Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grocery Prices Are Rising, But Consumers Don't Have To Pay More

Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson says families can save 50% off their weekly grocery bill by strategically shopping

Consumers are feeling sticker shock from higher grocery prices and unfortunately, there is no relief is in sight. U.S. food costs will rise as much as 4% this year after a surge in prices for farm goods.

Stephanie Nelson, founder of, says that consumers do not have to absorb this increase if they follow her website’s “Strategic Shopping” methods. is free and has over 3.4 million money saving members.

“It's possible to fight the rising cost of groceries without sacrificing your favorite foods,” says Nelson, “if shoppers follow our strategies, they can save a lot of money, even thousands of dollars in a year’s time.” She estimates that she has saved over $85,000 with her savings strategies since her son was born 17 years ago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed food prices are on the rise. The bulk of the increase is expected in the last half of the year, but consumers are already seeing rising prices.

Sara Lee and Con Agra are starting to increase prices on items such as frozen meals and deli meats, and some companies like Kraft are reducing the size of packaging to cut costs, according to consumer expert Jean Chatzky.

To save big at the grocery, and eliminate these increased costs, follow some simple coupon saving strategies from the Coupon Mom:

(1) Plan your meals and shopping lists around featured sale items.
  • Use your store's weekly sales ad flier to plan your menus for the week. Then, write your shopping list around the items and brands that are on sale.
  • Make a detailed plan. This will save the time of making unplanned trips to the store during the week—which can ruin your budget.
  • Planning ahead also helps avoid impulse buying.

(2) Know how your stores' savings programs work.
  • Once you know your stores' rules, you can combine them to pay the lowest possible prices for your items, such as using two coupons with a "buy one, get one free" deal. Combining strategies can result in free items.

(3) Use grocery coupons, ideally when the item is on sale.
  • Buy the Sunday newspaper—75 percent of grocery coupons come from the newspaper. Buy two to three copies per week to save dramatically.
  • Go on-line to to get the best deals and coupons.
  • Many stores offer electronic coupons that go directly on your store discount card.

(4) Stock up on common items when they hit their lowest price.
  • Don't buy a year's supply, just enough to last until the next sale (two to three weeks).
  • Boneless chicken is on sale every other week at Stephanie's grocery store, so she buys two weeks of boneless chicken every other week to store in her freezer. This habit saves her family of four $325 a year on this one item.

(5) Be flexible about brands and stores.
  • Buy the brand that's on sale with a coupon, or get the store brand if it's less expensive.
  • Shop at the store with the best prices for your items that week.

Stephanie Nelson has been on every major national talk show and taught millions how to save money with coupons. Some of her appearances includes Oprah, Dr. Oz, Today Show, The View, CBS Early Show, CNN, Good Morning America, The Doctors, Fox, NBC Nightly News, and Fox Business. She has also offered advice to the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Ladies Home Journal, Washington Post, Associated Press, First Magazine, Guidepost, USA Today,, AARP, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, Parenting, Woman’s World, Quick & Simple, and Her book, The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bill in Half, released in 2010, became a New York Times Best Seller in its first month of publication.

The rising costs of corn, wheat and other commodities, including gasoline, is causing increases in virtually everything consumers buy. Wheat is needed for loaves of bread while corn feeds cows, pigs and chickens for our meat. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices of fruits and vegetables already are up 3%, milk is up 10% and beef up 13% from a year ago.

Don’t let rising prices at the grocery deflate your budget. Go to today and start saving thousands of dollars.

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