Consumers might not think it, but eggs are an expensive commodity. As of August 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average price of a dozen Grade A, large eggs was $3.12. That price has risen due to issues with highly pathogenic avian influenza over the past year as well.
Eggs are just one example of foods that have become significantly more costly over the last year or more. Flour, butter/margarine and dairy products also have become more expensive. According to CNBC, food prepared at home now costs 10% more than it did a year ago. Comparatively speaking, restaurant prices have risen by 6.9%, making it more affordable for some people to eat out than prepare meals at home.
Despite rising food costs, it is possible to save money by cooking at home.
- Purchase generic brands – Switching to generic brands can immediately bring about savings over “premium” counterparts. Generics cost less because manufacturers don’t have to offset the cost of advertising. Many generic brands are made in the same facilities that produce name brand items.
- Plan weekly (or monthly) meals – Take a few moments to jot down meal ideas for the week. This can streamline the process of buying meals and help a person use fewer ingredients. Plus, meal plans can be based around which items are on sale. One can meal plan from scratch or utilize a meal plan from a website that helps utilize all ingredients in various ways, such as turning leftover meatloaf from one night into sloppy Joes on another.
- Stick to a list – When meal planning, check out the pantry first to see what’s on hand, and then mark down the items needed. Buy only what is listed, resisting the urge to make impulse purchases. For those who can’t avoid throwing a few extra items in the wagon, utilize stores’ shop from home services, where it’s possible to keep track of what’s being spent in real time. Simply check out and then do a curbside pickup.
- Check product prices – When comparing prices, be sure to check out the net item, net pound or net ounce price. This enables shoppers to see if a sale is really a value, including whether it’s best to buy pre-packaged products or individual items.
- Consider cheaper meals – Make the bulk of meals with less expensive ingredients, such as beans, whole grains and vegetables. Chicken drumsticks or thighs are generally cheaper than steaks or even chicken breasts and cutlets.
- Reduce reliance on bottled beverages – Opt for water at home rather than bottled, if possible. Purchase iced tea powder or tea bags and whip up brews. Water with lemon juice can replace lemonade.
These are just a few ways to save money on groceries as prices continue to rise.