When I was 16, I had a part time job working in a grocery store.  I had to get carts, stock shelves, etc. It was not an easy job.  But I saw all kinds of people shopping, for various kinds of items.  Some had lists, some had kids in tow, and would really have to make tough choices on what items to buy.  Perhaps that it the situation you are in right now.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Something you might not know, is that grocery stores have very tight profit margins. The average net profit of a grocery store is actually only about 1%.  That is it. In 2020 it was 3%. They have to make money too.  They are impacted by inflation, supply chain issues, and cannot just drop their prices to appease customers. Inventory is more expensive now on the business end.

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Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

So what are you to do as a consumer.  You need to get groceries.  Can't eat out every night.  We know if you can eat at home more often, you can control your costs better.  Here are 8 tips that may help you keep your food costs down:

1.  Shop at a discount grocery store - Plenty of those places around here.

2. Cut back on "luxury or organic items".  This won't be a permanent thing, but in the short term you will be fine.  Ground beef instead of steak as an example.

3. Buy in bulk if you can on certain items. Ones that have a long shelf life.

4. Find the items that are on sale, and buy them.  This might not be your first choices on items to eat, but a few bucks is a few bucks.

5. Make a list and stick to it and avoid the impulse buys.  If you don't really need it, don't get it.

6. Shift to store brands instead of the name brands.  Many times, there really isn't that big a difference in taste or quality.

7. Substitute similar, less expensive meats and veggies.

8. Compare prices at multiple stores before buying.  I get flyers in the mail and most places you can go online to see about prices and sales.

Supermarket News is a good website to check out that also may help you with how things are going in the industry and it may help with making decision at the store.  We are all struggling and hopefully these tips will help.

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