Grocery gouging: How you can save more at the store, gas pump, and your home

In part one of our special report, News Center 7 showed why its costing you more to feed your family.

>>Inflation Nation: Why you’re paying more at the grocery store

Inflation caused by COVID uncertainty, the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and even some corporations taking advantage of the situation have all been cited by area experts as to why you’re paying more.

But there are ways you can help keep more money in your pocket. In part two of our special report, News Center 7′s Gabrielle Enright looked for solutions for saving money at the grocery store, gas pump, and at your home.

Ways to save at the grocery store can be as simple as signing up for the store’s rewards program.

“Our rewards card can equal free groceries if you’re a loyal shopper,” Nick Moshos, the owner of Dot’s Market told Enright.

Second, download your favorite store’s app or go to their website and clip online coupons. Moshos said you can often combine them with manufacturer coupons, unless the small print says otherwise.

Checking sale prices are another good way to save money at the grocery store. When you buy an item, check out the sale price, then the price per ounce, sometimes the better deal is the smaller can.

Comparison shopping is also another way to save, something Grace Rodehauer says she does all the time.

“It does pay off a little. Prices are going up so it’s smart to save money. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.” she said.

Finally, if something is on sale, consider buying it now and using it later. Can goods keep and meat can be frozen, but Moshos said beware or buying something in bulk.

“If it doesn’t make sense to buy bulk amount of something perishable. It doesn’t make sense if you’re going to have food spoilage,” Moshos said.

And all these savings can also lead to even more savings where people are feeling the pinch: at the gas pump.

Fuel points and rewards programs are great ways to save money. For example if you shop at Kroger, at the bottom of the receipt is a survey to fill out for 50 fuel points that you can get every seven days.

Kroger’s fuel points rewards can add up with 100 points equaling 10 cents off per gallon of gas. By using 1,000 fuel points you can get up to a dollar off per gallon.

Downloading the Gas Buddy app and the WHIO news app are other ways for you to save money at the pump. Both show you prices where you are, so you can find the best deal.

Car experts recommend keeping your tires properly inflated will help save you money at the pump. Experts say every five pounds per square inch ,or psi, of tire pressure you lose can translate into a 2 percent loss of gas mileage. You can usually find your recommended pressure on the inside of the driver side door.

You can also save money by driving slower on the highway. Wind resistance eats into your fuel economy and reducing your speed to 65 mph on the highway can increase fuel economy by as much as 15 to 20 percent.

At home there are some simple changes that can result in big savings. Mary Ann Kabel, director of AES Ohio Corporate Communications said taking advantage of the sun is one place to start.

“Let the warmth in by keeping the blinds open during the winter or closing them to keep the cool air in the summer,” Kabel said.

Kabel added changing air filters regularly and regular maintenance on heating and cooling systems will also help save you money. A smart thermostat is also a smart way to save money, Kabel said.

“You can save 180 dollars off your energy bill for the year especially when you set it and forget it. It knows the behavior in your house,” she said.

Even without a smart thermostat, you can save energy by setting your thermostat to 78 degrees during the day in the summer and 71 at night. During the winter, Kable said to set the temperature at 68 during the day and 61 at night.

Finally, change your lightbulbs from incandescent to LED. Kabel said on average a home has 40 light bulbs. An LED bulb can last between 5 and 7 years and each bulb will save you 80 dollars per year. Add that up and that’s a $3,200 in savings annually.

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