Supply shortages, a diminished workforce, and inflation have driven the cost of daily living skyrocketing, requiring lifestyle changes to help make ends meet. With the dollar having to go further, frugality has become more important, especially when it comes to food shopping. According to the USDA, grocery prices have gone up 10% in the past year, the largest actual rise in forty years.
Here are some practical ways to stretch your dollar when planning meals for you and your family.
- Build Your Meals around what is on sale. Most of us plan meals, make a list, then hit the stores, but try doing it differently to save a few dollars. Search flyers and grocery apps for what is on sale that week rather than what you are predetermined to buy and plan your meals based on those items on sale.
- Say Yes To Store Brands. Store brands can run close to 25% less than their name-brand counterparts. Compare ingredient labels between the two, and you will be surprised how similar they can be.
- Order Online. Impulse buys from shopping in-store add up and often wind up being more than you would spend on delivery costs. Search online for free delivery coupons on sites like https://couponfollow.com . Bonus, you won’t end up with food you don’t need or want.
- Get Cash Back. Americans spend thousands of dollars every year on groceries, so using the right credit card can get you cash back on the dollar. Look for credit cards specifically targeted toward supermarket spending, some offering as much as 6% cashback. That adds up.
- Shop Your Pantry. We all have food in our freezer and pantry that we have forgotten about. Once a week, plan a meal from only those items sitting on your shelves. You save a few bucks, and you don’t have to wait in long lines or bag groceries.
A little patience, planning, and creativity can go a long way in keeping a few extra dollars in your wallet each week. Happy meal planning.
By Sherri Sacconaghi, Creative Strategist at EPB&B and a former Health and Nutrition Coach.