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8 Ways to Overcome Rising Food Prices
Everywhere I turn I see and hear things about the rising costs of food. Groceries are getting very expensive. In fact, they are expected to double in 2011 alone. There are many reasons, but to sum them up it is because of the increasing costs of oil and weather problems that are wiping out crops all over the world. There isn't much we can do about the weather, and I know that I personally can't do anything about the oil prices either. Fortunately there are things that you can do, starting right now, that will help you beat the rising grocery prices.
- Produce more of your own food. I already garden extensively, but I know that I can do more. Everyone can do more. You can start growing herbs in a sunny window in your apartment, you can grow salad fixings on the porch and you can replace flower gardens with vegetable gardens. You should also think about growing some perennial fruits and vegetables too.
- Become less dependent on the grocery store. Growing your own food will help in this area, but you should also try to find local sources for more of your food. The food is typically better for you, tastes better, and doesn't require nearly as much oil to get to your table. If consumers are not so dependent on oil, then maybe the prices will drop.
- Create a stockpile. Start thinking long term about your food, not just what you are eating this week. By stocking up on foods when they are on sale you will keep your grocery costs down in the long run. Plus, if there is a shortage of food you will have enough on hand to last awhile until the crisis is over.
- Take advantage of sales. Regardless of how high food prices get, there will still be sales and coupons. When something you use goes on sale (make sure it is a great one) buy as much as you feasibly can fit in your home and your budget. Check expiration dates and don't get so many that they will expire though.
- Think outside the box. Try bartering for food or household supplies if you don't have time to clip coupons and shop the sales. As the recession deepens, bartering is coming back into favor and people are becoming more and more willing to do it. I know two people that trade home baked bread for piano lessons. Both parties are very happy with this arrangement.
- Shop online for food. Just like grocery stores have loss leaders to get you into the store to shop, online retailers do the same thing. I have gotten some amazing deals on Amazon in the past - prices well below what I can get locally.
- Learn to make more of your own food. Knowing how to cook from scratch will make you less vulnerable to rising costs and possible food shortages. Cooking from scratch also saves a lot of money over prepackaged convenience foods.
- Consume less. Americans typically overeat every single day. One of the quickest ways to save money on food costs is to eat less.