PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s no secret that filling up a shopping cart at the grocery store is getting more and more expensive.

The price of food went up 11% in April compared to last year, according to the producer price index.

This has forced customers, like Seekonk resident Elaine Greaves, to shop smarter.

“I try to buy frozen [foods], especially produce,” she said.

Mike Makuch, a chef and educator at Johnson and Wales University, said it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Makuch suggested planning out your meals ahead of time so you’re not making unnecessary purchases.

“You can get creative about how you utilize these different products in your fridge, and you can get everyone involved in the meal-prepping phase,” he said.

Utilizing a freezer also helps prevent food waste. Makuch recommended dating and labeling containers and bags so you can easily see which food needs to be eaten first.

“If you keep your fridge clean and organized, and you label and date when you need to use stuff by, you won’t lose track of it,” he said.

When it comes to large gatherings, Makuch suggested asking your guests to each bring something, that way you’re not the only one paying for all of the food.