How to Beat Inflation at Home
Inflation can be a silent budget killer. It causes everything to go up, from your groceries to your gas, as the purchasing power of money decreases. Try these tips to hold onto more of your money.
Get organized and plan ahead – Meal planning is a simple way to get better at grocery shopping. Look at your calendar and plan for the nights you’ll be home and the days you or the kids will need to bring lunch to work or school. See what ingredients you already have in the cupboard or refrigerator, so you don’t buy duplicates. Find recipes that use the same ingredients. For example, that whole roasted chicken can be used for tacos one night and as leftovers for soup or in a salad later that week.
Buy items in bulk – Despite the higher cost at the register, buying bulk products can help you save money when what you purchase is less expensive per unit than smaller packages. Stick with products that have a good shelf life that you like and use on a regular basis. We often frequent the local Costco to stock up on household products, school lunch items, and meats. When I get home, I separate the meat into 1-pound packages and put them in the freezer for a future meal.
In addition to a lower cost per unit, other benefits of shopping in bulk include fewer shopping trips and less packaging.
Be mindful when you run your appliances – Run your dishwasher and washer/dryer during off-peak hours, if possible. In my home, I avoid using electricity during the peak hours of 4pm to 9pm. By programming my appliances to do their jobs in the early morning hours and using Smart Plugs and Ohm Connect, I have been able to cut my energy bill by 10%.
Batch your errands – Reduce your total mileage driven on errands around town by consolidating those excursions whenever possible. Instead of hitting the grocery store today, the home improvement store tomorrow, and the post office the following day, set aside a weekend afternoon (or weekday if your work schedule allows) to get them all done at once.
Purchase used items – There are also lots of ways to purchase used furniture, home goods, or clothing at a steep discount. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or NextDoor are great places to find items being sold locally. Join your local Buy Nothing Group to search for or share used items for free.
I hope that you find these tips useful. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.