Alicia Nelson-Bell, HCHC
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
Will your holiday meals look the same this year? Inflation has been hitting everyone to some level or another these last few months. One area that we have all been noticing the effects of inflation is at the grocery store, making it harder and harder to stick to our grocery budgets and our overall budget. As of July of this year, grocery prices have increased an average of 13.5%. Because of this, you may be wondering if it is possible to still have the same caliber of holiday meal and celebration.
In addition to divvying up food responsibilities among all the guests, there are some other simple things you can do at the grocery store to keep holiday meals from busting your budget even with the high inflation. Like with any type of holiday shopping, it is important to take an inventory of what you already have and plan out what you still need to buy so you can make your shopping experience most purposeful and not have to make as many trips to the grocery store (which is an opportunity for impulse buys). Today we are going to focus on the power of buying generic brand items for your meals this holiday season.
Up to 50% Savings at the Grocery Store? Yep, you read that right. There’s a simple way to save up to 50% at the grocery store without using coupons or the weekly ads (which I still love doing :)). This simple way can help you still have an enjoyable and tasty holiday season this year without really sacrificing any of the fixings, even despite inflation. This simple tip, which is one of the action items for this month in the 2022 Finance Calendar, is simply buying generic at the grocery store this holiday season.
Something not commonly known is that many of the store/generic brand items are produced with the same ingredients and even in the same production facilities. This means that most of the time you won’t taste or notice much of a difference other than the packaging. I understand that there are some things that you will notice a difference in taste that you may want to stick with the name brand on, but like I mentioned, even going generic on some of your grocery items can save you a good chunk of money. If your family were to switch out some of the ingredients in some of your meals, each week you could save around $20 or around $80 a month. Over the course of the year this would be a little more than $1,000 just by making this simple switch.
Below you will see a price comparison chart for most of the items that are known as typical “fixings” for a holiday meal. As you can see, even small savings on individual items can add up to be pretty noticeable. The example below shows a savings of around $20 by purchasing generic or store brand items rather than name brand. Continue these habits throughout the year for a simple way to see savings add up at the grocery store!
Example below may not reflect prices in your area:
PRO TIP: To see the greatest savings, look above and below the typical eye level, since stores strategically put the most expensive brand products at eye level.
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