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Grocery shopping hacks to help us cope with inflation

Grocery shopping hacks to help us cope with inflation

Budgeting for monthly essentials can be a lot complicated and ugly sometimes. More so, the cost of living nowadays is more expensive to the point that it is already unbearable. Therefore, as much as we can, we do whatever we can to save money. We would rather walk than spend on gas or transport fare and eat outside lesser. But, you might be wondering how to cut costs on necessities like groceries when they’re what sustains you.

You may be that family member who shops for your family’s daily commodities and monthly stock of necessities. You may also be your mom’s companion every time she does the grocery shopping, or you’re living independently and hands-on with your daily food intake and non-food items (NFIs). Wherever you’re situated, grocery shopping is an inevitable phase in everyone’s lives. It will come one way or another.

Recent inflation report in the Philippines

Inflation

In the Summary Inflation Report Consumer Price Index conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the headline inflation in the Philippines rose further, from 4.9 percent in April 2022 to 5.4 percent in May. As compared to last year, the inflation in May 2022 was higher at 4.1 percent.

The accelerated inflation rate in the country was primarily due to the higher annual growths in the agricultural products index, such as foods and non-alcoholic beverages.

Inflation will likely remain a problem in the Philippines over the remaining months of the year and will weigh on consumer confidence just starting to recover from pandemic disruptions. So, I have listed simple tips that can make a big difference in your grocery budget.

Grocery shopping hacks to help you cope with inflation

Feed your empty stomach before grocery shopping.

As much as you want to be strategic about how you shop for groceries, you might also want to apply some strategies on when you will do it. The first thing you want to do before leaving for the grocery is to eat – that’s a golden rule. It will save you from being tempted to get unnecessary snacks, and you won’t end up buying fewer healthy products, but your budget’s already exhausted. Also, you don’t want to be grumpy while doing it because it would make you rush and not enjoy doing your errand. 

Check your fridge and pantry beforehand

Before making a grocery list, it would be beneficial if you clean your fridge and pantry first. In this way, you won’t be deceived by products that may seem accessible when, in fact, they’re either expired or only in a small piece.

By cleaning your fridge and pantry, you might discover ingredients that can make up a meal with only a few ingredients lacking. It helps you reduce your grocery shopping list and suit it according to the available products. That’s one easy way to save.

Be clear about your intention, and make a grocery list.

If you like to go grocery shopping on sudden notice, you might want to make small changes to this shopping habit. Make a list before heading to the grocery. In a way, you’ll likely spend less on impulse purchases and stick to the aisles that have the foods you are looking for. You’re good for as long your grocery lasts because you bought everything you needed.

Grocery shopping

Read grocery ads before you shop.

Grocery stores always have products on sale as a way to attract more consumers to the store. And to get the word out, they advertise a lot. You’ll notice they flash those deals on TV and radio commercials every after commercial, advertise on most used social media, and the most common is you hear about them from your neighbors or friends.

It will help you save a lot if you inquire more often, especially every week because products on sale change weekly. As long as the products on sale fit your meal plan for the weak, you benefit from them. However, if you really want to grab the sale because you’re on a tight budget, you can plan meals with the ingredients on sale.

Do grocery shopping at night.

Do you know that the later you shop, the more you can catch up on discounts and mark-downs on perishables? I also just discovered this recently. It will make sense to you after I tell you this. Grocery stores tend to reduce the cost of perishables at night because they need to get rid of them and replace new stuff for tomorrow. They want to serve fresh products every day and don’t want their reputations destroyed for spoiled perishables. However, it doesn’t mean you’re likely going to get stale produce. It is more of stocking up on cheap finds you can pop in your freezer.

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Take advantage of coupons, they are not souvenirs.

In case you forgot it, you’re applying for membership and loyalty programs at your local grocery store for a reason. Some items on sale are available for stacking – applying coupons on top of the sale. You just got to be observant to be able to save. Also, you don’t have to be ashamed of it. Everyone finds a way to save, so grab as many opportunities as long as it’s not in an ill manner.

Shop seasonally.

As much as you want to satisfy your all-time favorite craving, especially fruits and vegetables, you also want to spend within your budget. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, pay attention to their prices and compare them to those last week. In that way, you’ll observe that there’s a season when they change prices. Plus, it is a good experience to try a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, seasonal foods are healthier and taste better. Have you ever compared the taste of tomato during summer and winter? They taste better in summer, right? It’s because summer is the season of harvest for tomatoes. Therefore, if you buy them in summer, they cost lesser and are fresher. And, so, for the other produce as well.

Don’t be deceived and do the math.

Not all products labeled on sale mean they are cheaper. Sometimes, they’re just marketing strategies. So, you must do the math. Through it, you’ll know that some of the prices on sale but in bulk are not cheaper but just the same. 

Grocery shopping

Shop the perimeter of the store.

Grocery shopping is an exciting thing to do. We always get caught at the moment, so most of us tend to begin in the center aisle and spend the most time there. Little did we know, it’s the outside perimeter we should be spending more time shopping. The freshest foods and most necessary products are placed there. 

Grocery shopping

The first time we did grocery shopping, we thought there was no right or wrong way of doing it. But, now that we have an idea already, we’re at an advantage because aside from buying us more time. It helps us cope with this aggravating inflation. 

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