Regardless of what else may happen in the future, nobody can argue that the prices at the supermarket have been and are continuing to rise at a steady pace. Even the most basic staples like bread, milk and eggs grow more expensive as time goes on, draining ever more money out of your wallet. As times grow tough, you will have to take action to mitigate the effects of these rising prices. Here are a few of the most basic ways that you can work to beat those rising food prices and continue to feed your family.
5. Learn to Make Your Own Dishes Instead of Buying Premade Stuff
Everything from the boxed “TV dinners” to a jar of salsa all include the cost of pre-mixing, cooking and otherwise preparing that food so that it’s ready to eat very quickly. It might surprise you to see how easy and cheap it can be to prepare a few jars of salsa with a free recipe from the internet, some fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers, and a little elbow grease. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everything, particularly bread and other basic commodity goods like that, but many condiments and meals can be made more cheaply if you take the time to make it yourself.
Additionally, make a point of preparing lunches before kids go to school or before you head off to work the next morning. It can help keep you from diving off to a restaurant or the nearest vending machine for food, saving you a few bucks. Every little bit helps!
4. Start Buying in Bulk
This may not apply to all stores, but Wal-Mart at least is pretty good at listing the “cost per weight” of the items you’re purchasing. This means that it is easier to look at a 16 oz. box of cereal and an 18 oz. box and determine which is the better value. Typically, the greater amount of the same product in a single container the more you save over time in your purchases particularly for foods that last a long time. Just be sure to double-check the labels and do a price comparison, since sometimes it’s actually the “medium” size out of the “small, medium, large size” lineup that is actually the cheapest per oz.
3. Grow Some of the Most Common Veggies and Spices That You Like
A packet of seeds costs much, much less than a pound or two of many vegetables will and yet if tended and nurtured just one plant can provide multiple pounds of fresh produce! If you have a yard, till up a corner and start growing. If you don’t, buy a few cheap pots and place them where they can get as much sun as the plants need to grow. Spices are even better since you can keep them growing for quite a long time if your climate allows. Of particular note, the various ingredients for salads grow with minimal attention and the seeds can be purchased cheaply, saving you many dollars when compared to buying bagged salads.
2. Learn to Barter With Productive Neighbors
Not everyone has the time or inclination to grow things for themselves, so the next best thing to is to work out a trade with people who do. You can always just pay the folks down the road for some of their extra tomatoes or the like of course, but you could also offer them the use of your skills or muscle in a project they made need help with too. Helping someone weed a garden once a week or assisting in doing some basic home repairs doesn’t take as much time as another part-time job would, but even that could be sufficient payment to receive some extra produce.
1. For Other Products Like Eggs, Cheese, Milk, and Meat Buy “Shares” In Production From Local Farmers
Few people have the land to raise animals (or else they can be restricted by laws and regulations) but a local farmer has acquired enough land to be able to provide many with goods. Buying shares in an animal means that you can get quality products from a local farmer without paying the full cost of raising the animals. You just pay 1/4 or 1/8 of the cost and receive 1/4 or 1/8 of the production, and probably save even more money since a local guy won’t have to charge you to ship it hundreds of miles.
These are just a few of the most basic suggestions in order to overcome those rising prices. Be creative and look towards self-sufficiency in order to fight the continual rise!
What other tips would help people caught in the rising tide of food prices? Let us know in the comments below!