Grocery shoppingWith the way prices are on the rise, it is no wonder that grocery items are getting more expensive too. The United States Department of Agriculture already expects a rise of 3 to 4 percent in retail food prices for the year 2011. However, the possible rise of grocery items cannot be blamed solely to the rising price of gas. The main reason to blame for food inflation is the increase in demand for food and the tightening supply of basic goods such as corn. This tightened quantity of commodities is the result of dire weather patterns that food-producing areas have been experiencing lately.

To counteract the current food inflation, even in little ways, below are some tips to help save money, especially when grocery shopping:

Make use of rewards cards. A number of credit cards, such as Chase Freedom, give a 5% rebate on purchases when it reaches a certain amount.

Become aware of when your favorite grocery store needs to dispose of surplus inventory. For sure, a manager’s special will be held just for that purpose. Ask the grocery store manager when surplus inventory sales will be held so you can shop on that day and load up for a lower grocery bill.

Do not miss out on coupons. Pick up your local Sunday paper for $1 every week. The coupon savings you find inside will more than pay for the paper. Electronic coupons or rewards can also be saved straight onto your rewards card. Those reward points will eventually come in handy.

Know what items are not to be bought at the grocery. Although the grocery is a convenient place to buy everything that you need, sometimes there are items that cost more when bought at the grocery. Learn what these items are and try to avoid purchasing those items there.