Most of us are noticing our grocery bills skyrocket, which can be scary, especially if you are on a strict budget.
A recent report found that food prices have increased 8% - 13% depending on the item. That might not seem like a lot when you see 8% or 13% however, that can really add up. A report from Forbes Magazine, states, “Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 13.0 percent for the year ended February 2022, the largest yearly increase since July 1979. From February 2021 to February 2022, fruits and vegetable prices rose 7.6 percent, and nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials prices rose 6.7 percent.” (1)
It was also reported that the average price of groceries for a family of four jumped from $410.00 a month to $860.00 a month. YIKES!
Here are some tips to help you continue to eat the foods you want and not stress about your pocketbook.
Shop bargain stores and Farmers Market-
Grocery bargain stores are all over and many of them have "NOSH" (Natural, Organic, Specialty, Healthy) sections. You can also head to Walmart, where they have some great options. Check out Target and Sprouts Farmers Market as well.
Shop Farmers Markets, you're supporting a local farmer and may get good quality, organic produce at a lower cost. Don't be scared to talk to the representative from the Farm. They WANT your business, so they are happy to talk. Often, they may be following Organic practices but can't afford to get USDA certified.
Go Generic- Read your labels to see if the store brand is just as good as the brand you typically purchase. Often consumers pay the price for the big brand names when the generic brand is often just as good. Some knock-offs are perfect copycats of big-name brand foods.
Use a Cash Back app- Merryfield is a new cashback app that people are raving about and should start using to lower costs.
Determine "Needs -vs- Wants"- Sometimes creating a budget before you hit the stores helps this step quite a bit. When you get close to your budget max, you can choose, "do we need this item, or can this item stay"? Often this helps reduce the number of processed foods that enter the house and leads to healthier choices all week long.
Choose foods that give you more for your money-
Frozen produce- Frozen produce can be very cost-effective and help you continue to get your product in at a lower cost. It also lasts longer and has more than you need in a single package. This means you can make more than one meal with a single package.
Choose to buy whole fruits and vegetables over pre-cut- Precut produce can cost up to DOUBLE what the whole item would cost. Buy your produce whole and cut it yourself to save on cost.
Buy in bulk- This does not always work out. Often you can buy beans, rice, sauces, and meats in bulk to help save on cost and ensure you have what you need.
Where do you start?? Try not to take on too much.
Use these tips below to get you started and moving in the right direction.
Create a budget that works for your family.
Plan your meals to avoid overbuying.
Check deals and coupons at your local stores. This could help you identify where the best deals are.
As always go with your best judgment and start where it feels good for you and your family.
I hope you find these tips helpful!