COLUMBUS (WCMH) — You may have noticed higher prices lately while shopping for groceries. According to the Consumer Price Index, prices are on the rise as demand outweighs supply.

Last fall, Better Call 4 spoke with a money-saving expert about ways to shop smart among empty store shelves during the height of the pandemic. Now, she offers some helpful ways to put food on the family table, without busting your budget.

When coronavirus closed most of the country in 2020, items like bread, meat, and toilet paper were in high demand, and nearly impossible to find.

Now, more than a year after the start of the pandemic, demand is still high, and the supply chain is struggling to keep up, leading to higher prices. Instead of breaking the bank to stock the pantry, Val Cannell with Columbus on the Cheap suggests shopping smarter.

“The first thing I would do is pay attention to the sales ads,” said Cannell. “Look and see what’s on sale for that week. If you have a little bit of extra money in your budget, purchase it. Purchase extra when it’s on sale, so you’ll have it when it’s not on sale.”

This means you’ll also be able to shop less.

“The less you’re in the store, the less chance you have for impulse purchases,” said Cannell. “If you’re on a budget, you need to make sure you’re getting what you need when you’re there, and not anything extra.”

Avoid the store altogether. Shop with grocery chains that offer online ordering, pickup, or delivery services that are convenient and easier on your wallet.

“You see your running total the entire time you’re shopping,” said Cannell. “It’s very easy to take off items that you put on there as an impulse, you can see what has a coupon, and it just makes it a lot easier to stick to your budget.”

Cannell also suggested purchasing items that have a longer shelf life, like pasta and soups, ingredients to make casseroles. They’re inexpensive, can be made in larger quantities to feed bigger families over a longer period of time, and are fitting meals for any time of the year.