Groceries are more expensive than ever. In July 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data indicating that the cost of groceries had increased by 12.2 percent over the last twelve months. If you’re trying to inflation-proof your finances, you could be experiencing a lot of grocery-related financial stress right now.
To make matters worse, economists polled by Bankrate say there’s a 52 percent chance a recession is coming, which could mean many of us will have less money to spare for everyday spending.
You may be familiar with the classic ways to save money on groceries. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry, for example, and buy generic products instead of brand-name equivalents. But how do these tips apply when inflation is making even the generic products more expensive? And what can we do to save money on groceries if the economy goes from inflation to recession?
We wanted to give you the best expert advice on how to save money at the supermarket, so we asked money-saving expert Andrea Woroch how to grocery shop during a recession. She offered tips on what to buy, what to avoid and how to earn rewards on every purchase.
Order groceries online to avoid impulse purchases
If you want to keep your grocery bill down, you’re going to want to avoid impulse purchases. However, many supermarkets make it difficult to stick to your grocery list. “Tempting food displays lead to unnecessary grocery purchases,” Woroch explains. “People don’t realize how much extra they waste on impulse at the grocery store!”
Some people steer clear of food displays at registers, aisle end-caps and other impulse-purchase traps by making a grocery list before they shop. Other people use meal planning techniques to help them stay on budget — and ensure that everything they bring home is incorporated into a future meal.
If your grocery lists and meal plans already help you avoid impulse buys, that’s great. But not everybody can successfully navigate a supermarket without succumbing to temptation. That’s why Woroch suggests ordering groceries online instead. “Ordering online helps you stick to your list,” she says. “And you will ultimately save a lot more when not wasting money on impulse food items.”
What about grocery delivery fees? In many cases, you’ll still come out ahead. And keep in mind that many coupon apps offer discounts that can help cover the cost of delivery. Woroch recommends sites like Coupon Cabin for deals on Vons, Kroger, Instacart and other brands aimed at grocery shoppers.
Use apps and credit cards to earn cash back
Avoiding impulse purchases is only the first step towards saving money at the grocery store. Savvy …….