Whether you're a coupon queen or just a regular Joe looking to save a buck on groceries, this post is for you: Experts say many of us will feel the pinch of higher food bills this fall, as the economy pushes the price of staples to new heights. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of beef rose 10% this summer over July 2013; fresh fruit prices were 6% higher, and the cost of butter climbed a whopping 17%. Fear not, ETNT ninjas! There are other simple tricks that put money in your wallet and better food in your cart before you hit the checkout—no coupon clipping required! Here's the top 10:
Crouching Tiger Supermarkets stock shelves so that the most expensive items are at hand- and eye-level. Look at the top and bottom shelves for bargains.
Old Gold If you see something in the bakery or meat department that will expire the next day, ask a store employee if the item will be marked down. A lot of times, they'll mark it down for you right then.
Beef Up Get two meals out of one piece of beef by picking up a large roast and asking the butcher to run half through the grinder for hamburgers. You'll save up to 30 percent than if you were to buy two separate cuts.
Toiletry Trouble Save the pharmaceuticals on your list for the pharmacy, where they're generally cheaper.
Bag Gag Prepackaged salad costs significantly more than a head of fresh lettuce. Choose Romaine over Iceberg for the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.
Freezer First Research shows frozen fruit and vegetables, which are picked and prepped at their prime, can be even more nutritious than the fresh stuff. They're also usually cheaper! Steer clear of anything with added sugar, syrup, or sauces.
10 for 10 A "10 for $10" promotion boosts store sales — even if the promotion actually increases the price per item! Always double-check that these specials are truly deals.
Grater Hater Ready-grated cheese costs more than blocks. Plus, they contain the lovely anti-caking additive, cellulose—what we know as wood pulp.
Little in the Middle Grocery stores are designed with staples like produce and dairy on opposite ends of the store, which encourages customers to wander the inner aisles and pick up pricy, processed snacks. Stick to the perimeter, and only venture into the middle aisles with a list!
Big Bird Buying a whole chicken as opposed to portioned parts can save you money at the supermarket. Roast the bird, remove the skin and you'll have lean meat for numerous meals; or have the chicken portioned right at the meat counter.