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Cost of Living Crisis: How to Cope with Rising Food Prices in 2023

Learn how to deal with rising food prices in 2023 with Consolidation Expert. Discover strategies for affordable shopping, meal planning, and budgeting.

A concerned woman looking at her food.

In 2023 the cost of food skyrocketed, with the annual inflation rates between March and April being the highest seen in over 45 years, according to the Office of National Statistics. This has caused around half (49%) of adults to report that they’re buying less when they’re food shopping just to keep within their budget.

In the face of these challenging circumstances, exploring effective ways to cope with the higher food prices has become ever more important. This article aims to provide you with practical tips you can use to navigate the turbulent new landscape of rising food costs, so you can strike a balance between managing your expenses and a healthy diet.

Important note:

It is not only food prices that have increased in 2023. Energy prices have also been rising and have caused many people to fall into financial difficulty. If you have been affected by the recent cost of living crisis, Consolidation Expert may be able to help. If you have multiple unsecured debts, a consolidation loan could help you to combine them into one affordable monthly payment.

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Representative Example: Borrowing £15,000 over 60 months, repaying £355.28 per month, total repayable £21,316.57.

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Why are food prices going up?

According to The Guardian, the main reasons why we are seeing a rise in the price of food in the UK is because of high energy costs and supply chain disruption set off by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They also state that rising labour costs, bad harvests and Brexit trade barriers have also had an effect. This has resulted in inflated food prices, leaving many Brits unsure about how to shop on a new budget.

When will food prices go down?

It’s difficult to tell when food prices will decrease, as prices can fluctuate due to various factors. Rather than waiting for prices to go down, it’s better to focus on steps you can take to cope with the current situation, which we will cover in this article.

Meal Planning

One way you could reduce the cost of your shop is by meal planning. Planning your meals in advance can not only save you money but also reduce the amount you waste.

01. Plan ahead:

Planning ahead and only taking one trip to the shop a week can reduce impulse buying, so you’re only buying items you know are necessary.

02. Make a grocery list:

Create a well-organised grocery list based on your meal plan. Stick to it while shopping to avoid impulsive purchases.

03. Bulk cooking and meal prepping:

Dedicate some time on weekends or days off to prepare larger batches of meals. This approach saves time and money and helps you to avoid impulse ordering expensive takeaways.

Our Expert's comment on how meal planning could save you money:

Financial Expert Andrew Hagger.

Meal planning may be a great tool for people looking to optimise their shopping expenses. By carefully mapping out your meals in advance, you gain the ability to create a well-thought-out grocery list, which can reduce food waste and avoid unnecessary impulse purchases. This strategic approach can help lower the overall price of your shopping, resulting in significant savings over time.

— Andrew Hagger, at Consolidation Expert.

Smart Shopping Tips

Changing the way you shop can have an impact on how much you spend each grocery trip. Consider the following tips to make the most of your grocery shopping.

01. Research and compare prices:

Research and compare prices of different grocery stores online before you go out. You may find that there are cheaper alternatives to the supermarket you usually go to, which could save you a lot of money. Also, sometimes, the same item may be cheaper in a different store, so it’s always worth checking!

02. Utilise discounts, coupons, and loyalty programs:

Check online to see if any discounts, coupons, or loyalty programmes are available at your chosen supermarket. You will often get discounts on products if you sign up for the store’s app, which is usually free to do and can save a lot of money on your weekly shop.

03. Shop during sales or take advantage of seasonal produce:

Keep an eye out for sales and discounts on items you regularly buy. Additionally, seasonal produce tends to be more affordable.

04. Consider buying in bulk:

Buying in bulk can be a great way to reduce the cost of your shopping. However, this can only be done with non-perishable food, as you don’t want to risk it expiring before you get to eat it!

05. Explore local markets and farmers' markets:

Shopping at a farmer’s market supports the local community and could bag you fresher and cheaper options than at the supermarket.

Growing Your Own Food

For those with the time and space, growing your own food can be extremely cost-effective. Consider these tips to start your small garden.

01. Gardening for self-sufficiency:

Reduce your reliance on store-bought produce by growing your own. You can do this even if you don’t have a garden by growing your own herbs on your kitchen windowsill or balcony.

02. Other Benefits of home gardening:

Apart from cost savings, home gardening promotes sustainability and spending time outdoors can positively affect your mental health.

Minimise Food Waste

Reducing food waste is not only environmentally responsible but also helps stretch your food budget. Consider these practical tips to minimise waste:

01. Smart storage:

Using airtight containers or freezing your food can help them stay fresh for longer, so you can get the most out of your purchases.

02. Repurposing leftovers:

Get creative with leftovers by incorporating them into new meals. For example, leftover roast chicken can be used in sandwiches or salads, or you could repurpose spaghetti bolognese into a chilli con carne by adding kidney beans and chilli powder.

03. Using all parts of ingredients:

Utilising all parts of your ingredients can be a great way to make the most of your ingredients. For example, you could make a broth or stock with vegetable or meat scraps, so you won’t have to buy any stock cubes.

While increasing food prices can cause difficulties, there are still a number of ways you can tackle the issue. Meal planning, smart shopping, growing your own food, and minimising waste can all help you to adjust to the new prices whilst keeping to your budget. You should always be prepared for the state of the market to change and food prices to fluctuate, so these tips can help you to modify your shopping habits as necessary.

If you’re struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, and have multiple unsecured debts, contact us at Consolidation Expert. We work with a panel of lenders who offer consolidation loans, which could transform your debts into one affordable monthly payment – Our lenders consider a wide range of credit scores!

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