If you live in the nation’s heartland, you’ve probably experienced this summer’s drought firsthand. If you live elsewhere, you’ve probably heard about it through the news. It’s wreaking havoc on corn and grain harvests and is having detrimental effects on the cattle industry. This is all leading to higher grocery prices for you, and they will probably climb higher in the coming months. Everybody has to eat, so budgeting now for higher food prices is extremely important.
Don’t Let Grocery Prices Affect Your Health
There are several options available to people looking to save money on food, but some of these options can be dangerous. You might be tempted to simply buy cheaper items at the grocery store to save money on food. This, however, can cost money in the long run. For example, ramen noodles are extremely cheap but have low nutritional value. Eating this type of food regularly may eventually lead to poor health, causing you to miss work or take on extra medical expenses. The same is true for consumers who choose fast food due to its cheaper pricing. You want to make smart shopping decisions that are cost-effective, but don’t sacrifice your health.
Making a Grocery Budget and Other Tips
The challenge is to continue eating healthy food while also preparing for increased grocery prices. This will require you to be a smarter shopper and to manage your finances appropriately. You will need to use coupons and other smart shopping techniques while also saving and budgeting so that you have enough money for food purchases. Here are some tips for preparing for higher food costs:
Prioritize: Never sacrifice good nutrition to save money. Doing so can be hazardous to your health, leading to higher medical bills and medication costs. Poorer health also has other unpleasant side effects.
Shop local: If you live in a drought-stricken region, this might not be an option. If you live on either coast, your local farmers might not have been hit as hard by the drought. Check your local farmers market to see if it has nutritious food that is also less expensive. Even when shopping at the grocery store, take advantage of foods that are in season, as these will likely be less expensive.
Make a grocery budget: Plan your trips to the store. Use coupons and find deals on healthy foods whenever possible. Making a grocery budget will also help prevent you from making impulsive decisions during your shopping trip. Make sure your grocery budget is as specific as possible so that you can track your expenses and make sure you get everything you need.
Set more aside: As grocery prices increase you will need to plan accordingly. Eating is not optional, and you will continue to buy groceries even when prices go up. You will probably need to cut back in other areas to allow for this increased spending. This will allow you to set more money aside for your grocery budget and trips to the store. You don’t want to find yourself using credit cards for food purchases.
Remember, you’re not the only person having to deal with higher grocery prices. We can’t control the weather either, so these higher prices may persist for a while. If you are having trouble adjusting your budget, ask to speak to one of our certified credit counselors by calling 888.737.2933.