CLEVELAND — According to the Department of Labor, the cost of groceries shot up from March to April.
The price of meat, eggs, poultry and fish rose about 4.3%. cereal and baked goods went up 2.9%, and fruits and vegetables cost about 1.5% more.
Many grocers also aren’t running as many discounts or promotions right now.
Combine that with lost jobs and wages, and it can be tough to keep that grocery bill manageable.
Rachel Krych is the coupon queen — she runs a blog called “Couponing with Rachel.”
One of her biggest pieces of advice is to make an initial investment in an extra freezer to store meat that will save you money in the long run.
“When prices are low, you want to stock up. There’s a lot people using the word hoarding so you don’t want to buy so you’re taking from other people, but when there’s a deal out, stock up,” Krych said.
She also suggests stocking up on inexpensive pantry items and making meals you normally wouldn’t make to stay within budget. Think big bags of rice and canned or dried beans.
“Another thing we’ve done is meatless meals. If you’re eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at home, and you putting meat in each dish, it can really add to your grocery budget,” Krych said.
If you’re tired of cooking and that results in getting take-out and blowing your budget, Krych said to always try to cook once and eat twice.
“So when I make my meals, I will make two of those and freeze one. So when I don’t feel like cooking, instead of busting our budget, I can just pull something out of the freezer and use it for that next night.”
And it’s easier said than done, but to really stay within budget, make it a habit to plan out all of your meals so you’re only getting exactly what you need at the store.
You can also use apps like Ibotta to virtually clip coupons and save money at the checkout.