You’ve most likely noticed increasing prices as you check out at the grocery store and fill up your gas tank lately. Last month, consumer prices on goods took a huge jump and increased by 7% from the previous year. This is the highest inflation rate our country has seen in 40 years!
Here are some ways you can manage the current inflation environment and help your bottom line at the same time:
Shop Your Cabinets and Pantry First. Before you hit the store – check your cabinets, pantry, and shelves to see what non-perishable items you already have at home. This will allow you to see what you have already bought previously, shorten your grocery list, and save you some money on your food shopping bill. This also goes for checking toiletry items and cleaning supplies you already have at home, as well as look in your freezer too. It’s easy to forget what you may have already purchased and didn’t realize you had!
Meal Prep. Planning your meals ahead and making a grocery list based on the ingredients you’ll need for the week, will allow you to (hopefully) stick to the list in front of you and not buy extras. Try not to deviate from your list, oftentimes these additional purchases end up spoiling before you get a chance to use them and then end up in the garbage can.
Reduce Waste. This goes hand in hand with meal prepping. Plan out your meals and ingredients for the week ahead. Try to find recipes and ingredients that you can use in multiple meals. For example, say you purchase and cook a whole chicken on Sunday. Use the leftovers for lunches for the week ahead by making a grilled chicken salad on Monday, chicken noodle soup on Tuesday, and a chicken burrito bowl on Wednesday.
Try Using Store Brand Products. Most of the time, you’re going to pay more for a name brand product. While in the store, comparison shop. Typically, you’ll find that the generic store brand is cheaper and is essentially the same exact item.
Buy in Bulk. When you can and if you have the storage space, it’s usually cheaper to buy items in bulk. Think toiletries and household cleaning supplies, pasta, rice, cereal, etc. If you don’t have the space or need that much at the moment, see about splitting the items and costs with a friend or family member.
Cut Back on Meat. Meat tends to increase one’s grocery bill. Try going meatless once or twice a week if you can, and switch to less expensive protein alternatives on those days like beans, lentils, and cheese.
Save on Produce. Try to buy produce that’s in season, which will be cheaper – or buy from your local farm market. Also buying frozen fruit and vegetables will help you save money too.
Try to Save on Gas Prices. Can you carpool to the office or work from home at all? If not – look into signing up for a fuel rewards program, use a credit card that offers cash back on gas purchases, or download a comparison app to see which gas stations near you are the cheapest.
Share. Instead of making large purchases during these times, for items that you probably won’t use every day – see if you can share with or borrow from a friend or family member for expensive tools, appliances, or equipment.
While it may seem that prices and cost of living continues to increase, the suggestions above can certainly help you save some hard-earned money these days. Don’t forget to review this list before you visit the store next!
Article Source: The Penny Hoarder