Tips for saving money on groceries when food prices rise

Food prices rising doesn't mean people can't save money on groceries. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Many people might have noticed that their grocery bills have been going up this year, as fuel prices and other factors have forced the price of food to rise. However, there are plenty of ways to save money on groceries.

Economic conditions mean expensive grub this summer

Economic conditions in America are still dismal. Unemployment has not improved much, and housing is still bad. To make matters worse, prices of goods have been increasing lately. According to Reuters, wholesale prices in July rose by 7.2 percent compared to July 2010, above most forecasts. The increase was noted, according to USA Today, by the Department of Labor’s Producer Price Index, a measurement of producer costs before goods get to consumers. The PPI doesn’t include the cost of energy or food. However, the price of food has been rising. Food costs rose by 0.6 percent over the month of July, the largest increase this year. That doesn’t sound like much, but it has had effects. For instance, AFC Enterprises, a restaurant conglomerate, lost 19 percent of its quarterly profits because of food prices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meat and greet

One item getting more expensive than ever is beef, according to Daily Finance. CattleFax, a meat industry research group, found that beef prices rose 13 percent between March 2010 and March 2011, largely due to increased prices of corn, grain, fuel and a severe drought in Texas. Amid these rising food prices, it is especially important to be diligent about saving money on groceries. Here are some ideas on how:

Have a cow

The Daily Finance post on beef has advice from an industry insider: Buy beef in bulk. Separate individual cuts, and immediately freeze whatever you aren’t using right away. Also, check your local grocery store for cuts reduced for a quick sale. The more you freeze, the more you have for later.

Rice and beans

Instant rice and canned beans aren’t the most expensive items, but they are more expensive than their dried counterparts. However, both are less expensive by weight when buying larger bags of dried rice or beans. If your family eats regular quantities of either, consider buying the larger dry bags of rice or beans. Just remember that dried beans need to soak overnight before cooking.

For a few dollars less

Have a look at the closest dollar store. There will often be things like canned goods and pasta that will be cheaper there than at a grocery store. It’s better to pay $1 per bag of spaghetti than $1.50.

Clip coupons

The practice of “extreme couponing” might not be for everyone, but coupons are a way to save some serious cash. If clipping coupons saves more than the cost of the newspaper they came in, it’s worth it.



USA Today

Wall Street Journal

Daily Finance


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