LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Food prices surged over 12% this past year alone, which is the biggest annual increase in more than four decades.

Shoppers are now turning to creative ways to save, like switching from brand names to store brands.

“The major advantage of buying a store brand over the past 10 years is that their quality has improved,” said money expert Phil Lempert. “They’ve got a money-back guarantee.”

Nationwide, meat and dairy are some of those everyday items seeing an uptick at checkouts.

“Anything to do with an animal. That’s milk. It’s butter, it’s eggs, it’s beef, pork, chicken, those prices are going to go up,” said Lempert.

Butter is now up more than 21% percent nationwide, averaging nearly $3 a pound just last week.

Of course, every store is different and a lot of variables can go into pricing.

Experts say due to supply chain issues, some grocery stores aren’t sure when they are going to get certain items in, so coupons aren’t as common as they used to be.