In these uncertain times, rising unemployment rates in the tech and entertainment industries have affected many of us, including our loved ones. As companies lay off employees and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike disrupts the entertainment industry, finding ways to save money on groceries has become essential.
Gone are the days when we could easily predict grocery costs and have extra cash to spare. The increasing prices have left us feeling financial strain, whether we live alone, with a partner, or have a family (fur kids count too!).
The thing is, when times get tough, it's crucial to pivot to a budget, or as I like to call it, a "financial wellness plan,” that aligns with rising prices and helps cut costs. However, it's important to strike a balance and avoid excessive cutbacks that create a sense of scarcity, hindering our ability to feel safe and tap into our creativity.
Instead of solely focusing on restrictions, let's explore how we can live a wondrous life without breaking the bank.
What activities bring out your creativity and playfulness?
For me, it's music. I put on my favorite tunes by Harry Styles and dance around to songs like “As It Was” and “Daylight”, instantly feeling like I've won the day.
So let’s take back control of rising grocery costs and develop your own financial wellness plan. Get ready to embrace a more fulfilling and financially abundant lifestyle!
How To Take Back Control of Rising Grocery Costs
Your Financial Wellness Plan
Are you ready to save money on your next grocery run? Let’s talk about 3 simple shifts you can make!
1. Shop smart
When you keep track of your spending habits, you can make sure you don't overextend and end up scratching your head each month wondering what happened. Get the most out of your money and avoid overspending on unnecessary items
Create a digital checklist of your groceries. Make it on a notes app on your phone so you have it handy while you’re shopping. This is a visual inventory of what you need now vs. what can wait for later.
Check your fridge and pantry before shopping so you can confidently know what you need, and avoid guessing at the store.
Remember: just because it’s a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the little things. So budget for special occasions and treats — Because your financial wellness plan should include playfulness and delight.
Things to keep in mind while shopping:
- Don’t buy big-name brands — store brands are just as good
- Buy in bulk (when it makes sense) — you can usually save a few dollars this way
- Use coupons and the supermarket loyalty card — take advantage of those discounts
- Shop seasonally — they’re always lower cost compared to out-of-season produce
- Shop around — some shops have lower prices compared to others
2. Rethink meals
Get creative and host a potluck or start a recipe exchange with friends. We can’t always depend on this so on other days try the following:
- Plan & prep meals — You’ll avoid overspending on impulse buys.
- Eat less meat — Although I’m mostly plan-based, you don’t need to cut it out completely but it’ll keep that wallet happy!
- Cook more — takeout and eating out can be costly
- That includes packing a lunch, minimizing prepared foods and snacks
- Hydrate with water — skip soda or juice, though having a Spindrift once in a while is an excellent choice if you want some flavor.
3. Create a garden
Growing your own food can save you a trip to the grocery store and your money. Even though it’ll take some time to grow, you’ll be greatly rewarded with fresh produce for your meals.If you have limited space, start your own container garden or grow herbs on your windowsill. I LOVE my friend’s company, Back to the Roots, for creating super easy ways for us to garden in our homes.
Every situation is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. I’ve been a mentor for the Violence Intervention Project and ImagineLA, which empowers formerly homeless families to stay out of homelessness, and through those mentorship roles, here are a few ways to create abundance for yourself and get yourself out of scarcity mode, and the bottom rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is food, water, air, and shelter:
By shopping smart, rethinking meals, and starting a garden, you can achieve financial wellness on a tight budget.
Let's navigate these challenges and embrace abundant possibilities.