Updated: Sep 5
Updated post: 3/15/23 - Original post: 8/1/22
With another record-breaking month of inflation, couples and families are continuing to feel the pain of rising prices.
In fact, according to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, food prices are even higher now than they were in the economic crisis of 2008. Historically, high prices are temporary and eventually normalize but that doesn't make you feel bad while you're paying high prices.
Not only that, Americans are also increasingly pessimistic about their economic futures. Almost every demographic studied reported increased expectations, both long and short term, in regards to the job market, the overall economy, and even the ability to afford health insurance.
Nevertheless, even for those fortunate enough to be within walking distance of all of their daily necessities, the rising tide of price tags hasn’t spared the grocery aisle. So with that being said, what are some practical, fun, and creative ways to save on your grocery bill?
Fight inflation with rewards programs
One of the absolute best and most simple ways to automatically save at the grocery store is to sign up for your local grocery store’s rewards program. Most reward or cash back programs are completely free and usually only require a phone number and a couple minutes of your time at the register in order to participate.
These programs often allow access to in-store sales and bulk discount options. Furthermore, there are often no limits to when, where, and how much you can take advantage of these discounts. For local groceries that haven’t adopted reward programs, most still offer coupon books and other at-the-door discounts, you just have to be willing to take a moment to check!
Buying in bulk
Other ways to save seem more expensive on paper, but could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, over the long run.
Many customers stray away from the idea of buying in bulk, but with the right plan and selection many could save both time and gas by only buying their groceries a few times a week.
Making more intentional shopping choices
This tip also applies to better selection and focus in your shopping habits! By taking the time to compare relevant options, you can often find store-brand or generic substitutes to your pasta that won’t take away from that familiar al dente bite! These substitutions can be found at almost all large retail grocery stores and even chains such as Dollar General.
One of my least favorite suggestions, but probably the most practical lies in your choice of stores. By avoiding going out to eat or picking up from restaurants, one could easily save hundreds of dollars a week feeding a family of four. Not only that, by buying raw or simple ingredients at the store, you can see immense savings over the course of a couple of months, in exchange for some time in the kitchen.
So now that you know that it takes time and small sacrifices to save at the register, what are some ways to turn a chore into something more tasty and fun for the whole family?
I suggest making cooking a fun and unique way to incorporate family time on a weekly basis! By including your spouse, partner, or children you can turn a tedious, dreaded chore into a way to further develop your relationships while ensuring a fun and delicious meal for all.
In order to give you some ideas, we found this article by the New York Times that details 19 Easy and Cheap Dinner Ideas That Everyone Will Love.
My personal favorites are the stuffed shells and the stuffed peppers, but I also tried the turkey chili in my InstantPot for the first time and was blown away, especially when I tried the half turkey and half beef option! With these easy, cheap, and fun recipes at your disposal, dinner time for you or you and your family can become a fun and relaxing time to share about your day.
Overall, fighting inflation at the grocery store isn’t some special secret you’ll find in your Instagram ads or on Twitter, it takes real time and patience to successfully pull off regular and substantial savings.
However, with practice and slight practical changes to your list-making and grocery shopping strategy, it can be easily achieved over time.
My personal suggestion is to make these changes (and any creative ones of your own!) as fun and as simple as possible. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your wallet!
Over time and with help from friends and family, inflation might continue to affect us all negatively for a while, but we can certainly fight it back with a positive change in perspective and attitude, and a few small habit changes.
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