Has the beep of each scanned grocery item been sending a shiver down your spine lately? You’re not alone. Compared to April last year, grocery costs are up 10.8%,1 and many Americans are seeing the impact on their budgets. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to lower the cost of shopping. From credit card rewards to couponing, there’s a method for everyone.
6 Ways to Lower the Cost of Groceries
1. Use Credit Card Rewards
In January of 2020, over four in ten people used cash or debit for grocery purchases, and they missed out on credit card rewards as a result.2 Some cards offer 3x points on supermarket purchases – you can redeem points for things like gift cards to fund your next grocery trip. Cash back is also a great way to trim costs because your cash back earnings are applied to your card balance as a statement credit.
Tip: With unlimited cash back, the General Electric Credit Union (GECU) Gold card is the perfect match for many budget-conscious families.3
2. Check Clearance
Many grocery stores have a clearance aisle where they sell food that is out of season, set to expire soon, or slightly damaged (e.g. a dented can). This doesn’t mean the quality of the food is bad – the store is just trying to move the stock to make room for more popular items. Often, stores mark down clearance products considerably.
3. Review Your Current Stock
Before you make your grocery list, see what food you already have. You can avoid buying doubles and brainstorm ways to use what you currently have in a meal for the week.
4. ‘Clip’ Coupons
You can find coupons in a few different places: in a grocery store catalogue, in the newspaper, online, and through your store’s mobile app! Only clip coupons for items you buy regularly to avoid spending money on – and potentially wasting – food you won’t eat.
5. Learn Your Labels
Chances are you’ve thrown out something you thought was expired when it actually wasn’t. If a package date is ‘best if used by,’ this means the product is safe to consume past this date, but it may not deliver the same taste or performance.4
‘Use by,’ on the other hand, is reserved for highly perishable food. Do not eat foods past their expiration date.
6. Make a List
Do you wander the aisles just to ‘see what looks good’? Don’t go in without a plan. If you do, you may end up with unnecessary items and a hodgepodge of ingredients that don’t go together. Meal planning will be much simpler if you know what you need ahead of time.
Saving money on groceries is easy with GECU’s suite of credit cards. Start a secure chat with us in Online Banking or our mobile app; or visit your local branch for help finding your perfect match. If you plan on coming in, be sure to schedule an appointment in advance online so you can skip the lines!