Combating rising grocery prices with smarter shopping and cooking techniques

Experts offer tips to help stretch your dollars
Posted at 6:50 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 19:50:57-04

OMAHA, Neb. — Grocery prices are skyrocketing as the Coronavirus continues to disrupt America's food supply chain. With prices rising and many feeling the financial strain, the key now is to shop smarter and make the most of your groceries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of groceries rose 2.6% in April. That's the biggest month to month increase in 46 years.

"It's really important to be intentional with your grocery shopping especially in today's climate with raising prices and just the instability with job security," food blogger and author Nicole McDonald said.

Having a grocery list, avoiding impulse buying and utilizing meal planning is going to help your dollars stretch.

"If you go to the grocery store and you have a plan for all the food that you're purchasing and you shop with intention, you're going to have less waste which will save you money," McDonald said.

Hy-Vee registered dietitian Amanda Jockum recommends sticking to the basics when grocery shopping. Things that will last a while and feed the entire family like potatoes, eggs, frozen fruit and peanut butter.

"I would remember to make sure you're getting your necessities, getting those staples on hand. That way you don't have to go to the grocery store as often as you used to," she said.

With online grocery shopping readily available and curbside pickup, avoiding the grocery store completely is possible and easy.

"It helps me budget a little bit better with online shopping. Plus I'm not having to go into the stores which is always a big benefit right now especially with the pandemic," McDonald said.

Meat packing plants shutting down due to COVID-19 spread has rocked the overall food supply chain in the country. If you can't get your hands on your favorites, McDonald recommends buying larger portions and splitting them up.

"If they don't have boneless, skinless chicken breast, could maybe you get a whole chicken which tends to be cheaper and then use that instead," McDonald asked.

McDonald's blog, Mom Saves Money, offers five-ingredient recipes and more tips on grocery shopping on a budget.