Grocery prices up 25% in 5 years: How to cut costs at the store

CHARLOTTE — There’s at least one area where everyone is affected by inflation and rising costs - groceries.

The cost of groceries increased 25 percent since 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Consumer Advisor Clark Howard spoke with some shoppers and experts to find ways to save at the supermarket.

“I used to buy a bunch of groceries at once, especially fruits and vegetables. Now I only buy, like, every couple of days,” says shopper Damon Jones.

Howard says this method can add up to huge savings because Americans waste nearly $500 billion on uneaten groceries every year.

Another way to avoid overspending is to plan meals.

“When you know there’s a specific set of things for the diet, you have to get, you’re only grabbing those things,” said shopper Conner Scofield. “You end up saving money.”

Heading into the store with a plan helps shoppers avoid buying items they don’t need.

Howard found apps that helps shoppers find sales and cut costs at most grocery stores. Flipp sends users updates when there are deals available, and Ibotta helps shoppers earn cashback on purchases.

Other ways to save include:

  • Knowing when to spend the extra on organic - produce like pineapple, avocadoes and sweet potatoes have very low levels of pesticides to begin with.
  • Opting to cut fruits and vegetables yourself instead of buying precut produce at a higher price point.
  • Choose store-brand products, which can cost up to 40 percent less than name-brand products.
  • Do the reverse shopping list - build meals based on what’s on sale that week.

(WATCH: Dilworth Soup Kitchen seeing more people in need of food as inflation increases)

Clark Howard

Clark Howard, Action News Jax

Clark Howard is a Consumer Adviser for Action News Jax.

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