Meal Planning in 2022
Inflation doesn’t have to make it impossible to eat healthily.
Over the last year, we have seen increased consumer product costs. Everything from home sales up 10%, used cars are up by 50%, and food is up by 4%. During this tremendous amount of inflation, our older population on social security received just a 1.6% cost-of-living increase. Whether you are on a fixed income or not, most of us make the same amount each week. The daily impact of the increased food prices alone really cuts into our budgets for many of us.
Here are four ways to help stretch your grocery budget:
- Rewards programs: Joining store rewards programs can help! Some stores have apps that allow you to clip coupons then automatically apply them towards your purchase. Look for apps that also have gift card rewards or cashback options.
- Sale fliers: Making your grocery list based on what is on sale can help keep your budget in check and help to spice up your dinner menu. Most stores have a 4 to 6-week rotation on their product sales. We recommend you start a price journal to keep track of when regularly purchased items go on sale. Over time, you will see trends on all your favorite products when they go on sale. Stock up at that time!
- Curbside Pickups: Using curbside pickup is a great way to save time, avoid impulse purchasing, and stay within budget. By using an online ordering service, you can see what you will pay before you order, allowing you to pull things out or switch to smaller quantities to stay within your desired budget.
- Meal planning: Meal planning using all the tools mentioned above will help you stay within your grocery budget and help you to figure out what you need for the week to feed your family. The more you plan, the less chance of food going to waste. Meal planning can occur weekly, biweekly, or even monthly.
With increased grocery prices, it’s hard to stay within your regular budget, but you can get pretty close with a bit of planning, creativity, and weekly sales research. One final tip, when you are at the grocery store, be sure to keep a running tally of what you have put in your cart. Rounding up to the nearest dollar can help you stay under budget.
If you need help with your grocery budget, I can help! Contact me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 660-6267.