Sales are always in fashion, and that includes grocery sales.
Compare the high grocery prices from 2008 and the beginning of 2009 to the lower grocery prices in 2010. There's about an 11 percent decrease in the average shelf prices, Volpe says.
However, if you only look at the average prices of items on sale, there's almost no price difference. "Which means that these promotions go a long way in controlling food costs if consumers are careful," Volpe says.
Consumers can be smart shoppers in several ways. Look for weekly deals, stick to generic labels when possible, stock up on sale items and sidestep brand loyalty. Even before shoppers hit the stores, they can find ways to save money by taking a peek in their pantries and planning a grocery list around what they already have.
Grocery prices may always fluctuate, but you can use your newfound weapons to fight food inflation.