According to the Consumer Price Index, food prices from one year ago have gone up 3.3%. It’s not going to stop there. Non-food prices are going up, as well, as companies struggle to find the raw materials and manpower they need to produce everything else.
Fitness equipment, furniture, lumber, gas, electronics — it’s all going up. What we have to be concerned with, however, is our most basic need: food.
Even if you’ve never felt any urgency before, check into your local food bank. Keep the information handy, just in case you need it later.
Look at store brands. Many are even better than the name brands.
Make every dollar count. Sign up for a grocery store rewards card, if it’s available. Use a private throwaway email address, the one you use to sign up for things that might generate too much junk mail. You’ll likely get emails about sales with coupons. At my store, I log in at the checkout and get cash back at the end of each quarter.
Look to your own vegetable garden or farmers markets as ways to save. If you want to do canning this summer, one heads up: Be certain you can get the jars, lids and rings at the same time. They might be in short supply.
Freezing meals is another option and ensures that food is always available. Double a stew or soup recipe and buy in bulk when it makes sense to.
Shop from a list to the extent you can, knowing that stores can be out of things you want. Consider having breakfast for dinner one night a week, and one meatless dinner. Plan meals around what’s on sale each week.
It bears repeating: Find out about your local food bank.