If you’re a dedicated brand-name shopper, your weekly supermarket haul is about to get more expensive.
Consumer packaged goods giants like Church & Dwight, Clorox, Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble have all recently pushed through price increases on their household staples like toilet paper, laundry supplies, cat litter and more.
But there are ways to beat the price hikes…
New price increases stretch consumers’ wallets
Last year, we told you how Procter & Gamble pushed through price increases on some of your favorite brands for the second time in just a year. But they were far from alone. Kimberly-Clark also moved to raise prices and shrink package sizes after P&G’s announcement.
Now, within the past week, both Church & Dwight and Clorox have announced new price increases to Wall Street analysts.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there are three factors behind the price increases: Higher costs of raw materials, increased transportation expenses and the difficulty of managing foreign-currency swings when these companies do business internationally.
Here’s a look at a some items that you’ve probably noticed higher prices on — or will soon:
Cooking & Food Products
- Kingsford charcoal
- Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressings
Family & Self-Care Products
- Burt’s Bees products
- Charmin toilet paper
- Huggies diapers
- Kleenex tissues
- Pampers diapers
- Puffs tissues
Household Cleaning Products
- Arm & Hammer baking soda
- Bounty paper towels
- Clorox bleach
- Glad trash bags and plastic wraps
- OxiClean pre-wash additives
- Viva paper towels
Pet Care Products
- Arm & Hammer cat litter
- Fresh Step Clean Paws
Even warehouse club shoppers are feeling the effects of the price push. One Costco shopper in New Jersey told the Wall Street Journal that he’s seen prices on Charmin and Bounty products go up to around $23 this year from under $18 last year.
Ditto for Glad trash bags, which are selling at his warehouse club for $19, up from normally being under $15.
The solution? Buy the store brand. At Costco, that means buying Kirkland Signature. But almost every retailer from dollar stores to big-box stores has private labels that can save you money.
Other ways to save money on your favorite brands
Just because manufacturers are trying to pass the bill on to you doesn’t mean you have to pay it.
Here’s how to save money on your favorite brands:
Use coupon rebate apps
These apps make it easy to determine if there’s a manufacturer’s coupon or rebate available for the product you want to buy:
iBotta is an app that pays you through cash back rebates you can earn before you shop. Once you download the app, you’ll want to look for deals you like. Once you do, you can ‘qualify’ for the deal by clicking on the deal, watching a video or filling out a survey.
Checkout 51 works in a similar fashion to iBotta. Just download the app, browse hundreds of offers within the app, select an offer, go shopping, upload your receipt and earn cash back!
This app provides a simple way to select all the coupons you want at the tap of a button, and allows you to print them from your phone or simply save them to scan at the store. Browse by featured deals, grocery, shopping and nearby, or search for exactly the brand or store you’re looking for.
Check the clearance rack
Talk to your store’s manager and find out where they keep the clearance items. Many stores will have a dedicated rack or shelf. It’s also helpful to know when new stock is added to the clearance rack or aisle.
If you’re first to find it, you can score some real deals!
Use a cash-back credit card
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers 6% cash back on groceries, up to a max of $6,000 annually.
But there are two caveats here: First, the card has a $95 annual fee you should know about. Second, you must be sure you pay your bill in full each and every month — or else you’ll rack up more interest charges than you’ll receive in cash back.