David Bakke constantly looks for ways to save money and improve his finances. He blogs about his latest experiences and tips on Money Crashers Finance.
Unless you recently moved in under your nearest rock, you’ve probably noticed a significant rise in food prices – chalk it up to rising oil prices and the drought currently plaguing this country. Some experts say that if these trends continue, food prices could go up by as much as 10%. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still save money.
Here are five tips to offset rising food costs:
1. Eat More Fruits and Veggies
The cost of transporting foods has gotten more expensive – there’s nothing you can do about that. What you can do is decrease what you spend on food. The best way to do this is to spend less on preprocessed foods and buy more fresh fruits and veggies. This may result in a little more kitchen time, but you’ll eat healthier and save money.
2. Find a Farmers’ Market
To find the best deals on produce, look for a local farmers’ market. The prices are much cheaper than at supermarkets, and the quality is the same, if not better. You’ll also find a wider selection of fruits and veggies, so you can expand your menu as well.
3. Clip Coupons
Believe it or not, if you focus your efforts, you can save as much as 80% on your grocery bill by extreme couponing. Buy additional copies of the Sunday paper, cut out all relevant coupons, and improve your savings. Establish a filing system so you can use your coupons before they expire. Find out when your favorite grocer doubles coupons and shop then. Make sure you’re signed up for your grocer’s loyalty program as well, and they’ll send you additional coupons in the mail.
4. Stock Up
Most staple items go on sale from time to time. Stock up on things such as pasta, rice and beans, and even ground beef and chicken when you see them for sale at discounted prices. If they’re perishable, freeze them for later use. For non-perishables, organize them in your pantry so they get used in a timely fashion.
5. Buy Generics
I once toured a food processing plant and I saw with my own two eyes how identical food products are used for both national name brands and generics. So in many cases, there is absolutely no difference between generics and brand names. If you’re still doubtful, conduct your own taste test to see if you can tell the difference between corresponding products.
Unfortunately, you have no control over food prices – so get your arms around some of the things you can control and get to work on reducing your household’s grocery bill. No one knows when these price hikes will cease, so the time to start saving is now.
What other ways can you think of to offset rising food prices?
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.