The rising cost of food and other goods at the grocery store can make it difficult for many families to stick to their budgets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average household spends about $4,500 on food each year, making it one of the most significant expenses for many families. Another recent survey reports that almost half of Americans are worried about being able to afford the food they need in the next 12 months.

Fortunately, there are several ways consumers can manage the impact of inflation at the grocery store and save money on their food purchases.

Here are a few tips:

Plan your meals
Plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list based on the items you need. Meal planning can help you avoid impulse purchases and stick to your budget.

Compare prices
Compare prices at different stores and look for sales and discounts. You may be able to save money by shopping at discount stores or buying store-brand items instead of national brands.

Use coupons and rewards
Use coupons and rewards programs to save money on grocery purchases. You can find coupons in newspapers and magazines or online through websites and apps.

Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk can save you money on certain items, such as non-perishable goods and household essentials. However, be sure to compare the unit price and only buy what you need or can use before the food goes bad.

Consider alternative options
Consider alternative options for purchasing food, such as buying directly from farmers or joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. These options can provide fresher, more affordable food and support local farmers.

It’s not easy, but with some creativity and planning, you can afford the food you need and still maintain your budget.

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