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How To: Best Budget for High Food Costs

How To: Best Budget for High Food Costs

As everyone knows, food prices have jumped up significantly. Food is essential, so finding ways to get around high food costs and large grocery bills are key to creating your best food budget. Keep reading for ten tips to get around the rising food costs. 

1. Eat Before You Grocery Shop

We can all agree, shopping while hungry often turns into a higher grocery bill. A tip for the wise is to eat before entering the store to stick more closely to your list as well as choose healthier options.  

2. Create a Shopping List 

If you fill your cart with everything that catches your eye, be prepared to spend a lot more than you planned. By creating a list in advance, you have the opportunity to plan out your meals and ingredient list to cohesively put together a plan for the week. 

3. Opt For Fresh Items Over Prepared

In a fast-paced society, it is easy to opt for prepared items when shopping at the grocery store. However, these pre-ready meals are at a premium price tag compared to simply buying the fresh ingredients to make yourself. 

4. Bulk May Not Be Best 

Buying in bulk can save you time and money. It is important to pay attention to prices of family-sized options – if the price per unit is lower it is well worth your money to buy more if you have a place to store it and will use it before it expires. 

5. Cancel Your Membership 

If you find you are not utilizing a membership at a big-box retailer as often as you had thought, consider canceling. Changes are you don’t need nearly as much on hand and are paying for bulk along with the membership price. 

6. Only Buy When You Need and Will Use

Nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted. A great way to prevent food waste is by planning your meals. Also, eat your leftovers! There are so many more ways to help reduce waste. Read more helpful tips from the EPA website.

7. If Prices Are High, Look Low

They strategically set up grocery stores to tempt you to spend money. The highest-priced items are placed where it is easy for you to look, such as the middle of the shelf at eye level. If you look down, chances are you’ll find generic and cheaper alternatives. 

8. Substitute the Expensive Items 

If you notice an item you use frequently has a price that is consistently climbing, look into finding a lower-priced alternative. 

9. Maintain a Well-Stocked Kitchen

Shopping only when you need to is key to not overspending. If you shop when the best deals are available, you have the ability to stock up and pay less.

Food is one of those purchases we simply cannot avoid. Be a careful and well-prepared shopper to minimize the amount you spend at the grocery store. 

10. Be Smart When Dining Out  

Not only have the prices in the grocery store gone up, but the prices at restaurants have too.

If you plan on dining out, plan ahead. Most restaurants have their menu online, along with prices. Planning ahead will help when budgeting for the week.