Managing inflation in food prices: How to stay on track with your health and bank account

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: People shop at Notting Hill Farmers' Market on December 10, 2022 in London, England. The NFU farming union warned that the UK was facing seasonal food shortages due to a mix of high fuel and feed prices and shortages of farm labour. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: People shop at Notting Hill Farmers' Market on December 10, 2022 in London, England. The NFU farming union warned that the UK was facing seasonal food shortages due to a mix of high fuel and feed prices and shortages of farm labour. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images) /
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With food prices rising, it can be challenging to remain on track with your budget and maintain optimal health. Small price increases add up fast when it comes to things like groceries, which are up 12% from just last year and are predicted to continue rising.

The effects of food inflation can be overwhelming and cause you to make budget cuts elsewhere. Let’s explore ways to reduce your grocery bills and combat rising food prices.

Devise a Plan to Manage Food Prices

Planning your meals can help you dwindle down your shopping list and stay on top of what you purchase. Devising a plan can significantly save you money by reducing impulse buying. Make a weekly or monthly meal plan and do your best to stay within your budget.

A meal plan is also an excellent way to maintain a healthy diet. When you plan your meals, you are less likely to waste money on takeout and other unhealthy food options. Meal prepping is another excellent way to save time and money and combat food inflation. You can prepare meals on Sundays for the entire week ahead with lunch and dinner portions that you can take with you. These prepared meals can reduce the amount of food you consume and encourage healthy eating.

You can keep a grocery list of things you run out of and create a recipe board full of meal options with lists of ingredients to help you stay organized. Keep track of expiration dates and rotate ingredients to ensure you cook food before it expires.

Get creative with your recipes and try something new to experiment with new ingredients that could save you money. Ensure you are realistic about your list and only add things you know you will eat. You are wasting money when you purchase food that you don’t cook. With rising food prices, it isn’t worth living like that anymore. If you aren’t going to eat it, don’t buy it.

Check Food Prices

Take advantage of opportunities to shop online and check food prices at other stores. While you might want to remain loyal to your local grocery store, food inflation can cause you to shop elsewhere if they have better prices.

Don’t limit yourself to one store. Shopping online provides you with myriad options to maximize your savings. You can check prices on websites to see what’s on sale before you make your meal plan and grocery list. You can join a wholesale club to maximize savings on bulk items like Costco or Sam’s Club on nonperishable items you can stockpile.

See what’s on sale for the week or month and incorporate them into your recipes. For example, if hamburger meat is on sale for the week, you might consider amending your list to accommodate that. Additionally, purchasing in bulk is a good idea when things you frequently consume are on sale. You can buy meat in bulk, portion it out and freeze it to cook later.

Ensure you check unit prices on food items to know what kind of deal you’re getting. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy in bulk than to purchase small packaging multiple times a month. Compare prices of frozen vegetables to fresh and canned–things like that. Opt for generic brands with the same ingredients as the higher-priced food label.

Shop With a Strategy

Stick to your plan. Stay away from your grocery list as much as possible. The effects of food inflation and other rising costs like housing are making it difficult to afford things like health insurance. Many people, especially millennials, are choosing to forego health insurance, desperately trying to save as much money as possible.

Health insurance is vital to protect you from the financial burden that health care can cause. Strategizing your shopping and choosing healthy foods can provide preventative health care. Eating a balanced diet can help you avoid many health issues that contribute to frequent doctor visits. To ensure you have enough funds for your expenses, take advantage of resources that can help you save on rising food prices.

Use cash-back apps like Ibotta and Checkout average users earn $10-$20 a month. That may not seem like much, but every little bit counts with the effects of food inflation. Fetch Rewards is an app that allows you to earn points by snapping photos of your grocery receipts that you can use toward future purchases. Take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator and freezer before you shop.

Try to take stock of what meals you can create with the food you have and get additional ingredients to elevate those meals. For example, if you have tortillas, taco seasoning and cheese, you may need to purchase beef to make tacos instead of buying a list of ingredients for a different meal. Shop smarter–not harder. Don’t shop while you’re hungry or you run the risk of purchasing everything on the shelves.

Staying on Track With Rising Food Prices

Utilize these tips to protect your health and bank account from how inflation drives up food prices. Do your research, take advantage of sales and ensure you choose convenience wisely to maximize your savings and combat food inflation.

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