The recent coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in basic commodities such as meat and groceries such as meat, milk, and eggs. The Labor Department released some astonishing findings. There was a 2.6% increase in the cost of essential items from March to April. Such an increase was only witnessed in 1974.
Consumers have to content to a 4.3% increase in the price of meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. On the other hand, cereals and baked products such as bread increased by 2.9%. Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products increased by 1.5%.With no foreseeable end in sight, this could be the new normal, and consumers will have to contend with the prices for now. Though you can’t do anything about the increase in food items, there are a few things you can do to ensure you save more while shopping
1. Plan Ahead
Before you plan the menus for the week, check the various stores to find out what’s available for sale, and plan your menus based on that. Keep an open-minded to make changes even if you had planned your menu for that week. You can also incorporate any left-over food into your menu instead of throwing it away.
One important thing to note is to make a shopping list before going to the grocery store to avoid impulse buying. Before you make the list, go over the essential things to find out what you have and what needs restocking.
Lastly, when doing your shopping, avoid the items that are on the last isles just before the counter such as snacks and sweets because they have been placed there purposely to entice customers. Buy only what is in your shopping list.
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2. Be Savvy with Coupons
Why should you pay for the full price when you can pay for a fraction of the price? One good way of going about it is collecting coupons which are in the Sunday paper. You should also not be afraid to search for coupons online.
You can then use the coupons to purchase items that you need urgently. The more coupons you collect, the greater the discount you’ll get.
3. Buy Generic
As a buyer, it’s easy to buy items from recognized brands. Buying generic can save you thousands of dollars instead of overpaying for items from recognized brands which are mostly overpriced. The most important thing to look out for is the features. Conduct thorough research about the item you decide to buy and you’ll get a bargain price.
4. Save More While Shopping by Eating Healthier
The first thing you should do is to reduce food portions. This can be achieved by making simple changes such as switching larger plates for smaller ones.
Eating a balanced diet comprising of vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins will do more than help you watch on your health. Eating healthy reduces cravings for sugary things which are an addition to your grocery list.
5. Buy Produce in Season
If you want to save a few bucks while shopping, stick to buying produce that’s is in season. When a particular item is in season, you’ll pay lower prices because there’s likely to be discounts and vice versa. You can also buy produce that’s in season and dry or smoke them for future use.
6. You don’t have to buy Fresh Produce
If you want a particular food item and it’s not in season, there are various options such as buying it dried, frozen, smoked, or canned.
7. Buy Must-Go Foods
Most people are afraid to buy “must-go” foods because they are afraid they may be spoilt but that’s not the case. These types of items are sold at a discounted price because they have a date by which they have to be sold which is usually some days before the expiry date.
8. Check Unit Prices
Don’t’ just buy a product because you may be overpaying for it. The best thing to do is find out the unit price which may be indicated. If it’s not, you can do a simple calculation by dividing the total cost with the number of units.
9. Keep an eye out on the Register
At the grocery store, prices keep fluctuating. Keep an eye out when paying to find out if you’re paying for the price that was initially advertised. If there’s an error, some stores give shoppers a discount.
10. Save More While Shopping by Planting a Garden
One of the sure ways to save how much money you pay for your groceries is having a small garden where you can plant some vegetables and herbs. This may look for a small saving but in the end, every dollar counts.
What’s more, you don’t have to have a garden. You can improvise and plant your vegetables in sacks.
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