Price hikes and inflation: How to spend wisely -and where.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and ongoing shortages and food insecurities, it is not a surprise it has caused an inflation, in which some food items have increased in price – some of which have increased sharply. I will be doing a blog on how to spend wisely on food and other essentials.

I have decided to do a blog after a shopper in Auckland was shocked to find a watermelon selling for just over a hundred dollars. I like spending a lot on clothes, fashion, experiences and hobby material and even collectibles – but spending $100 on a single non-organic grocery item is just too much. Despite owning a Moncler jacket (which my mum kindly bought for me) that is over $2300, I find spending $100 on a single basic grocery item to be excessive and unnecessary. Basic essential items should never cost that much, especially for a single item.

Spending one hundred dollars on an out of season watermelon isn’t wise at all. It is just a fruit – nothing special about it. It’s not like eating food covered in real edible gold, or drinking expensive cognac. It is also most likely inorganic as well. With one hundred dollars, you could be doing a bungy jump, or you could buy a Pandora charm or a nice clothing item or even spend it on hospitality – eat out and support businesses. Or better, you could be putting that money aside to accumulate and save up to by a high end luxury item, like, a Moncler jacket or any other designer item for instance.

Here are some handy tips for avoiding buying overpriced essentials and groceries, especially those that have spiked in price, in addition to overspending at the supermarket.

  • Before writing down what you want to buy, decide what you want to make for dinner, lunch or breakfast – and jot down the ingredients that you need but you don’t have.
  • Write down a list of things that you want to want or need to buy, and strictly, stick to that list. You can do this by either using a pen and a paper, or an app.
  • Go to a supermarket close to you – and check the prices before putting the item in your trolley. If the item seems too expensive for what it is, it is likely the price has increased. Look for the same item that is cheaper by looking for a different brand of the same product or go to another supermarket.
  • Look for discounted items at the supermarket – try to buy things on discount.
  • If you have a garden, utilize it! Growing your own fruits, herbs, mushrooms and vegetables are not only fun to do, but will save you heaps in terms of money. It also can save your health, as many supermarket produce will potentially contain pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
  • Better yet, try to eat out, and support hospitality and tourism businesses. They will thank you for this, and you will feel good about not buying an overpriced grocery item.
  • If you want to save petrol (and it’s wise to do so also given the increasing prices), then check out the price on groceries online in each supermarket, and then make notes so you can compare.
  • Go to the farmers market if you can. You’ll get better value for the price, and farmers market food are often organic and spray free.
  • Additional bonus: If a supermarket is near you, either walk, rollerblade or cycle in order to keep costs down. Petrol is also expensive. But be careful on the road – use common sense if doing so, because medical bills from an accident can also be costly!

How to make a shopping list.

There’s the old-fashioned way of pen-on-paper method where you just write down what you need to buy. But in this day and age, where technology is prevalent, and given that pen and paper is not the most environmentally friendly way of making shopping lists (given that more people are become aware about the impacts they have on the environment – and the other problem as well is that you would have to buy note pads once you run out of them – which would add to your costs as well), you would want to be using apps to create a shopping list. And the good news? Unlike buying paper and notepads from a stationery store, using an app to create a shopping list is completely free! Well, depending on the app and the plan you’re on, of course. Make sure you use a free app and that you’re on a free plan.

If you are banned from using or processing a phone and/or accessing the internet by a court order, or are unable to use one for medical, financial or any other reason, then there is of course, this option of pen and paper available. There are other ways to save money as an alternative to make up for the notepad, such as going to the supermarket by foot or cycle.

Here are some apps that are good to use:

Notion.

Notion is an app with lots of features for different purposes, and with notion you can create a planner and a list of what you want and/or need to buy. The best part? Notion now allows for unlimited pages!

Download Notion here or sign up for an account here

Whisk.

Whisk is a great app that allows you to create and save recipes, and plan out shopping lists. It also allows you to plan what you want to cook for lunch, dinner or breakfast. This app is completely free, best of all!

Download Whisk here or sign up for an account here

Listonic.

Listonic is an app that is designed for shopping lists. Listonic is completely free, but there is an option for upgrading if you want to be ad free. I am on the free plan, as I’m OK with ads.

Download the app here or sign up for an account here

Yummly

Yummly is also a good site for finding recipes, and it also comes with a meal planner as well. Yummly is free for most features, but there is a pro plan as well if you want all the features.

Download the app here or sign up for an account here

Remember, once you have your favorite recipe, be sure to save them on a site like Pinterest, whisk or Yummly, then print the recipe out and laminate it and store the recipe away neatly in a place you can easily find it.

Remember, we are still in tough times. This pandemic will continue to go on for some time – and it is inevitable that food prices will rise and it is expected due to a bad economy, shortages and inflation. However, this does not mean you need to spend a lot at the supermarket – in fact you don’t. With the right plans on hand, including notes and how you are going to get there, you will be well prepared to do grocery shopping without spending excessively at a supermarket. Buy only what you need, consider going on foot or cycling, and then you will be free to either save up money for an experience or a luxury or a collectors item, or spend it on something you desire – and be happy! But one thing is for certain – if you see a single basic food item selling for $100, don’t buy it. These are basic essentials, and they do not need to be priced that high, under any circumstance.

Blog cover photo by Tech Daily on Unsplash

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