Grocery costs continue to rise nationwide in tandem with inflation. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes, food prices were more than 10 percent higher in June 2022 than in June 2021, leading to spikes in price tags on foods like bread, eggs, and meat.

In response, consumers are seeking savvy solutions that are kind to their bank accounts.

One of the smartest ways to stretch your grocery store dollar is to figure out how to decode those notoriously misunderstood food labels.

It’s a way to avoid preemptively discarding unspoiled food. A 2011 Food Marketers Institute (FMI) study found that many Americans prefer to be safe rather than sorry in deciding whether their store-bought food is still good to eat. The study found that 91 percent of participants said they “at least occasionally” discarded food past its “sell by” date, out of safety concerns; 25 percent reported that they “always did so.”

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