How to handle the rising price of food.
I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that grocery prices are increasing. All it takes is one quick trip to the grocery store to see that food costs are much higher then they were a year ago. According the the USDA, grocery prices in September 2021 were 4.6 percent higher then the previous September. Which is a huge increase! Unfortunately, the experts are warning that grocery prices are only going to continue to grow. But, not to worry! There are a few tricks you can do when grocery prices rise.
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1. Adjust Your Budget
If you are currently budgeting (which I recommend) now is probably a good time to adjust your grocery budget a little. Your budget is fluid for a reason, to be adjusted when needed. And grocery prices rising is definitely a time when your budget needs an update. I know that this sounds contradictory, but inflation is real, and you still have to eat. I would rather your grocery budget be higher and you stick to the budget then have it be lower and you constantly over spend.
If you are new to budgeting make sure to grab my free budgeting cheatsheets below to help you get started!
Two years ago my family had a very consistent $100/week grocery budget. We were eating well, feeling content and happy with our budgeted amount.
Now? We are spending $150/week on groceries. Do I love that we are spending so much more? Not at all! But, I know that my budget needs to be realistic for my needs, otherwise I will constantly be overspending, and that is not good for my budget or wallet!
Take a minute one day to sit down and really look at exactly how much money you’ve been spending on groceries over the past few months. Use those numbers as a guideline to help you set your new grocery budget. Be realistic, but also frugal when making your budget!
2. Change Your Eating Habits
This might be a good time to change some of your eating habits, which I KNOW is not easy (trust me, I tooootally get it!). Take a look at what you eat regularly and really ask yourself some hard questions. Such as, is everything on your grocery receipt absolutely necessary? What food could you quit buying to save a little bit of money? (I finally decided to quit buying my chocolate fudge pops to cut down my grocery bill!) Is there some cheaper alternatives you could buy to replace the expensive items in your cart?
- If you consistently buy pre cut fruits and vegetables, start buying them whole instead and cutting them yourself (it really only takes a few minutes to do!).
- Instead of buying disposable water bottles, buy one reusable water bottle you can use again and again.
- Quit buying premade granola and make your own instead! I love this homemade granola recipe.
- Another tip is to avoid buying prepackaged snacks. Buy the snack in bulk and use a tupperware container to portion out smaller sizes.
These are just a few suggestions, but there are many other easy alternatives to replacing items you eat regularly, with more affordable alternatives. Get creative and be honest with yourself about your needs.
3. Shop Sales
One of the quickest ways to see your grocery bill drop is to start shopping sales. Every week grocery stores come out with a new ad highlighting the grocery deals for that current week.
Look through these weekly ads using the free Flipp app, and then plan your grocery list and weekly menu around what’s on sale. This might mean that you will have to go to multiple grocery stores for your weekly shopping trip, I get this is time consuming, but shopping sales is a huge savings and usually worth the hassle!
When you find those great deals, make sure to stock up to have them on hand until the next sale comes around! Not sure what a good price is? Grab my Stock Up Price Guide here!
4. Use Coupons and Rebate Offers
I’ll be the first to admit that couponing isn’t as amazing as it once was ten years ago, but coupons are still a valuable way to save some extra cash when grocery prices rise.
One of the hardest parts of using coupons, is finding them! Here are a few places I like to get my coupons from:
- Sunday Newspaper
- Manufacturer Websites
- Weekly Grocery Store Ad
- Kellogg’s Family Rewards
Another easy way to alleviate grocery costs is to use rebate offers. Rebates are similar to coupons, but instead of getting money of the purchase price, you are giving cash back after making your purchase. This is a great way to earn a little extra money while buying items you would be buying anyways. My favorite rebate apps are:
My favorite way to coupon is to match a coupon with a sale and/or rebate offer. That is when the BIG savings happens!
5. Try Substituting Expensive Foods For Cheaper Options
Another trick to saving money on groceries is to use substitutions in recipes. You don’t have to follow each recipe exactly! Some recipes have a lot of expensive ingredients, which you can easily substitute for something cheaper!
For example: if a recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, don’t buy the buttermilk and mix 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar instead! It’s cheaper and so easy! There are many other budget friendly substitutions you can try, check them out here: Easy Food Substitutions To Save Money here.
6. Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
When it comes to grocery prices increasing, meat is at the top of the list! Currently it is hard to find some of our favorite meats for a low price.
If you can relate, I recommend you start trying a few cheaper cuts of meat. They still taste just as good, but are much better for your wallet. Here are some of our favorite frugal meats:
- Chicken Thighs
- Pork Shoulder
- Ground Turkey
- Bone In Pork Chops
7. Buy Generic
Honestly, I love buying name brand when it’s on sale. Sale prices on name brand groceries are usually much lower then generic. But! When you can’t find a good sale on name brand groceries (it happens!), buy generic instead (trust me!).
I use to turn my nose up to generic brand groceries, but I was so wrong!! Many generic grocery items are even better then the store bought, but they are so much cheaper!
If you are feeling unsure of trying generic groceries, check out my list of some of my favorite generic groceries. These all taste just as good as name brand and are a great place to start.
Even More Ways To Save Money On Groceries
If you are looking for even more tricks to save money on rising grocery prices be sure to check out Crystal Paines Slash Your Grocery Bill eBook where she shares 25 tried and true ways to spend less at the grocery store.
It’s so hard to know what to do when grocery prices rise, but these strategies should help you save more money this year. They have all helped my family, and I know they can help yours too!
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