Money Mondays: How to Cope with Higher Food Prices

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Food prices are expected to rise this coming year.  Major food corporations have already announced they are raising prices, according Fox Business.  The USDA has also predicted a larger hike in food prices for 2019.

Not everyone can readily increase their food budget.  It likely won’t happen all at once.  But if you start preparing now, your budget won’t suffer so much.

Tips to help you cope with higher food prices

Buy in bulk

Having an emergency pantry is a good hedge against higher food prices.  You slowly build your stockpile by buying in bulk and repackaging foods for long term storage so they last for a long time.  Buying in bulk provides you with lower prices overall.  You can split your purchases with someone and share the savings.

First in – first out

Use the “first in first out” system in using your stored food.  To be successful, you must note the date in everything you store.  This way you don’t let expiration dates get too far out.  I know, I know – expiration dates do not always reflect the food’s usability, but there is a certain point where the quality will start to degrade.

Use your freezer

If you make large portions, store the rest of the food in your freezer, and save it for another day.  Again, make a note of the date, so the food does not get freezer burned by the time you get to it.  Repackage meats in smaller portions using a Food Saver or vacuum sealer.

Grow a garden

You don’t need a lot of room.  Even a small windowsill with herbs growing in pots will help you save some money.

Learn to cook from scratch

All you need is a basic cookbook.  Try making one recipe a month if you are just starting out.  You’ll be using healthy ingredients without all the additives from convenience foods, and you’ll be saving money as well.

Plan a menu

Avoid shopping on the fly when you are rushed or tired.  Make a weekly menu, list the ingredients and buy according to what you have planned.

Avoid waste

According to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American wastes around a pound of food a day.    The most wasted food is produce – uneaten fruits and vegetables end up in landfills.   Dairy and beef also made it to the top of the list.

Avoid waste by buying and cooking appropriate amounts, and don’t overestimate what you can use up in a week.

Learn to preserve food

All the prepping skills such as canning, dehydrating or pickling that help preserve food will help you save money on your food budget.

Using a combination of the these tips will help you cope with higher food prices this year.  Please share your favorite food savings tips!

About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.




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  1. Great post on the basics of getting by when your outgo rises faster than your income! I would just add, find recipes you actually enjoy for low cost staples. I thought beans were tasteless things served over bland white rice until a friend handed me a tortilla full of refried beans and rice cooked in salsa. I don’t like the traditional curry spices so I use lentils instead of meat in my favorite stew and casserole recipes. They take on the taste of what you cook them with.

    Since I have very limited storage space (one pantry shelf) I concentrate on storing ingredients for one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner. If I like the taste it won’t bother me to eat the same things for a while, and it’s great when it’s storming or I’m broke and need to skip the store.

    Don’t choke things down because they’re cheap or store well. When you’re having troubles is no time to feel like Oliver Twist at your own dinner table. Student friends of mine prep things like peanut butter and graham crackers, or tomato soup and croutons. Low cost meals shouldn’t be things you would only eat in case of an apocalypse.

    Best wishes to all for a Happy New Year!

    1. Hi AuntMary, That is a novel idea for this blog, stocking ingredients based on your one favorite breakfast lunch and dinner. If you don’t mind eating the same things for a while, that is a great way to save on storage space. Inexpensive does not have to mean boring unappetizing meals. Thanks for the comment-I appreciate it! Happy New Year to you as well.

  2. I try not to impulse buy any food item. I have started to work with a weekly menu that I stick to. And working on cutting my weight down as well. This has saved me money and I do not buy junk food. I have found that fresh fruit makes a much better snack than that bag of chips. I do like popcorn but have gone back to popping my own and not buying the microwave bags. You get a lot more popcorn for the money that way.

    And I hope you have a VERY good 2019

    1. Hi Oldguy, Popping your own popcorn is a lot healthier for you than the microwave bags, just need to season it a bit more. I also like to fry my old tortilla chips, just use corn tortillas, even the old ones work. Season with salt to taste. Thanks for the comment. I hope you have a wonderful 2019.

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