HOUSTON - Shoppers are feeling sticker shock at the grocery store. Food and meat prices have been rising as inflation and shipping delays are affecting many industries.
Before you hit the store this weekend, we asked the experts for some of the secrets to saving.
The biggest advice from grocers is to be open to change. Whether it's changing to a different brand or product that's on sale. Changing the day you shop -- Wednesday is the day most grocers roll out weekly specials, or consider changing where you shop, like switching to discount grocery stores.
Joe V's Smart Shop, for example, sells the same foods as parent store H-E-B, for a lot less money.
One of the biggest savings we found was on meat.
"We’re 15% to 20% lower than our competitors, yet our product is the same warehouse as H-E-B," said spokesperson Lisa Helfman.
While meat and chicken prices have been climbing, their tip is to buy it in large family packs, or even Joe V's bundle packs, which is a week's worth of meats to feed a family for just $20.
"Two pounds of hamburger, that’s two pounds of meat, already seasoned boneless pork chops," Helfman showed us, opening a box.
Plus five pounds of chicken, chicken fajitas, and beef fajitas were inside.
"This alone $16.57," Helfman pointed to the beef fajitas. "So we’re up to $40, and you're getting it for $20."
And you can save big buying meat on sale if you’re open to changing up your usual fare.
"Maybe you’re used to one cut of meat. Let’s focus on another one that’s on sale this week. You can still have a great meal, but just have fun with it," said Helfman.
Joe V’s also has a wide variety of produce, including organics, with sale items in the middle of the section.
"Sometimes we just get bigger buys, and we pass that savings on to you. So a good rule of thumb is shop seasonally because that’s what’s coming in," she said.
You’ll find sushi for less.
"You’re able to get bigger packs for less money, so that’s the thing, we pass the savings on to you," said Helfman.
And they've cut the cost on cut fruit.
"The same thing with strawberries and pineapple, less expensive at $3.77 a pound," she showed us.
Another secret to saving on groceries is to find what's on your shopping list at the lowest prices. Several apps can help you do that.
Flipp is an app that makes clipping coupons as easy as tapping on your phone. It gathers coupons and ads from hundreds of stores so you can see what's on sale at your store. Or you can enter your shopping list and it will show you the stores with the lowest prices on those items. The app lets you store your coupons digitally, along with your loyalty card.
You can also put your grocery list into an app called Basket. It shows you where your grocery basket will be cheapest, based on stores in your neighborhood. It also shows you sales and coupons so you don't have to search for them.
And Ibotta gives you money back. You scan your receipt, and get cash back. You can cash out with Venmo, PayPal or a gift card. Plus, it shows you items with rebates and helps you save at many of the major stores.