Friday, June 6, 2008

Saving on Food: Avoiding the checkout coronary

The cost of food keeps going up. Most customers cringe when going through the checkout line at their local grocery store these days. Coupons are back in vogue, and many people are comparison shopping between brands and stores to save money.

One problem is that the most standard items like milk, eggs, and bread that have risen in price significantly don’t normally have coupon discounts. One way our family is saving is by going to big wholesale discount centers such as Sam’s to buy these items. Milk at Sam’s is cheaper than any of the local groceries. Until recently we were not focused on using discount centers for food purchased; when I used to think of Sam’s it was for cheap electronics, office supplies, and other stuff. Times have changed – thanks to the rapid inflation in food prices.

On an interesting financial note, regulators are proposing to increase the margins for agricultural products in the commodities markets to curb speculation. This step was recently enacted for energy futures to reduce volatility, apparently it has not worked out very well – Oil jumped $10 today.

One recent article outlined “How to Save $400 a Month on Groceries”. The piece outlines some of the websites and strategies for finding coupons that will help you save in the checkout line.