(NewsNation) — With inflation continuing to severely impact family budgets, consumer spending expert Andrea Woroch joined NewsNation Prime Saturday to share her tips on how to save money at the grocery store and basic necessities. Here are her tips for folks looking to save at the store:
I. Start meal planning
Start by planning meals through the week to save on groceries, Woroch says. The average American family throws out $1,600 of produce every year so reducing food waste by planning meals is key to saving money, she said.
“Look at your calendar for the week, which meals will you be planning to eat at home, when will you be eating out and then look for recipes that use the same ingredients,” Waroch said.
II. Track sales and deals
Once you plan what you and your household will be eating for the week, it’s time to start hunting for deals, she says.
Woroch suggests using apps like Flipp — which show users weekly shopping deals — to track down where the sales and best deals are.
She also says it helps to ask a store employee specifically about where to find the meats nearing expiration dates and if there are any manager markdowns in the store to save up to 70% on items at the store.
III. Maximize cash back on purchases
Picking the right credit card to get cashback at the grocery store is huge when it comes to saving.
If you are not currently using a cashback credit card, “you are missing out right now,” Woroch said.
Consumers can also use cashback apps like Fetch Rewards, in which users can build points to redeem rewards, she says.
IV. Buy in bulk selectively and go generic
“We know that those bulk packages really do have the best price per unit so they are a good deal but if you are over-buying in bulk, that’s going to lead to food waste,” Woroch said.
She also suggests buying generic products rather than name-brand ones to save up to 30% at the store.
“They’ve come a long way so do not turn your head at those generic brands. You are not going to sacrifice taste and you are going to save a lot,” Woroch said.
Grocery prices rose 10% in March on a year-on-year basis — the most in 41 years — driven by higher prices for poultry, fish, eggs, beef and other meats.
The reasons for the surge vary: supply chain snags, unfavorable weather and rising energy prices. The latter, driven by Russia’s war against Ukraine, pushed wholesale prices up a record 11.2% last month from a year earlier. Transportation problems are weighing on food imports, particularly seeds and other items that produce oils.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.