Hey Taylor - Any thoughts on how to save money on food right now? Inflation makes it sort of impossible, but are there any tips to make it hurt a little less?
Hey Penny - Unfortunately, there’s only so much we can do when prices are high across the board. That said, getting strategic with things like grocery shopping can make a difference. Here are a couple of thoughts that might save you a buck or two:
Eat what you’ve got. It’s obnoxiously simple, but this advice works 99 out of 100 times. All those cans in the pantry and foods in the freezer have to get used at some point, right? Even if it’s something you don’t particularly love, it’s already in your house, bought and paid for, and there’s no better way to save money than not shopping at all. Try to have fun with it—look up a creative recipe using whatever ingredients you can find. Someone on the internet knows how to make a meal out of the supplies you’ve got, so just follow their lead and skip a trip to the store. This isn’t a flashy option, but it’s always the best way to save.
Less meat. I take no pride in offering this advice, but I know how the numbers work: you’re gonna spend more on steak and chicken than you are on beans and rice. People bristle at this idea like you’re being asked to change your lifestyle, but it’s more about shaking things up 2-3 nights a week. Go to town on mac and cheese, make some veggie burritos, maybe see if you can find a lentil recipe you can stomach. Part of the trick with saving money isn’t buying cheaper versions of your everyday foods but instead figuring out what meals are cheaper that will still work for you and your family.
Buy in bulk (cautiously). Some bulk items are great—a massive box of corndogs, a 2lb bag of coffee, a flat of canned soup or vegetables. Alternatively, some bulk sales don’t actually save you money and give you more than you need. Your brain falls for the gimmick, thinking you’re getting a lot of something at an unbeatable price. Meanwhile, you’re spending way more than you need to. Sure, the per-ounce price on 400 boxes of Ritz crackers might be good, but that’s at least 397 more boxes than you need. Try to set a spending limit when you go to the store. That way you won’t get sucked into a $100 bargain that’s really just a waste of $100.
I wish I could offer an easy solution, but we’re all struggling with high prices right now. If you get a little creative, you can soften the blow a little, and hopefully, things will settle back down before too long. Thanks for the question, Penny!
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