This is a guest post from money-saving author Clare, who writes for Bargainmoose.ca, the Canadian shopping community. On Bargainmoose, they blog about all the latest and greatest shopping deals, discount codes and hot Canadian freebies! Today, Clare shares some tips on how to combat food inflation - the ever rising price of groceries.
4 Tips to Combat Food Inflation
With the continued uncertain economy and unpredictable climate, food inflation is unfortunately, on the rise. Droughts, floods, and other natural disasters have wrecked havoc on the agriculture that we depend on. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that food prices will rises between 2.5 to 3.5% in 2012 and another 3-4% in 2013.
What can we do to combat food inflation? Here are some tips on how to keep grocery costs to a minimum:
Get a Chest Freezer
A chest freezer can help you save money by allowing you to store foods that you have bought on sale instead of wasting it. Meats, fish, and other bulky goods may not all fit in the freezer section of your refrigerator.
Chest freezers cost very little to operate on an annual basis, especially if you don’t open and close it very often. Nowadays, they are space economizing as well, therefore won’t be too bulky in your home.
Buy in Bulk
With the aforementioned chest freezer, you will be able to space-afford to buy food in bulk, especially meats. To combat food inflation (and not to mention save time and money with multiple trips to the grocer), I buy all my meat in bulk, divide the meat into meal sized portions, and put them in individually packaged freezer bags.
Make Sure your Food doesn’t Spoil
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the US alone, 34 million tons of food is thrown away because it gets wasted and this accounts for 14% of household waste, period. This can add up to hundreds of dollars on an annual basis. To avoid this, ensure that your food is kept in the proper areas of the refrigerator.
For example, ensure that your fruit and vegetables are separated and kept in the specified fruit and vegetable drawers. Keep your bread in the freezer. Freeze your leftover soups, broths, or meals.
Grow your own Garden
Finally, my favorite tip is growing your own garden. This can be done on a patio or balcony in addition your little backyard garden. When you grow your own tomatoes, green onions, basil and lettuce, you know that you didn’t add any pesticides to them and you can grow a large volume of lettuce (enough to last you an entire summer, really) by spending $1.29 for a seedling.
Besides, nothing gives you more satisfaction than eating something that you grew yourself! (Yes, that grade 2 excitement of growing your own food doesn’t wear off!)
Unfortunately, food inflation is here to stay. As foods get more expensive, we must find other ways to keep our monthly expenses low, without cutting corners on nourishing our own bodies. Hopefully these tips of getting a chest freezer, buying in bulk, preventing food spoilage, and growing your own garden helps you to combat the upcoming and continued increase of food inflation.