10 Effective Ways to Save Money on Groceries During Inflation
Inflation is soaring way up, recording the highest in 40 years. Be it food, gas, rent; you name it. Every price tag screams inflation!
No doubt, wallets have been under pressure throughout 2022. Protecting your wallet from this inflation has become a concern for most Americans. The worst part? The effects of inflation can be mainly observed where it hurts the most: groceries.
While controlling inflation is not in your possibilities, what you can control are your expenses and making the best use of the money you have. Adopting certain strategies and using effective options like debt management plans can help manage debts and save money. Debts are added expenses. A debt management plan not only helps you pay back your creditors; it helps you learn smart budgeting skills. That, in turn, can help you save your expenses on groceries. But is that the only way to save money on groceries during inflation? Not at all.
Here are a few other effective ways to save on groceries during inflation.
1. Look Around Your Shelves Before Shopping
How often have you bought that can of tuna or that bottle of white sauce only to realize you already had the item on your kitchen shelf? If that’s relatable, looking around your shelves is ideal to avoid mistaken buying.
Before you go grocery shopping, it’s essential first to check your stock. You may find one or more items from your list already in your pantry. When you do this, instead of buying the items you already have, you can focus on purchasing things you need but don’t have.
This can significantly shorten the list of items you need to purchase, and it means you spend less money on groceries. Also, this way, you can keep wastage at bay by using food items before they run out of expiry date!
2. Plan Your Meals
Another helpful idea before grocery shopping is to plan your meals and make your list accordingly. By preparing your meals, you’ll know what items and how many of those you’ll require. This way, you won’t be tempted to pick up things that look attractive on the store shelf but end up lying in your kitchen forgotten.
3. Be Open to Generic or Store Brands
When you shop for food items, you may have favorites or preferences on brands. Many top brands are usually priced higher than other store brands. And sometimes, you can barely understand the difference between the two since most of the ingredients are the same. In such cases, by switching to generic or store brands, you can save on that extra money you would be paying otherwise.
4. Choose Your Payment Wisely
While you work towards saving on groceries, it’s also helpful to consider how you pay for them. Considering most of the time, you could be using your credit cards to make payments, you must choose them wisely.
It would be a good saving strategy to use cash or debit cards since these limit your purchasing power to some extent. In the case of using credit cards, you could use those that have low-interest rates and have reward programs. Also, you could avail options like debt management plans to help manage debts better and maximize savings.
5. Swap Your Food
While planning your meals, you can also consider slightly swapping them. Certain foods have been highly hit by inflation, and some have not been affected much or may have even decreased in price after inflation.
For instance, the prices of bacon, sausage, bread, and margarine are some food items that have been affected the most. On the contrary, items like cheese, canned fish, potatoes, and broccoli are among the least affected food items.
Hence, making innovative swaps or mixing expensive and less expensive items in your meal planning can be a clever way of managing your budget and saving on groceries.
6. Save Scraps
The idea of saving scraps may sound weird initially, but think about it. For example, you can save your bacon grease and use it to fry your eggs. Or you can save your vegetable scraps and use them to make vegetable stock.
7. Buy in Bulk and Share
Consider buying your groceries in bulk. Although this may have upfront charges, you’ll still have some savings in the long run. In addition, you can also consider sharing the bulk with a friend or family member. This can further increase savings for both of you, especially if one person has a warehouse club membership.
8. Avoid Hunger Visits
When you shop for groceries with an empty stomach, you fall victim to your taste buds. In other words, impulse buying. This is mainly because when you grocery shop while hungry, you’re most likely to make decisions based on short-term cravings rather than the nutritional contents or items that you need.
Create that meal plan, and bring your shopping list to the store to make pointed choices.
9. Replace Expensive Items with Homemade Items
Certain condiments and specialty sauces are some of the most expensive things in grocery stores. You can consider replacing those items with homemade alternatives using items you already have. In this way, you can reduce your expenses at the grocery store.
For instance, salad dressings are some of the easiest condiments to make and you can tailor it to your tastes.
10. Explore Store Deals
Grocery stores may sometimes offer specific rewarding discounts. These offers may come around on certain days of the week or certain selected items. When you explore the store for such requests, you can save dollars by wise use of the discounts.
The Bottom Line
The sky-rising prices can be a lot to take in. However, with the right strategies, the blow can be less severe. You can use techniques like exploring store deals, replacing expensive items in your list with less expensive ones, buying in bulk, limiting purchasing power, and using options like debt management plans.
Author: Lyle Solomon has extensive legal experience, in-depth knowledge, and experience in consumer finance and writing. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 2003. He graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, in 1998 and currently works for the Oak View Law Group in California as a principal attorney.
Read More: Best Cash Back Shopping Apps