Saving money on your next grocery shopping visit

Grocery shoppingâ?¦part of everybodyâ??s regular weekly routine, but lately shoppers across Missouri has probably noticed a spike in their receipts. According to the American Farm Bureau, Missouri grocery prices were about $3 higher than the national average in the last quarter of 2011. Experts say it was expected.

"Typically Missouri lags behind than the rest of the U.S. in grocery prices but we finally caught up with them. When you look at the fact that the farmer gets about 16% of the dollar that the consumer pays for these products. You can see the majortiy of the increase is going to the retailer than to the farmers." Said Darla Campbell of the University Of Missouri Extension program.

Several grocery items have also spiked up such as fruits and vegetables and mostly meat or meat products with cattle and swine production. Itâ??s all due to the rising costs to feed the livestock.

"We've seen record prices with corn and beans. We've seen some significant input costs as well. So you are seeing the livestock vs. crop competition."

So with food being part of a necessity of life, Darla has tips to help you save money on your next grocery visit.

"Price compare of course. Look to what's available locally, there are a lot of products that are directly available from the producer like eggs and meat, a lot vegetables and things like that. Don't waste, use a product for mutiple meals."

As of right now itâ??s still too early to say if groceries will go down during the first quarter of 2012. Only time will tell as you continue to check prices on your weekly visit.

Also experts say there is no major difference between store and brand name. The product was probably made in the same place where it was manufactured, just named differently.