Stretch your dollar at the grocery store

LOS ANGELES In just one year, grocery prices have risen as much as 70 percent. Food inflation is at a 17 year high. That means Americans are doing whatever they can to keep their food bills down.

Clipping coupons can make a big difference at the checkout stand, but there are other ways to save, according to dietician Heidi Diller, RD, of Albertson's.

"In the produce section, I tell people to buy in bulk -- for the bagged apples, the bagged bananas, those prices per pound is lower," said Diller.

One food item you almost always buy in bulk are eggs -- and what a bargain they are, despite today's higher cost.

"Eggs are still the deal of the century," said Diller. "Although the price has gone up 50 percent over this last year, one egg is 25 cents."

For larger families, you can't beat a frozen turkey for value.

"A lot of people just look at turkey for the holidays, but turkey gives us one of the best values in a store," said Diller.

And there's a way to get free groceries -- Ralphs grocery stores have a new program allowing customers to exchange their tax refund or economic stimulus rebate for a gift card loaded with extra money on it. Load $300 on to the gift card, and you'll get an extra $30 free, and $600 dollars will get you $60 bucks extra for free. The program begins Friday, May 2.

For more information on Ralphs free groceries offer, click here.


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