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Small changes that can help you save money at the grocery store

Economy Food Shopping
Posted at 5:56 AM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 07:28:46-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Inflation is hurting a lot of wallets so you're likely trying to save wherever you can.

Food prices have jumped 7% since last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's reportedly the highest 12-month increase since 1982.

Shoppers like Jenny Crittenden, who is also the Senior Vice President at Retail Alliance, said "I've noticed my bill increasing over the last several weeks."

News 3 financial expert Carl Carlson, CEO and founder of Carlson Financial, said if you are spending $5,000 per month and there is a 7% increase in your expenses, that is an increase of $350 per month.

News 3 compiled a list to help you save a little dough next time you hit the supermarket.

  1. Create a list and stick to it

    When you have a list, you're less likely to cave into impulse purchases. You also won't forget items that you needed to pick up. Make sure you're not hungry when you start shopping because chances are, you will end up buying more than you need to.

  2. Look for any coupons and join loyalty programs that the store offers

      Aldi, Harris Teeter, Kroger and most stores have loyalty programs. Harris Teeter, for example, has the e-VIC program. If you sign up, you can receive alerts when items that you regularly purchase are on sale. As an e-VIC member, you can also link manufacturer coupons directly onto your VIC card. You may also want to consider downloading the Ibotta or Flipp app. They help save you time and money with cash back as well as digital ads and notifications.

      "I can actually geo-fence what I'm looking for. So if I say I'm looking for chicken or beef or pork or whatever it may be, even broccoli, it will notify me when these things go on sale," said Crittenden.

    1. Buy in bulk

      Buying in bulk can result in big savings overtime. However, you will want to make sure you are purchasing "high consumption items" that your whole family will use. Cut down on pre-packaged groceries if you can, so you don't pay a higher price for the labor charge.

    2. Take a different route through the store

      Stores are designed for consumers to spend more money. If you take a different route and change up your routine, you'll likely to cut back on your bill. Also, look at every shelf before picking an item. Companies pay for product placement so the most expensive choices are typically at eye-level. If you shift your focus, you'll still be able to find what you're looking for at a cheaper price.

    "When you start to add up your grocery bills and you get to the end of 2022 you're going to actually see your real savings at the end of the year," said Crittenden.