20 Meal Hacks to Help Fight Inflation on Food

Steve Cummings

Meal Hacks

Inflation is hitting wallets hard, but we're feeling it in our gut too. Food is becoming exceptionally pricey. It seems as though prices climb every time we visit the grocery store.

But don't worry, there's good news – you don't have to break the bank to keep your family fed.

With smart strategies, you can stretch your food budget further than you ever thought possible.

In this blog post, we will share 20 meal hacks to help you fight back against food inflation – so let's dive in and start saving money on groceries today!

1. Bulk Buy

Bulk buying is a great anti-inflation strategy. Buying items in larger quantities often decreases the cost per unit, leading to significant savings over time.

This works best for non-perishables like rice, pasta, or canned goods. 

So, next time you're at the store, grab a bigger pack – it might just beat those inflation blues!

2. Meal Planning

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Meal planning is another secret weapon. Plan meals each week and create a precise shopping list, buying only what you need. This reduces waste and avoids impulse purchases that can increase your grocery bill.

Meal planning turns you into a savvy food detective, knowing exactly what goes into your cart and your body. Not only does it fight inflation, but it brings organization and health into your kitchen.

3. Cook at Home

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When you cook at home, you control the ingredients and portions, which are often cheaper than eating out or ordering takeout.

Plus, it's like hosting your own private dining experience every night! So, dust off those cookbooks, explore online recipes, and enjoy the cost-saving benefits and satisfaction of preparing your meals.

4. Grow Your Own

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Growing your vegetables or herbs reduces your grocery bill and ensures fresh, organic produce is available.

Starting a small garden requires some effort, but the rewards are worth it.

Even if you live in an apartment, herbs can easily be grown in pots. With this approach, you're saving money and adding a green touch to your home and meals.

5. Use Coupons

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Using coupons and taking advantage of discounts is a simple method of saving money on groceries.

Regularly check store flyers, websites, or coupon apps to plan your shopping around what's on sale.

This strategy helps you get more for your money and keeps your budget in check. So, embrace the power of coupons and see how they can make a big difference to your grocery bills.

6. Buy Seasonal Produce

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Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often more affordable because they're abundant and don't require long-distance shipping.

Not only does this save money, it also means you consume fresh, flavorful ingredients. So next time you buy produce, reach for what's in season.

7. Shop Sales

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When it comes to groceries, timing is everything – keep an eye on sales and stock up when items are discounted.

If chicken breasts are on sale, buy a few packs and freeze them for later. This trick can help you save money in the long run without sacrificing variety in your meals.

Plan your shopping around sales and discounts, not the other way around.

8. Make Meatless Meals

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Meat and other animal-based products can be expensive, so incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet can help save money.

Meatless meals are not only budget-friendly but also nutritious and delicious. Veggies and fruits like beans, lentils, and tofu are affordable sources of protein that can be used in various dishes.

Reducing your meat consumption is also beneficial for the environment – it's a win-win!

9. Use Leftovers

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Do you have leftovers? Don't throw them away – get creative and turn them into a new meal.

For example, leftover chicken can be turned into a sandwich or salad for the next day's lunch – this saves you money and avoids food waste.

You don't need to be a master chef to whip up delicious meals from leftovers – simple recipes and some imagination will do the trick!

10. Buy Generic Brands

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Buying a higher price doesn't make sense when you can get the same product for less. Generic or store brands often have ingredients and quality similar to name brands but at a lower cost.

For example, if you need baking soda or flour, choose the store brand instead of the name brand. Remember: with a name brand, you pay for the packaging and marketing. Do you really want to do that?

Give generic brands a chance and see how much you can save on your grocery bill.

11. Shop at Discount Stores

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Many discount grocery stores offer quality products at discounted prices. These stores may not have the same variety as larger supermarkets, but they often have lower prices on everyday essentials.

Shopping at these stores can save you significant money, especially during times of inflation. You might have to sacrifice some ambiance, but the savings are worth it.

So, research your local discount grocery stores and see how they can help you combat inflation and keep your budget in check.

12. Reduce Waste

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Every year, millions of tonnes of food goes to waste – not only is this bad for the environment, but it also impacts your wallet.

Being mindful of food waste means using every bit of what you buy, whether it's freezing leftovers, turning them into new meals, or using scraps in recipes.

Reducing waste and making the most of your groceries will save money and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

13. Cook in Bulk

Meal Prep
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Don't just buy in bulk, cook in bulk too! It can shrink your food budget.

Preparing large meals and freezing portions for later means you have ready-made meals when you're pressed for time or don't feel like cooking. This also reduces food waste as you'll use all the ingredients before they go bad.

Plus, it saves you time and stress in the long run if you are a busy individual or family.

14. Buy Frozen Produce

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Frozen foods not only last longer than fresh produce, but they can also be cheaper.

Unlike fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen varieties are available year-round and often come in larger quantities at a lower cost. You don't have to worry about spoiling quickly, so you can use them at your convenience.

You have to thaw them out before using them, and you'll have access to healthy ingredients without breaking the bank.

15. Use Cheaper Cuts of Meat

Roast Beef
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Choose your cuts wisely. For example, chicken thighs are often cheaper than chicken breasts and can be just as delicious when cooked properly. Cheaper cuts of meat like roasts or brisket also make great options for slow cooking, as they become tender and flavorful over time.

Meats are already costly and can become even more expensive during inflation, so opting for cheaper cuts and using cooking methods that bring out their best qualities is a smart way to save money.

16. Make Homemade Snacks

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Buyer beware: producers of packaged snacks pass their advertising and packaging costs onto you. They may seem convenient, but homemade snacks are cheaper and healthier.

For example, make baked chips at home using cheap potatoes instead of buying pre-packaged potato chips. Or, try making your granola bars using oats, nuts, and dried fruits.

Homemade snacks save you money and give you control over the ingredients, allowing for healthier options.

17. Buy Dry Goods

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Dry goods like beans, rice, and pasta are essential pantry staples that can stretch your budget. They are often cheaper than their canned or pre-made counterparts and will last longer in your pantry – plus, you can buy them in bulk to save even more money.

But make sure not to overbuy and end up with a surplus, as these items have expiration dates, too.

With some planning and creativity, dry goods can be used in various meals and add bulk to your dishes without breaking the bank.

18. Shop Late

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Timing is everything. Some grocery stores may offer discounts on fresh items like meat, produce, or baked goods towards closing time to clear out inventory.

This is your chance to get discounted quality ingredients – just make sure to use or freeze them before they go bad.

19. Buy Whole Foods

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Pre-cut vegetables, shredded cheese, or packaged snacks seem convenient but have a higher price tag.

Don't forget – you are paying for the processing and packaging costs. Instead, opt for whole foods that require more preparation but will save you money in the long run.

Whole foods also tend to be healthier and can provide more nutrients, making them a win-win for your budget and health.

20. Barter with Friends

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Last but not least – a fun way to save on groceries – barter with friends!

If your friends or family grow produce or make homemade goods, trade your homegrown items or skills for theirs. This saves you money and allows you to try new foods and support each other's hobbies.

Plus, it's fun and can build a stronger relationship with your loved ones.

Ways to Save Money On Groceries

Grocery Store Saving
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There are many ways to save money on groceries during inflation. All you have to do is to be creative and mindful of your purchases, and you'll be on your way to a more budget-friendly grocery shopping experience. So, consider these tips next time you're at the store and see how they can benefit your wallet and the environment.

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