Warehouse clubs keep grocery costs down
Another way to replenish your base of food supplies is shopping at warehouse stores such as Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's.
A Consumer Reports study last year found that warehouse clubs can routinely shave 40 percent to 50 percent off of grocery bills.
Additionally, consumers can save money over time by buying store-branded items such as Costco's Kirkland brand. For instance, buying Kirkland-brand toilet paper can save a typical family $130 per year, says Bob Markovich, home and yard editor for Consumer Reports. The Bankrate simple savings calculator says that $130, compounded over 20 years at 8 percent, is $6,384.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture pegs the amount that the average American spends on food per year at $1,973. If you can save even 20 percent of that by shopping at warehouse clubs, that's $1,578 per year in savings for a family of four.