SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest food price outlook, popular items at the grocery store are a lot more expensive and things will get even worse before they get better.
The USDA is reporting that fresh fruit prices will rise 6% this year, dairy products 5% and chicken 7%.
“Yea, I remember when chicken was the cheap eat,” said Jessica Fisher.
The Oceanside mother of six got so good at saving money at the grocery store that she started her own blog, Good Cheap Eats.
And even though egg prices are expected to rise 3.5% this year, she says they're still a good bang for the buck.
“Eggs are still, I think, holding strong as a really great protein to lean on even though we have seen a dramatic increase on the price of eggs,” said Fisher.
Fisher says the best way to save money at the grocery store is not to go to the grocery store.
“Anytime that you can focus on what you already have in your pantry and your fridge and your freezer and start using that up…you're going to keep yourself out of the store, which we know prevents us from making more impulse buys,” said Fisher.
Tip number 2: Shop sales.
Most stores send out their ads a few days before the deals start. Immediately go through them so you can meal plan around the best discounts.
Fisher says it’s helpful to be flexible, making substitutions that save money.
“I can use any ground meat for ground beef. I can be flexible there. I can often substitute pork for chicken or fish...depending on what the recipe is,” said Fisher.
Jessica also recommends buying extra of items you like when they are on sale, but only if you know they’ll be used before they go bad.
Other items seeing price spikes right now include baked goods, non-alcoholic drinks, and seafood. The government study did find one deal, vegetables, especially fresh ones.
They are the only item on their list that didn't go up in price last month.
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