6 Easy Steps to Combating Food Inflation – Get Ready!
Avoid the Food Fight:
Here’s How to Hedge against Grocery Store Inflation
In a manner of speaking, there is now one central fixed truth in the U.S. economy that you can hang your financial hat on. There will be no restraint in growing government – not even token restraint. The last election settled that question.Which means that Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve absolutely must step up its already considerable efforts to conjure up trillions of new currency units (dollars) to help the U.S. Treasury make ends meet.
Destructive new investment bubbles will be forming throughout the U.S. economy. Which makes some assets soar and others not.
When many think of inflation, they define it as a wage-price spiral. That’s what the Fed is on the lookout for. But, of course, inflation takes many forms. In the 1990s it was real estate and technology. Today those inflationary bubbles are appearing to be the stock market itself, healthcare costs, and most definitely food.
2013 and beyond will be an era of inflation – especially with regard to food prices.
You might have noticed milk costs more. Eggs, vegetables, meat, and cereal are also going up. Much of this is due to government intervention, regulation, and meddling. Washington is messing with your food. Just like when they mess with finances, no one will come out ahead but them.
Shrinking Package Sizes
You may have noticed one disturbing trend which shows that food inflation has been here for some time, even if government statistics are not designed to measure it. Which is the widespread practice of shrinking package sizes.You may not have noticed that sugar now comes in a 4 lb. bag, instead of the long-time standard 5 lb. size. Some chocolatiers are currently selling chocolate chips in 10 oz. bags, instead of the regular 12 oz. size. Manufacturers are ‘helping’ us fight food inflation by reducing the package sizes. These examples go on and on.
Food producers have gotten away with this, and few have noticed. That’s because most shoppers only look at the price but not the weight of the food they buy. Reduced package size doesn’t reduce the amount you eat. It does, however, keep you from shifting your buying habits. After all, you might not realize you bought less food.
If packages stayed standard, you would change your purchasing habits. Food manufacturers are betting you won’t catch on – as most people don’t pay attention while wandering the aisles of their local store.
Combat Food Inflation with These Six Tips
Ultimately, what can you do? You have to eat and let’s face it, we’re a nation that’s been super-sized. Our waistlines, our wallets, and our wanton appetites are huge!So now let’s deal with my specialty – solutions. With just six simple steps, you can avoid the food fight and take control. It’s much easier – and less painful – than what’s happening in Washington.
Be Aware. Package sizes are shrinking. Knowing this empowers you to make buying choices. Too often you probably go to the store and grab what looks good. Observe for just a moment to notice the sizes and prices of your purchases. Avoid conventional supermarkets and buy in larger quantities through such retail outlets as BJs or Sam’s Club.
Plan. Take 30 quick minutes and decide what you’re going to eat each week. Write it down, or put it in your phone. Then purchase just those items. You’ll be amazed at how much you save by not buying impulse items. To save even more, use the flier from your local market and plan your meals around their sales.
Stock Up. Make a list of 5-7 favorite meals and write down the ingredients. Keep that list in your phone, or on a piece of paper in your wallet. Then stock up on those items.
Create Extra Cash. When something you regularly use is on sale, buy an extra one. Refer to the list you made above. Use the money you save from not buying impulse items to pay for these extras. Or forgo that grande latte from Starbucks every day and get one just twice a week. The $10-$20 you save can be used to buy extra soup, chicken, or even shampoo. Stock up on sale items and store them in your pantry. Meats, cheese, and even milk will keep well in your freezer.
Rotate. Use the first items you buy before later purchases. It’s easy to keep track if you use a permanent marker to write the month and year on everything.
Stock up on razors, toilet paper, and other staple products that keep forever. You can always use these items so buying them now while they are cheaper is a smart forward strategy in an inflationary environment.
By buying a few extra items, you’ll be ahead of the game as food prices rise. You can continue to save money by buying most everything on sale because you’ll already have a pantry with food you use.