Going to your local grocery store for a carton of eggs or some butter has been more expensive over the past couple of years, but prices are starting to recede.
That’s according to the latest Consumer Price Index, which was released in April 2023.
The news release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says, “The food index was unchanged in April, as it was in March.” The index for food at home (grocery prices) dipped 0.2% over the month while the index for food away (eating out) from home rose 0.4%.
These Food Items Are Getting Cheaper
Here are some grocery items that got cheaper based on the seasonally adjusted percentage change from March to April 2023:
|Food Item||Seasonally Adjusted % Change March to April 2023|
|Bacon and Related Products||-2.2|
|Butter and Margarine||-1.2|
|Dairy and Related Products||-0.7|
|Fish and Seafood||-0.7|
|Fruits and Vegetables||-0.5|
|Salt, other Seasonings and Spices||-1.7|
Clark says about a year ago, it was a tossup as to whether it was cheaper to eat at a restaurant or at home, but now it’s not even close.
“Your dollar eating out is not going as far as it did even six months ago,” Clark says. “Meanwhile grocery prices are bending back. The normal effect of eating at a lower cost, buying groceries and eating at home, is clearly there again, even for a single individual or a couple.”
“Overall grocery prices have gone down this year,” Clark says, “whereas, restaurant prices, which were a relative deal compared to groceries, have gone up significantly now. Why? Because of labor costs and what has been going on with rising wages.”
“We’re back to the historical thing, where I can’t give you a greenlight to eat out,” he says. But if you find the idea of eating inside a restaurant or ordering carryout irresistible, here are some ways to save money on food costs.
How To Save When Dining Out
Order Water With Your Meal
A great way to save while dining out is to skip the soda, tea or alcohol with your meal and order water. Not only will your wallet thank you, but also your waistline!
Eat When There’s a Deal
Keep up with the deals offered by your favorite restaurant by subscribing to their loyalty programs. A couple of years ago, I signed up for Ruby Tuesday’s email club and the eatery sends me coupons with meal deals via email.
Take Advantage of Kids Eat Free
If you have children, call up the restaurants in your area to find out whether they offer free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entree. Make a note of the days and times that kids can get free meals and plan accordingly.