Food prices just keep going up, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to these increases. While grocery shopping the other day, my sister mentioned that her coffee went up $3.00 since the last time she purchased it. The vanilla wafers I used to get for a treat have gone up more than a dollar in the last year. It’s getting ridiculous.
(Update 2017) And the prices are still inching up.
How can we combat these rising costs? Here are my top 10 best suggestions for saving money:
- Start an herb garden in your kitchen window, or in any window that gets a good amount of sun. Start with the herbs you use the most. Parsley is my main herb. What’s yours? Use eco-friendly pots, and organic soil and seeds or plant starts for the healthiest herbs. Don’t worry about spending a few extra dollars right now, because you’ll save a lot by growing the herbs yourself.
- Grow a salad garden. Again, do this organically. You don’t need a large area for planting, and can use a window box or other container. Grow whatever your family likes in their salads. Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage are easy to grow, and bush cucumber will not take up much space. Cherry or grape tomatoes will go well in salads, as will berries.
- Check out the local farmer’s market. Go during the last couple of hours and see what deals you can make. Even when going earlier in the day, you may be able to make a deal if you purchase enough produce.
- Check out reduced price racks and carts, often found at the back of the store or off in a side aisle. Our local IGA even has a few small refrigerated units set up specifically for this purpose. I often find deals bananas and bacon this way, among other things. Simply bring them home and pop them in the freezer until you need them. The bananas are great for making breads, muffins, and pancakes.
- Shop dollar day sales. These are in-store sales where each item costs one dollar. It may also manifest as a 10 for $10.00 sale. We get to mix and match the items here.
- Use coupons, especially during dollar day sales and on reduced price items. You may actually glean a few food items for free.
- Make homemade sun tea.
- Use small eggs for almost everything, even when the recipe calls for large – when you can get a great deal on small eggs. I buy whatever size is the most affordable.
- Make sure you know your serving sizes for foods and beverages. Each person in your household may need to consume a different serving size, and most of us eat way too much. Your body will get used to smaller servings, and you wont starve while it does.
- If you are desperate, visit local food cupboard. And always accept any food items that someone offers you. If you can’t use something, give it to a neighbor or donate it.
How do you save money on food during these trying times? Share your tips with us in the comments for this post.
(Originally posted at Frugal is Fabulous! on June 20, 2011)