I still get a shock every time I get to the cash register of a supermarket. It’s not too bad for me- I’m single and therefore be pretty flexible. But families at the supermarket must be suffering big time- a half full trolley can easily amount to over $150. Some staples have spiked in price, so here are some suggestions, inspired by MSN Money, about possible alternatives.
You know things are rough when the staple of the Irish Famine start going up in price. Potatoes are a big part of our diet, so think about buying in bulk. Buy a 20 kilo bag and store them in a cool dark place so they last longer. You’ll always end up using them, and it will mitigate the increased cost a little.
My father and brothers feel it is not a meal if meat is not involved, but everyone’s diets have had to change since the increase in costs. So go meatless 2-3 a week. It’s not a tough decision in the long run; you’ll be healthier and you’ll save a lot of money. MSN Money suggests a yearly saving of around $624 for a family of four. Vegetarian cooking is not the boring spinach and lentils of yesteryear, so get a good cookbook and give it a go.
Buy in bulk and freeze. I don’t like freezing things, but it’s a necessity. Bacon defrosts quickly and isn’t adversely affected by the whole process, so why not investigate some meal wholesalers and get into it with a bunch of friends if you’re that into your Saturday morning fry-up?
Milk has become an expensive luxury. Once, unthinkingly, we would throw back glass after glass of the delicacy. Not anymore. Nowadays, we have to limit what we chuck our milk onto. Decide what you could not go without- milk in your tea, milk on your morning bowl of porridge, milk in your scones. Other than that, use water or powdered alternatives. Or even try reducing how much dairy you consume in your diet, your health will thank you for it.
If you’re snooty about your olive oil, now is the time to take yourself down a couple of notches. I’m with you- I love beautiful organic extra extra extra virgin olive oil, but my budget really won’t allow for it. Use lower grade vegetable oil and buy a large container and just funnel it into your usual bottle. That way people won’t even know you’re not using something imported by hand from Italy.
Get into your local grocers markets and get something that has just been laid. You can be sure that it’s organic, that it’s fresh, you’ll be supporting local business and you might end up getting some pretty sweet deals.
Personally, I can’t go anywhere without a bowl of porridge in the morning. So the rise in price of toasted oats is something that irks me deeply. So I’ve started my search for the tastiest of store-brand oats. I would encourage all others to do so as well, so we can compare notes and find the El Dorado of Oats.