Here’s one thing that everyone can agree on: it’s getting more expensive to live in today’s day and age. In 2022, we have experienced inflation, a shortage of goods, and higher costs for items across the board. According to a report from the Consumer Price Index, the cost of food has risen above 11 percent over the past year.
Most people are feeling the pinch of rising prices, regardless of how gainfully employed they are. It doesn’t help that although prices have skyrocketed, wages have remained relatively stagnant. This can leave anyone feeling destitute.
Food is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. However, when food prices rise, many people turn to cheap alternatives, like fast-food, to satisfy their hunger while staying within budget. However, sacrificing good nutrition for a lower price point is never a fair trade.
There are some great hacks you can use to save money on food and still enjoy healthy and delicious meals.
Reel Back on Eating Out
Although eating out is a ton of fun, restaurants typically mark the price of food up so they can make a profit. Especially in today’s age of restaurant labor shortages, some restaurant owners need to mark up their pricing more than ever. Plus, restaurants usually prepare foods with lots of fat and oils, so it’s almost always healthier to eat at home.
Eating out can and should be reserved as a special treat and not a regular occurrence.
Capitalize on Cash Back Offers
Did you know you can get paid to grocery shop? That’s right – applications like Ibotta and Nielsen Consumer panel will give you cash back for items you regularly pick up at the store. All you have to do is scan your receipt and wait for the funds to hit your account!
Create a Grocery Budget
Though budgeting can be tedious and time-consuming, it’s necessary. The problem with not having a grocery budget is every time you shop, you are more likely to be lured in by items that have no place on your shopping list. Extra unneeded items can add up fast in the check-out line!
Look at your finances and decide how much money you can put aside for food each week (or biweekly; however, you usually shop). Once you have that number, do everything possible to stick within that budget. Buying generic brand foods or using coupons can help.
Store Food Properly
How and where you store food can make a big difference in how long it lasts. For example, freezing meat after buying it can extend its viability by over a week. Refrigerating bread and pastries can minimize the risk of mold growth. Make sure to research how to store your food for optimum shelf life.
Although the price of food is going up, there are actions individuals can take to bring their overall food costs down while still eating healthy meals. By being a responsible and conscientious consumer, you can enjoy a fuller wallet and belly!