Are You Overpaying for Tuna or Other Groceries?

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Americans might be getting taken — hook, line and sinker — when they purchase canned tuna at the grocery store.

Walmart and other big retailers have filed suit against America’s three largest tuna brands — Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea — for allegedly colluding to fix prices for the popular U.S. sandwich staple, CBS News reports.

The litigation describes regular telephone calls and meetings where “executives agreed that all three companies would collective[ly] raise prices.” They also agreed to “limit promotions and packaged tuna that undercut their published pricing,” according to court records.

“We believe there is strong evidence that suppliers of canned tuna to Walmart conspired to artificially inflate and wrongfully fix prices in order to increase their own profits at the expense of consumers,” says Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove, The Washington Post reports.

In a related case filed by the U.S. Justice Department, Bumble Bee Foods last week agreed to plead guilty and pay a $25 million fine for conspiring to fix prices, according to CBS.

How you can save on grocery costs

You can protect yourself from getting gouged at the supermarket. We have some tips to help you save big bucks on food costs. For example, in “25 Ways to Spend Less on Food,” Maryalene LaPonsie says you should keep processed foods out of your shopping cart because they typically provide poor value.

A box of macaroni and cheese might not seem expensive when you can buy it for a buck, but portion sizes are dwindling and that box likely won’t get your family very far. You might be better off investing that dollar toward the ingredients for homemade macaroni and cheese. You might pay a little more upfront, but you’ll get a meal that will feed the family and maybe even leave you with leftovers.

Clipping coupons is also a great way to save some cash. If you don’t want to spend the time cutting out paper coupons, LaPonsie recommends signing up for your supermarket’s loyalty or e-coupon program.

What do you think of the allegations of price-fixing by tuna companies? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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