Dave Ramsey Has This Advice for Saving on Groceries During Inflation

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KEY POINTS

  • Inflation has been driving food costs upward.
  • If you're struggling with higher-than-average grocery bills, here are some ways to spend less.


It pays to take it to heart.

Recently, I went to the supermarket to load up on a handful of items, and when I glanced at my receipt, I almost gasped out loud. In fact, I probably did utter some sort of sound, because the person at the self-checkout lane next to mine looked at me funny.

I'd gone in to purchase a loaf of bread, a bag of romaine lettuce, baby carrots, a box of cereal, and a few yogurts. In normal times, that would've been a $15 credit card charge, tops. But alas, these are not normal times. Rather, we're living in an age of rampant inflation, and so my total tab came to a very shocking $21.

If you've been struggling with expensive grocery bills, you're in good company. But that doesn't make the situation easier.

What may make it easier, however, are these tips from financial expert Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is not a fan of consumer debt, and so he's invested in helping shoppers find ways to save so as not to accrue debt in the course of putting food on the table. If you've had it with soaring supermarket bills, it pays to take these pointers to heart.

1. Identify low-cost grocery stores -- and start paying them a visit

Whole Foods may have a great selection of organic produce, but let's face it -- there's a reason it's earned the nickname "Whole Paycheck." (And that was before grocery prices started climbing.) If you're eager to save money on groceries, start shopping at stores that are known for their lower price points -- think Walmart, Aldi, and Trader Joe's.

Another option? Take advantage of your Costco membership. Or, sign up for a membership if you think the savings you'll reap will justify your $60 outlay, which is the cost of a basic membership. I do a lot of shopping at Costco and save a good $20 a week on produce alone, so my membership easily pays for itself.

2. Look for foods that are cheap and filling

Pasta, beans, and rice may not be the most exciting items to pull off the supermarket shelf. But they're filling and cheap, and they're also adaptable to different meals. You could have a taco night, or toss chicken into some pasta for a reasonably healthy meal. Loading up on low-cost staples is a smart bet right now, even if it means having to cook in large batches and eat leftovers.

3. Only buy items you need

You might enjoy loading up on things like fruits and vegetables, and they're unquestionably good for you. But that doesn't mean you have to buy the fanciest items at the store. If apples are $1.99 a pound and mangoes are $3.99 a pound, don't buy the mangoes.

Similarly, you might enjoy your share of baked goods -- I know I sure do. But it doesn't make sense to pay $12 for a store-bought brownie platter when you can buy a mix and whip up your own for $4 or less.

4. Go big on coupons

Couponing may not be the coolest practice out there, but if your goal is to save money, then it's worth doing. Most supermarkets post coupons online these days, so even if their circulars don't land in your driveway, you can still benefit from sale items. And if you have a store card, you can generally load your coupons digitally so as to not have to worry about bringing them or losing them.

It may be months before food costs drop to more moderate levels. In the meantime, follow these Ramsey tips to save yourself some money -- and stress -- at a time when groceries are almost unbearably expensive.

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