In 2022, inflation is one of our nation’s most significant issues. As the market continues to become more and more inflated as the years go on, one thing remains constant: food prices are still ridiculously high! The supermarket is perhaps the most essential place where inflation is noticeable, and it puts a major dent in your wallet. If you want to figure out new ways to beat inflation at the grocery store, keep reading for some tips!
How is Inflation Affecting Food Costs?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most recent Consumer Price Index shows that food costs have increased by over 10 percent in the last year. That’s a lot! This inflation is due to various world factors, including the war in Ukraine, supply chain issues, job market issues, and more. However, food costs are always one of the biggest sectors affected when it comes to inflation.
How Can I Combat Inflation?
There are a couple ways to combat inflation at the grocery store, and both ultimately involve making your meals cheaper. The first way to beat high prices is to reduce the overall cost of your food, meaning that your bill at the grocery store checkout will actually be less.
The other method is to keep your grocery bill the same but stretch your meals to last longer, resulting in a lesser cost-per-meal or cost-per-person. Of course, combining these two methods is the ideal way to save money on groceries. It’s all about strategy, which we’ll discuss in the following section.
Reducing the Overall Cost of Your Food
Reducing the overall cost of your food bill will help you beat inflation by lowering your overall cost at the checkout. While you can’t actually “beat” inflation, you can find ways to make your bills cost less, especially food. Some ways to reduce the cost of your food bill include couponing, signing up for rewards programs, staying loyal to one store, looking for sales, and picking up weekly advertisements.
Increasing the Meals You Get Out of Your Food
The other primary way you can help beat inflation at the grocery store is by stretching your food further and getting more meals out of the same amount of food. Some ways you can do this and avoid food waste include portioning your food out before cooking, planning your meals, eating leftovers, and buying non-perishables. You can also buy things in bulk to save money.
This might be the simplest solution to this problem. Start couponing! Couponing has always been an option to reduce your grocery costs, but it has truly never been easier than in 2022. Now, many grocery stores, including places like Dollar General and Walmart, have coupon apps that attach to your rewards program and let you see the best deals. Whether you coupon digitally or use traditional paper coupons, there has never been a better time to cut a few dollars off your grocery bill each week.
Sign Up for Rewards Programs
Similar to the last tip, many stores have now implemented the use of their own apps and websites. And most of them have rewards programs that you can subscribe to. Typically, these programs are free and will either give you points or money back when you spend money at their store. Since you’re spending money anyway, there is virtually no harm in signing up for these reward programs. Over time, they will probably save you some money with exclusive coupons or points you can exchange for money off your bill.
Stay Loyal to One Store
Following the last tip, staying loyal to one store will also help you consistently save money. For example, if you are enrolled in a rewards program and get a lot of coupons from one store, staying loyal to that store makes sense. That’s because the more money you spend, the more points or coupons you will accumulate, allowing you to shrink your food bill even more.l
Don’t Be Brand-Loyal
Some people get unusually attached to a specific brand. There can be many reasons for this. Sometimes it’s because a particular brand is healthier or has a company mission you believe in. Other times it’s simply that a specific brand tastes better. But if you’re buying a brand name item just out of habit, consider checking out other brands (even store brands) that might allow you to save a bit more money.
Pick Up Weekly Advertisements
Most grocery stores offer weekly sales flyers, whether they come digitally, are available in the store, or come in the weekly newspaper. This weekly ad will include different deals and coupons available for that week. This could be coupons on certain items, new items available in the store, or discounts when you buy things in bulk. This weekly ad will essentially give you a rundown of everything you can buy for less in the store that week, so it’s valuable to help you beat inflation.
Portion Food Out Before Cooking
In terms of increasing the value of your overall grocery bill, stretching out your meals by portioning your food is one great thing to do. Avoid ripping bags open and eating once you get home from the store. Instead, portion out food and store it so you know exactly how many meals or snacks you can get out of it. This way, you won’t make too much food and waste what you’ve already cooked. Food wasted is money wasted!
Similarly, planning your meals before you even go to the store will also help you save money, as you will have a better chance of eating up everything you buy. Plus, it will help you avoid purchasing unnecessary items. Finally, knowing every ingredient you need to buy before you enter the store will save you money and time! If you have a list of everything you need, you will spend less time wandering the aisles.
When you cook, actually eating your leftovers helps you stretch your dollar and your food bill further. Many of us will pack up leftovers thinking we will eat them but then end up neglecting them in the back of the fridge. By actually eating all of your leftovers, you will have more meals with what you’ve purchased, stretching your grocery bill further than if you ended up wasting that food. Learn to love leftovers because they can amount to a lot of money saved.
Buying non-perishables, like pasta, rice, canned vegetables, and more can also help you save money by contributing to less food waste in your kitchen. In addition, non-perishables can sit in your kitchen permanently and won’t go bad, meaning you will always have something to cook, even if you’re out of recipe ideas. This way, you won’t immediately go running for takeout and can help your food bill stretch further.
These tips are great, but unless you use them consistently over time, you won’t beat inflation anytime soon. So, to combat rising food prices due to inflation, commit to implementing at least a few of these tips. You may have some cheap meals that are a little uninspiring, but your wallet will thank you!