(WXYZ) — It's not your imagination. Grocery prices are on the rise. The Consumer Price Index was just updated, showing that compared to 2020, "food at home" prices have increased 2.1%.
"Food at home" is the cost of food you buy at the grocery store or supermarket.
Pork has had the largest relative price increase of 5.4%. Fresh vegetables have had the smallest, an increase of .5%. In all, no food categories have decreased this year compared to last.
Tobie Stanger, the senior editor at Consumer Reports, has a long list of ways to get the most bang for your buck. Buy store brand items, for one. Also, stock up if there's a sale.
“If a sale is coming up on something that you really care about – 10 cans of Progresso Soup, say, for $10, yeah, stock up," Stanger said.
When it comes to store brands, they're as good, or even better quality, than name brands, and they cost up to 25% less.
But, she said to use your calculator while you shop to compare unit prices.
“In theory buying big is going to give you a smaller price, per unit price per ounce, price per gallon, and so forth. But not always," she said.
Also, take notes to keep track of what your favorite meals are really costing you. Also, make a list before you shop so you avoid impulse buying.
There are also useful apps that you can download. Stanger recommends "basket" which compares prices or "Ibotta" which offers cashback on purchases.
Most stores have apps, too. Kroger lets you choose from over $400 in digital coupons, which you can find on their website, and also you can see their weekly ad.
Stanger also recommends you take inventory of your pantry, fridge and freezer before shopping. You may have enough to whip up dinner or two without even going to the grocery store.
Also, consider using cash-back credit cards. You can earn a few bucks on purchases but only do this if you can pay your card off each month.
Store are not permitted by law to put a product on clearance if it's unhealthy, expired, or dangerous. So, you can find some really good deals on the clearance shelves.