Are you like the MFF staff and are stunned by the dramatic increase in your grocery bill? Are you thinking twice about buying certain items to fill your cart or basket as you walk through the grocery store? For a variety of reasons – supply chain issues, bad weather, and plain old inflation – we are spending more on our grocery bills and now is a great time to think about adapting our grocery spending to keep our spending plan (or budget) in-check. From chicken and breakfast cereal to staples like mayonnaise and ketchup, costs seem to be increasing weekly. Individuals and families manage the increase in costs in many different ways and there is no one right response. Knowing there is no end in sight to the increased costs, here are some of the ways we’re adapting our shopping to stretch our allocated food dollars.
Our Director of Education Jillian offers the most simplistic – but definitely realistic – advice of “Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry”. You may find yourself reaching for more expensive, prepared foods like items from the chicken wing bar (who doesn’t love a good mozzarella stick or two?) or picking up more expensive items (think store-marinated meats perhaps) that look like they offer an easy and quick solution – and very appealing as you shop.
Our Director of Operations Mike lives downtown and says, “This doesn’t apply as much for many like me because I am a single person living downtown but I do make a habit of walking to the grocery store more often now because I end up purchasing less items and more of the things that are needed. Backpack space is limited. I also like grabbing a basket instead of a cart because I end up buying less and throwing away much less which, in the long run, ends up saving me money!”
Director of Marketing Tori says, “My local grocery store offers online coupons through their rewards program that are emailed weekly. I “clip” the coupons to the store’s app and keep a spreadsheet to see what I have coupons for and when they expire. I match up their weekly sales flyer to the “clipped” coupons and make a weekly grocery list in hopes of not only getting the savings from the coupon but from the sale. If it’s not on the grocery list, it doesn’t go in the basket! An added benefit, the store’s reward program gives me 2% back at the end of each quarter for any store-brand I purchase. It’s found money!”
Growth Strategist Steve offers, “We shop online and buy only what we need. Then picking up our groceries curbside saves us a lot money (and time).” And last summer Steve spoke with MFF Fellow Brandon who shared ways to save money on food!
Our Executive Director Judi offers a unique perspective as her household is a household of two. Judi says “We have always eaten out at restaurants, even before owning one. We found when buying from the big grocery stores, we bought more than we could eat and ended up tossing out a lot of food. Eating out allowed us to buy only what we could eat there and (maybe) one leftover meal. Now we add to our kids’ delivery order, buying only limited amounts and bulk items like paper and cleaning products and cosmetics and personal items as we live in a two-family home with our kids (which is why this works for us).” What an interesting idea. Do you have a family member or friend you can “buddy-up” with for trips to the grocery store, perhaps buying in bulk and splitting the cost?
How have you adapted your food buying habits to help mitigate rising costs? Start the conversation today with your family and friends – and get creative!
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Our Standards of Financial Literacy program is engaging, full of interesting information, and easy to navigate. Adapted from the National Standards for Financial Literacy developed by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), this robust curriculum features six short lessons on such important topics as earning income, understanding the value of saving and using credit. When completed, this program lays the foundation for becoming an MFF Fellow.
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