stick to them a little, it's great,” she said.

3. Track the best deals

Experts say that you can usually view discounts on the website, in the supermarket app, or find them in a retail store.

“Take a look at your shopping list before deciding where to shop,” advises Erin Clark, author of The Well Covered Cookbook. “Then try to find the store that offers the best prices for the items you are looking for.”

“If you plan to buy a lot of products, look for a store with frequent sales,” Clarke advises. "If you're stocking up on durable items, choose the store that offers the best value for them, even if other items, like groceries, are more expensive."

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Billy Vasquez, who writes blog The 99 Cent Chef, said he buys many non-perishable foods, including mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, dried pasta, beans and tortilla chips, at a local thrift store.

Leading up to St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day, you can find big discounts on foods like corned beef, carrots, kale, turkey, duck, roasts, ham, boxed stuffing, hamburgers, and hot dogs, many of which can be stored. in the freezer for a long time.

Own-label stores are generally the cheaper option, Brown said.

4. Change your menu

Meat and dairy are usually the more expensive items in the supermarket, especially these days. Brown advises to cook more dishes in which they are not the main ingredient.

“Using meat sparingly as a flavoring, like adding some bacon to mushroom risotto,” she pointed out. In addition, according to her, eating less meat helps to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Buying products with a longer shelf life will cut down on your trips to the supermarket.

“Cabbage, carrots, brussels sprouts and beets can keep for two weeks or longer if placed in a fruit and vegetable drawer,” Clarke noted.

Less shopping is good for your wallet, she says. After all, she noted, “every time you walk into a store, it’s an opportunity to make an impulse purchase.”

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