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How a Mesa mom saves thousands on groceries

You can, too
“I saved almost $2,000 in one year,” Megan Carey said.
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 11:02 AM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - For Megan Carey, couponing has become a way of life. She used to use a lot of paper coupons. Now she relies primarily on digital offers.

“Every week, I look at the ads,” Carey told 3 On Your Side. “My bill, sometimes when it first rings up before they take it down, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s really high!’ And then it goes down, and I’m like, ‘All right, I feel good. I can do this.’” Carey says she gets most of her savings from stocking up and shopping the sales. “It is a lot of preparation, and then just actually going to the store,” she explained. “I take my time. I look for other discounts when I get there, too. There’s a lot of times when there’s food being discontinued, the product is no longer going to be around, so there’s a discount on that price.”

The cost savings is critical for families across the Valley as the cost of food continues to rise. Inflation has pushed food prices up 9% percent nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. The top three grocery categories impacted by inflation in the Phoenix area are meat, frozen foods, and bakery products. According to Datasembly, which compiled data from 400 retailers, each category soared more than 17% compared to last year.

Meat: ⬆️19.2%

The rolling 12-month average meat price is up 19.2%.
The rolling 12-month average meat price is up 19.2%.(Datasembly)

Frozen food: ⬆️18.8%

The rolling 12-month average price of frozen food is up 18.8%.
The rolling 12-month average price of frozen food is up 18.8%.(Datasembly)

Bakery: ⬆️17.1%

The rolling 12-month average price of bakery products is up 17.1%.
The rolling 12-month average price of bakery products is up 17.1%.(Datassembly)

If you follow Carey’s lead and stock up on sales to save money, you have to have a place to store it all. “We slide stuff under our bed,” she said. “I take stuff out of boxes, so there’s more room to put food in. I find every little spot.”

It’s extra work, but Carey says it’s worth it. “I saved almost $2,000 in one year,” she said. “Being a social worker and a truck driver, every penny we can save to put towards our kids’ future and college is a big deal for us.”

Before you decide to pick up sale items, make sure they are products you need and will use. Never just buy something because it’s on sale.