Ways to save money at the grocery store

Don\'t go to the supermarket hungry. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The cost of groceries can take a bite out of shoppers’ budgets, but Consumer Reports has some tips to combat rising food prices and other expenses at stores.

One way to save is to examine which foods will drain your coffers quickest.

Bacon isn’t as bad as fruit when it comes to rising food prices. But they’re both among five foods experiencing the biggest price hikes since about a year ago.

Consumer Reports notes that the price of beef and eggs is up 10.1 percent since May of last year. Pork chops are 12.7 percent more expensive. Bacon costs 14.2 percent more. Fruit has seen the biggest jump with price increases especially for citrus up 22.5 percent.

Here are other ways to save at the grocery:

  • Buy bagged bulk versus individual item produce
  • Check unit prices. Bigger isn’t always cheaper
  • Buy less expensive large roasts and ask the butcher to cut it up
  • Try using a smartphone grocery app
  • Look for about-to-expire manager markdowns
  • Use sale advertisements to plan weekly meals
  • Shop on Wednesday and look for just-announced deals
  • Stock up on sale items
  • Shop on a full stomach
  • Be more diligent about eating leftovers
  • Visit your store’s website for coupons. They’ll often double if valued less than $1
  • Stick to a shopping list for planned weekly meals to cut down on impulse purchases
  • Try store-brand products. Consumer Reports tests reveal many store-brand products often meet or exceed the quality of national brands

While there are double-digit price increases for some food items, the most recent data for the consumer price index shows that from June 2013 to June 2014 price increases overall equaled 2.1 percent.

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