Food and household supply prices are expected to rise by 15% throughout the summer. The total cost of food, home operations and household supplies in 2019 is $10505. A 15% increase in this figure means that the average American family will receive about $1600 a year, or $130 a month, just to buy the same food and household products they} previously purchased.
Why is that? To a large extent, it is the sequelae of the pandemic. Last year, the demand for large supplies was relatively low, so prices were flat, and many companies cut their supply chains. As the world returns to normal and demand returns to normal, we are catching up.
As usual, the best tool to deal with short-term financial changes in our financial instrument belt is frugality. In this case, since price increases occur with the rise of food and household supply prices, frugality in these areas is the most effective tool we have.
How to deal with the sharp rise in food and household prices?
Try to cook at home
According to Forbes, eating at home saves about 80% more than eating out. During the pandemic, many of us become more familiar with our family kitchen, and these skills should remain the same even if things return to their normal state before the pandemic. Use your own kitchen as the source of most of your meals. If your life gets busy again, start adding a lot of cheap and simple meals to your diet and use wise strategies to cook at home, even on Busy Weekday nights.
Focus on staple food
When you go to the grocery store, buy less prepared food and more staple food. For example, at my local grocery store, I can buy a bag of 16 ounces of unseasoned Frozen Broccoli for $2.48 (almost twice the original), rather than the Tuscan flavored broccoli simply steamed by the green giant for $2.49. Before I served, I put a few drops of salt and italian seasoning on it (only a few pence).
Staple foods such as dried rice, dried beans, unprocessed fruits and vegetables and whole chicken are much cheaper per ounce or pound than processed and pre cooked things. Most of these items are very easy to cook in a slow cooker or microwave (pour them into a bowl or jar, turn on the microwave or slow cooker for a while, add a little salt and some seasoning, go away) and save a lot of money.
Try many store brands
Store brand food and household products save an average of 25%, according to consumer reports, compared with brand-name products with the same function. The strategy here is simple: buy everything in the form of a store brand, and switch to the famous brand version only when there is a specific and clear reason, not just because you think the famous brand may be better.
Empty the storage room
There is no better time than now, especially after more than a year of cooking a lot at home and throwing some used items into cabinets, refrigerators and freezers. Carefully check what you have on hand and make sure you use it before it expires. A great technique is to remove items that are about to expire from the fridge and pantry and use them as the center of a week’s meal plan. Think of meals that use these items and the items sold in grocery flyers, and make some very cheap meals for next week.
Another good strategy is to simply “reverse rotate” your cabinets and freezers at regular intervals. Pull out everything that is not easy to see from the back, and then move it to the front of cabinets, refrigerators and freezers, so you have to use those old things.
Use reusable household products. Instead of simply buying and re buying household goods, turn to as many reusable options as possible. For example, instead of buying endless paper towels, buy a bunch of absorbent cloth and get into the habit of washing them only. Pick up some microfiber cloths that you can pass through the laundry with other clothes, and some sponges that you can pass through the dishwasher.
Another option is not to buy most household cleaners, but to hang them on several spray bottles, where you can mix your household cleaners. If you mix 1 vinegar and 8 portions of water in a spray bottle and add one or two drops of detergent, you have an excellent multi-purpose spray cleaner, which can be used collocation with reusable cloth. If you are willing to take more risks, consider options such as diapers (which can save a lot of money if you have more than one child) or bidets (instead of toilet paper). It aims to minimize what you have to buy again. The more you do in this direction, the less you will be affected by the rise in the price of household goods.