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4 ways to save on groceries

Use these strategies to save money the next time you’re getting groceries.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you experience sticker shock every time you go to the grocery store, there's a good reason. Groceries continue to cost more than they did last year as inflation drives up prices on everyday essentials. 

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the cost of buying food has increased by 11.8% from last year. That's why it's so important to find ways you can save money while getting the food your family needs. 

If you're looking to find the best deal, there are many tools consumers can use. Here are four strategies from AARP that will help you spend less on groceries.

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1. Choose store brands

You can save as much as 25% buying store-brand products versus name brands, according to AARP analysis. The good news is many grocery chains have not only increased the number of store-brand products offered, but they've also improved the quality of those items. 

2. Shop dollar stores for brand-name products

While inventory will typically vary, discount stores typically carry name-brand products. Take advantage of the savings when you find them. You can often save money buying the same exact product at dollar stores. 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com.

3. Skip pre-cut products

While pre-cut veggies, fruit and cheese are convenient, they’re not generally cost-effective. 

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4. Plan your weekly meals on Fridays

Making a list and sticking to it is key to cutting out unnecessary impulse buys. Consumer experts say planning your list on Fridays is best because that's when many grocery stores release their weekly deals and discounts. Also, download your grocery store of choice's app. Sometimes they'll offer app-exclusive deals or single-day discounts on certain items. 

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to newstips@wcnc.com.

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