FAMILY, FEATURE STORY

High Grocery Prices are Hurting Our Finances

Are the high grocery prices hurting your finances, too? Here are ten ways we’re saving money on our grocery budget for a family of eight!

Have you noticed grocery prices have increased?

Earlier this year, when Travis was still working at a grocery store, he warned me it was going to happen. I honestly didn’t think too much about it because I thought it wouldn’t last long.

That’s my bad for not paying attention because now I see he was right!

Whenever I plan our grocery list, I like to estimate how much we’re going to spend on each list item. It helps me determine how much we need to budget for groceries.

I’m usually really good about predicting the prices, but the last few weeks, I’ve noticed my estimates have been off. As a result, we’ve been spending more money on food than I had thought we would.

I mean beef prices alone are crazy high!

A few days ago, I noticed the price for ground chuck at Kroger was over $15! According to the TODAY Show’s recent report, beef prices have spiked 17.6%! WOW.

And I read this September report from the USDA Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) that determined food-at-home (the groceries we buy at our local stores) are expected to increase between 2.5% and 3.5%.

While food-away-from-home (food we eat at restaurants) prices are expected to increase between 3.5% and 4.5%.

The USDA ERS also predicts grocery store prices will increase next year, as well. Great.

I don’t know about you, but we’ve been feeling the impact of these high grocery prices. Unfortunately, it’s hurting our finances so we’ve been making some big changes in how we grocery shop and plan our meals.

TEN WAYS WE’RE SAVING MONEY ON OUR GROCERY BILL

Here are ten ways we’re trying to keep our grocery budget low. If you have any other ideas for me, then let me know. I’d love to learn more tips!

CUTTING OUT BEEF (for now).

For our family size of eight, buying beef just isn’t affordable for us anymore. So we decided to switch to chicken and turkey meat. I’ve noticed turkey prices have also gone up some, but it still costs less than beef.

USING CASH TO PAY FOR GROCERIES.

Lately, we’ve been bringing cash with us to pay for groceries instead of using our debit card. This has been helping us stay on budget.

MEAL PLANNING.

I always go back and forth with meal planning. One week I might plan our meals and the next week I forget to do it. But this time, I’m making a conscious effort to meal plan every week.

Meal planning helps us focus on using ingredients we already have in our kitchen and explore new ways to create recipes.

COOKING MEATLESS MEALS.

Although we’re not vegan or vegetarian, we’re going to start trying meatless meal options to help cut back on our grocery bill.

Black bean burgers, spinach lasagna, and stir fry noodles with hearty vegetables are just a few meatless meal ideas I’ve discovered so far.

SHOP AT A LOCAL FARMERS MARKET.

You can find great deals on fresh produce at a local farmers’ market. On Saturdays, I like to stop by Eastern Market to get fresh fruit and veggies.

Sometimes, I can find a large bag of apples, bunches of bananas, and other goods at a lesser price than the chain grocery stores.

Ten Ways I'm Saving Money on Our Grocery Budget. (Photo image of my young daughter standing next to her dad and holding a large bag of apples at a farmer's market.

DINING OUT LESS.

This was hard to give up because I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants. But to save money for our grocery budget, we’re cutting back on eating out.

COOKING BUDGET-FRIENDLY MEALS.

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on how to plan and cook budget-friendly recipes. YouTuber That Lisa Dawn shares videos on how she creates low-budget meals for herself by shopping at Aldi and the Dollar Tree.

Although she’s cooking for just herself or her boyfriend, I like watching her videos because she’s inspired me to create recipes for my family that doesn’t cost a lot of money to make.

I also love watching Aldi grocery hauls like this one from Do It On A Dime. Jamerrill Stewart is another YouTuber I follow because she creates budget-friendly meal ideas for big families like mine (she’s a mom of nine kiddos!).

BUYING STORE-BRAND PRODUCTS.

A lot of store-brand products taste exactly the same as name-brand so I don’t even notice the difference.

We also started buying snacks for the kids at Aldi. The prices are much cheaper than at stores like Kroger and (sometimes) Walmart.

FINDING THE BEST DEALS AT MULTIPLE STORES.

Sometimes you have to shop at multiple grocery stores to find the best deals. On our last grocery shopping trip, we bought the majority of our groceries at Aldi. It saved us half the cost that we would’ve paid at other leading grocery stores. Afterward, we hit up Walmart for a few items and then Kroger for milk and eggs.

COOKING BREAKFAST FOR DINNER.

For our weekly meal planning, I started including breakfast for dinner (or “brinner” as some people call it) once a week. The kids love having pancakes or waffles for dinner.

Omelets also make a great dinner idea because they’re filling and healthy. My favorite way to make an omelet is with cheese, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and turkey sausage.

What are some ways you’re keeping your grocery budget low?

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