Heads up: These products you use every day are about to get more expensive

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Employee stocking shelves at supermarket grocery with toilet paper
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Kimberly-Clark says it’s getting ready to roll out price increases across a variety of product lines beginning later this year and continuing into 2019.

RELATED: Big changes are coming to 500 J.C. Penney stores before Black Friday

Kimberly-Clark announces price hikes for Huggies, Kleenex, Viva and more

Looks like the maker of Huggies diapers, Cottenelle toilet paper and Kleenex — among many other products — is keeping up with Joneses.

Just two short weeks after competitor Procter & Gamble announced a round of new price increases, Kimberly-Clark has followed suit.

“The increases will be implemented through changes in list prices and package counts and are necessary to help offset significant commodity cost inflation,” according to a new press release from Kimberly-Clark.

That sentence is particularly telling. Of course, the part about “changes in list prices” is self-explanatory. It’s the mention of package counts, however, that is revealing.

In plain English, talk about package counts likely means Kimberly-Clark is going to try to hide the price increases by keeping the price the same while reducing package size. It’s a tried-and-true ploy in retail that you have to watch if you want to protect your wallet.

By the way, the remedy to fight back against this kind of subtle price increase is to always pay attention to the unit pricing of whatever you’re buying!

So how much are prices going up by?

Kimberly-Clark say most percentage increases will be in the mid-to-high single digits, on average.

Which products will be more expensive?

The press release notes the price hikes will apply to Cottonelle and Scott 1000 bathroom tissue, Kleenex facial tissue, Viva paper towels, Huggies diapers, Pull-Ups training pants and GoodNites youth pants.

When will the price hikes take place?

During the fourth quarter of 2018, you’ll see the price hikes go into place on two products — Cottonelle bathroom tissue and Viva paper towels. The rest of the hikes will wait until the first quarter of 2019.

How to save money in the face of price hikes

Just because the consumer products industry is getting ready to raise price across the board, it doesn’t mean you have to feel the pinch in your wallet!

Here’s how to save money the next time you’re in the checkout line”¦

Pick the store brand over the name brand

Being loyal to big brands will cost you money. Store brands offer comparable quality at a lower price. Many retailers will refund your money if you try a store brand and don’t like it. But if you do like a store product, you save money every time you buy it.

Buy one or more copies of the Sunday newspaper for the coupons

If you want to remain loyal to name brands, you might as well save money on them. Buy the Sunday paper for the glossy RedPlum and SmartSource coupon circulars or visit RedPlum.com and SmartSource.com to print coupons for free.

If you live in a metro area, you may be able to find free Spanish language newspapers in your town that have these inserts. (Be sure to leave copies for others too!)

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!

Shop at the discount grocery chains

Lidl and Aldi are two chains that offer low prices on an assortment of mostly store brands. They can save you up to 50% off your grocery bill if you’re used to shopping at traditional supermarkets.

Shop the salvage stores

Salvage stores are a unique category of retail that sells canned food and other goods that’s past expiration date. That might sound gross, but many foods have longer lifespans than you’d think and they sell at a steep discount after the official expiration date printed on the package. Find the salvage store nearest you in this directory.

Use a cash-back credit card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% cashback 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 you’ll rack up more interest charges than you’ll receive in cash back!

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