Rising Food Prices Are Hitting Home

The rising cost of food is giving Americans sticker shock at the grocery store, and consumers are responding by getting crafty with their saving strategies.

About 99 percent of U.S. adults are aware of rising food prices, and the vast majority (95 percent) plans to employ at least one savings strategy at the grocery store as a result, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Coupons.com.

The survey found that incorporating coupons was the most popular planned activity to offset rising food prices, cited by nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of U.S. adults. This strategy was followed by other budget-stretching actions, including comparing unit prices of package sizes (71 percent) and shopping at discount grocery stores (66 percent). The study also identified other planned behavior, including stocking up when items reach rock-bottom prices (64 percent) and buying in bulk (57 percent), among others.

“Food prices are expected to continue to rise this year to potentially all-time highs. Couple that with flat incomes, and increases in pricing of basic items such as food is like taking a pay cut,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Coupons.com Inc. “Fortunately, consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to stretching budgets, and it’s great to see that so many of them will take matters into their own hands when it comes to mitigating the effects of higher food costs.”

- Compare and save. 71 percent of all U.S. adults plan to compare unit prices to offset rising food prices. College graduates are significantly more likely to employ this tactic than those who attended or completed high school or attended some college.

- Education counts. Better-educated adults are particularly aggressive in their cost-saving strategies. Adults with college degrees are not only significantly more likely to plan to use coupons than those without high school degrees (78 percent vs. 51 percent), but they also plan to use other savings tactics more frequently, including comparing unit prices (83 vs. 66 percent) and buying in bulk (62 vs. 42 percent).

- Battle of the sexes. Men and women plan on taking different approaches when it comes to keeping more money in their wallets, according to the study. Compared to men, women are more likely to use coupons to off-set rising food prices (78 vs. 66 percent). They are also more likely than men to compare unit prices of package sizes (75 vs. 67 percent) and stock up on goods when they reach rock-bottom prices (68 vs. 60 percent).

“No one wants to let rising food costs nickel and dime them. With a wealth of coupons and other savings strategies out there, it’s easy to keep these rising prices in check,” said Jeanette Pavini, Coupons.com household savings expert. “The truth is, with a little advance planning and smart-shopping strategies, anyone can effectively manage grocery costs – without compromising on the food and goods they need for their households.”

This survey was conducted by phone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Coupons.com from March 4-7 among 1,010 adults ages 18 and older.

Coupons.com Inc. is the recognized leader in digital coupons, including online printable, save to loyalty card and mobile promotions.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds