With inflation impacting every area of our budgets over the past few weeks, many are cutting costs wherever and however they can. Some are sacrificing healthy or organic food choices for inexpensive bulk options across the board. Here are our tips on strategizing and prioritizing your grocery shopping so that you’re saving money and eating well.
First of all, determine what matters the most to you when it comes to food shopping. Will you “save money” by eating only instant ramen and rice? Yes. However, eating only dry pantry staples during times of inflation won’t sustain you for long when it comes to your health. You need fruits, veggies, and protein in your diet. Easier said than done during times of inflation, I know.
On the other hand, if you tend to purchase organic but are struggling to fit that into the budget, you might need to strategically decide what you can live without. Tracking sales cycles, weekly deals, and using coupons can carry you as long as you’re flexible about the brands and where you’re buying your organic options. Don’t forget to check your local farmers markets for the cheapest organic and local produce available!
How to Shop for Produce
First of all, be flexible with your produce options. Organic will always be more expensive. Absolutely seek out deals and coupons on organic options if that’s important to you, but if this isn’t in your budget, that’s okay.
If you’re looking to get produce on a low budget, don’t underestimate frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, corn, and more. Frozen produce is not only much cheaper than fresh, most of it is flash frozen. This means it retains freshness better than you might think and still carries its nutritional value.
Meat, Eggs, and Milk
This area of the grocery store has seen inflation rates soar as high as nearly 15% in recent weeks and these figures have continued to creep upward off and on. As far as meat is concerned, ground meat will always be the cheapest option. Seek out ground beef, chicken, turkey, and pork, especially if they’re on sale that week. There are always deals on meat that rotate week by week, so begin tracking the sales cycles to get the most bang for your buck on protein.
Meats like beef steaks of any cut and more specialized cuts of meat are being charged at absolute premium prices. So, steak dinners and rib barbecues may be off the menu for a little while.
As far as milk and eggs are concerned, you may want to avoid the expensive organic options for now. Those prices have soared sometimes even above the trending averages due to supply chain issues. Again, strategize and look for coupons and deals each week on these premium items if they’re on your priority list. This may mean switching between brands week by week, so budget and plan with that flexibility in mind.
Stock Up on Staples
Absolutely take advantage of the lower prices of things like dried rice, beans, and pasta. These prices haven’t moved too much and are excellent to buy in bulk at stores like wholesale clubs.
It is definitely a good idea to plan to include a staple like one of these with at least one meal per day. They’re filling, easy to buy in bulk, and when strategically paired with the items we talked about earlier, you can buy a little less of the expensive stuff without noticing too much – but your wallet will thank you!