NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Now more than ever, with the cost of food climbing, shoppers need to sharpen their skills to save money. Buying at a bargain means more planning before purchasing, but smart shopping expert, Trae Bodge, says the extra effort is worth it.

“With inflation at 7.9%, which is the highest it’s been in four years, we need to be willing to take a couple of minutes to look for ways to save, and thankfully there are quite a few ways to save especially on your groceries,” Bodge said.

It’s the truest case of time equals money, and following these tips means more money for you. Start by planning your weekly menus based on what items are on sale.

“I like All Recipes, in particular, because you can look at a recipe on their site, and they tell you where the sales are nearby on those ingredients,” Bodge explained. “So, that’s a great way to menu plan, and maybe try out some new recipes at the same time.”

While you’re at the store shopping for those sale items, stock up for the future which saves you money in the long run.

“Buying in bulk, especially for certain things can save you up to 40%. So I really do recommend it, especially on nonperishable items or freezable items,” Bodge said. “There are ways to save on those memberships as well. There’s a coupon site that I like called CouponCabin.com. And they have several deals for wholesale warehouses.”

Consider clipping coupons. It isn’t as tedious as it once was.

Many grocery store mobile apps allow you to browse and download coupons digitally. One click and the coupon are applied to your loyalty card. When you check out in-store the discount will automatically be applied. There are other sites that do the work for you.

CouponFollow.com is another website that I like, because they have a lot of grocery deals, especially on delivery. So for instance, there’s a great deal for Peapod. There’s a great deal for Fresh Direct, they also have a free browser extension that you can install called ‘Cently,'” Bodge explained. “That will alert you to available savings as you browse online.”

When it’s time to check out, think about how you’re paying.

“I love using credit cards to buy my groceries,” she said. “Because there are ways to save there as well. So for instance, my American Express gives me four times points when I buy anything food-related.”

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Just be mindful that these are credit cards. If used wisely, it can save you a lot of cash. But if you don’t pay the balance off monthly, you’ll rack up interest which won’t benefit your bank account.