DENVER — It seems like we say this every year, but the National Retail Federation expects consumers to hit record spending on Super Bowl parties this year – and it makes sense.
Grocery prices inflated 25% over the last year, outpacing inflation. And prices haven’t dropped as expected because of looming labor shortages and a supply chain that still hasn’t fully caught up.
Trae Bodge, a shopping expert with TrueTrae.com, has a few ways you can save on your grocery bill for your Super Bowl soiree.
Be flexible with your menu
While a lot of people like to fix their show-stopping meals to impress their guests, Bodge recommends shopping sales while planning your menu – planning around what’s on sale.
“I would also suggest buying in-season versus out-of-season,” she said.
Party produce in-season right now includes carrots, apples, avocados, celery, limes and lemons according the USDA.
Buy in bulk
Are you a Costco or Sam’s Club member? Bodge suggests you shop for items you know your guests will decimate at a warehouse store.
“It’s a great time to buy those chips, dips, guacamole, during things like that in bulk, you can save significantly that way,” she said.
Avoid pre-chopped, pre-produced trays
Some of the biggest savings come with the hardest work. Bodge says if you’re trying to save, resist the urge to buy pre-chopped fruits and veggies.
“You’re essentially paying for that labor to have the items chopped,” she said.
Chopping produce into bite-sized pieces is a great way to get your household teenager involved.
When you’re reaching for chips or other pre-packaged food to serve your guests, Bodge recommends paying attention to size and price differences between name brand items and store brand to avoid a relatively recent phenomenon known as “shrinkflation.”
“Brands are reducing the size of those items and charging the same price versus the generic or store brand those prices are holding,” she said.
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Related: 20 Ways I Save Money