The right way to save at checkout regardless of climbing grocery costs

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FORT MYERS

The supermarket is beyond your budget? WINK News consumer reporter Andryanna Sheppard shows us how to keep checkout costs down.

An extra buck for milk here, a few more for eggs there… it really adds up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend nearly $450 a month on groceries. That number continues to soar with inflation caused by pandemic-related supply chain issues. In February, food prices rose nearly 8% year-on-year; that’s the highest rate of inflation the US has seen in 40 years.

But replacing a few items and shopping smarter can help stretch that dollar. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, but check the unit price. Try shopping later in the day. You may find discounts on perishable foods like bread, produce, and meat.

One shopper said, “I love chicken wings. A 10 pound pack used to cost $19.99. Do you know how much it was just yesterday? $31.”

Skip the pre-shredded cheese: do the muscle work and save some cheddar by grating your own. But don’t skip the freezer aisles; Vegetables and fruit and veggies are shock frozen when they are fully ripe to ensure optimum nutrients when thawed. Studies show that fresh produce loses nutritional value after being stored on a store or fridge shelf for just a few days.

Online shopping helps you stick to your list so you don’t shop on impulse. But if you want to buy your own groceries, shop alone. You’re more likely to buy things you don’t need if you take your partner or children with you.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is likely to keep prices high. We’ll know in a few days how much more you paid for groceries last month when the March CPI is released on Tuesday.

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