How to Offset Food Rate Increases

Been to the grocery store lately? If you have, you probably spent more than when you shopped a month ago.

And you definitely have spent more than you did before this virus began.

According to some stats I saw recently, grocery prices surged 14.3% in May versus last year.

We already expected the rates of meat to increase given all the supply chain issues.

But the rising rates have expanded well beyond meat.

Everything from eggs to dairy items to fresh produce have all seen hikes.

The timing couldn't be worse with talk about a recession on the horizon.

But all is not lost.

There are a few things you can try to eat healthily and keep your food funds down.

Here are some simple ways to trim your grocery funds:

First thing you want to do is shop around.

Don't always stick to the same store each week.

Different stores provide different items and specials.

Watch for the store circulars, or subscribe to your local stores' email blasts so you can stay informed on what's on special where.

And, opt for private label items over more well-known brands.

Private label items run 20-30% less than their more "popular" counterparts but are still good quality.

Also, now that it's warmer, keep your eye out for some of your local farmer's markets and CSA programs.

Foods made locally are more likely to cost less since you're not having them shipped from another state, or even another country, as you do for store-bought foods.

Farmer's markets are also a great place to find meat on special, as local meat processors haven't been as affected by the pandemic as the larger plants.

Another option for meat is frozen.

While the rates of fresh meat have risen, frozen meat has remained fairly stable.

Even better, the supply of frozen meat has improved since store shelves were wiped bare in March.

But, please stay away from frozen prepared foods.

Not only are these foods typically loaded with salt, sugar, and a host of chemicals to keep them from going bad, but their costs are also on the rise as the prices of raw ingredients used to make them rise as well.

Unfortunately, rising food rates are our "new normal," at least as long as inflation continues to have a field day.

But with a little shopping savvy, you can mitigate the increase, without sacrificing food quality.

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