Supermarket sales are hard to come by these days with food prices up 10.4 percent year over year, so when you see one should you pounce? The answer is maybe. Not all grocery store sales are created equal. Some will save you money while others can cost you more.
“Stocking up wherever you can is a really good strategy,” says Trae Bodge, who operates money-saving website TrueTrae.com. “But be careful about buying things that are perishable.”
When it comes to supermarket sales consumers should focus on shelf-stable foods. These are foods that can last in the pantry for at least a year. They don’t have to be cooked or refrigerated to eat. Other foods that can be frozen for a few months can also be bargains. With that in mind, here’s a list of five supermarket staples that you should buy on sale to help beat inflation.
1. Canned goods
Beans, soup, tuna fish, mushrooms and other canned staples are great items to stock up on if they go on sale. These items are safe to consume years later, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, granted the cans are in good shape, which means no rust, dents or swells.
2. Packaged foods
Cereal, pasta, cookies and other packaged foods also have long shelf lives and make a good option to stock up on when supermarkets offer discounts. They aren’t going to last for years, but they will remain safe beyond the “best by” date, according to the USDA. Keep in mind these grocery staples can become stale or develop an “off” flavor after a period of time, which will be evident when you open the package.