Simple grocery savings you can use

Published On: Mar 08 2012 05:30:21 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 08 2012 05:34:32 PM EST

If you breeze through the grocery store these days, buying whatever you like, you might be in for sticker shock at the checkout line.

The consumer price index shows food prices are up more than 5 percent from a year ago. 

However- prices are all relative according to one shopper in Royal Oak.

Nanette Dondero said, "I guess they're maybe a little higher, but we recently moved from California. So, it's still less expensive than that. So, I'm not complaining." 

For the rest of us, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic says shoppers must be strategic and disciplined.

Her advice, "Plan a couple days ahead with regards to your menu. Know what you need. Have a list and stick to it- it's really important that you follow that because its easy to get distracted when you go to the grocery store." 

Amy Jamieson-Petonic also says changing up the menu can save you money.

"Find ways to incorporate more non-meat dishes at least once a week into your menu. Beans, legumes, quinoa are great sources of protein, but they're significantly less money than beef, or turkey, or chicken or fish," she said.  

Ruth to the Rescue also checked with some of your fellow shoppers in Royal Oak to see how they save money. Richard Halprin told us he likes to repurpose the food he enjoys. He said, "Like I've got asparagus, I might want to steam it and then keep in the refrigerator for a snack at one point, but I might use it in a stir-fry at the same time. It will already be ready."

Another shopper says you need to know when to break the rules.

Melanie Myers said, "I always shop with a list and I buy what's on the list. I don't really stray that far from that list- thought sometimes if I see a special, I may go buy that type of produce." 

Jamieson-Petonic also tells us it's also a good idea to avoid buying non-food items at the grocery store. She says things like paper products and cleaning supplies tend to be less expensive at other retailers. As always, do you comparison shopping to make sure you're getting the lowest prices possible.