How to reduce the impact of food inflation on your budget – The Manila Times

IF you've been to the wet market and grocery store recently, you may have noticed that the prices of some of your favorite items have gone up. This is due to a phenomenon known as food inflation, and it's a problem that's affecting countries all over the world — including the Philippines.
Food inflation is defined as a sustained increase in the prices of food items. It can be caused by a number of factors, including the rise in fuel prices, the weakening of local currencies, and bad weather conditions that disrupt the supply of food.
The effects of food inflation are far-reaching, and can be felt by virtually everyone in a society. For example, consider a family of four who spends P10,000 on groceries per month. If food prices rise by 10 percent, that same basket of groceries will now cost the family P11,000 per month — an extra P1,000 that they have to find a way to pay for.
Families are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, and many are cutting back on spending in other areas in order to afford basic necessities. The situation is worsened by the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, leaving many workers feeling increasingly insecure about their finances.
While the government has taken steps to address food inflation, such as providing subsidies for certain staples, more needs to be done to protect Filipino families from the effects of this ongoing crisis.
Of course, it's not just families who are affected by food inflation; businesses are impacted as well. Restaurants and other food-service establishments typically have to raise their prices when ingredients become more expensive. This often leads to a situation where people cut back on eating out, as they can get more bang for their buck by cooking at home.
With prices expected to continue rising in the coming months, it's important to be aware of the ways you can save money on food and groceries. Here are a few tips:
1. Plan your meals. Planning your meals in advance can help you save money on groceries. When you know what you're going to eat for the week, you can buy only the ingredients you need and avoid wasting food.
2. Make a list. Making a list before you go grocery shopping can also help you stick to your budget. Once you're at the store, resist the temptation to buy things that are not on your list.
3. Compare prices. When buying food items, take the time to compare prices and choose the cheaper option. Buy generic or store brands instead of name brands.
4. Shop at cheaper stores. Not all supermarkets are created equal — some offer lower prices than others. If you're on a tight budget, consider doing your grocery shopping at a cheaper store.
5. Buy in bulk. If you have the storage space, buying in bulk can help you save money in the long run. This is especially true for items that are non-perishable and have a long shelf life. When items are on sale, stock up so that you don't have to pay full price later on.
6. Take advantage of discounts. Keep an eye out for discounts and promotions at your favorite stores. If you know a sale is coming up, stock up on items that you use regularly.
7. Pay in cash. If you're trying to stick to a budget, it's best to pay for your groceries in cash. This way, you won't be tempted to overspend beyond your means.
8. Cook at home. Eating out can be expensive, so cooking at home can help you save money. With a little planning, you can make delicious meals that are just as good as, if not better than what you would get in a restaurant.
9. Grow your own food. If you have some space in your backyard or balcony, consider growing your own food. This can be a great way to get fresh produce at a fraction of the cost.
10. Avoid wasting food. Wasting food is not only bad for your wallet — it's also bad for the environment. When you are meal planning, make sure to take into account the amount of food you actually need so that nothing goes to waste.
No one likes paying more for their groceries but unfortunately, with food inflation on the rise, it's something that we may all have to get used to for now. However, by making small changes to the way you shop for food and groceries and taking steps like planning your meals in advance and cooking at home more often, you can make sure that your family has enough to eat — no matter what the cost of food may be.
Janice Sabitsana is a graduate of the Registered Financial Planner program and is the host of www.thepinayinvestor.com blog. To learn more about personal-financial planning, attend the 98th RFP program in October 2022. To inquire, email [email protected] or text at 0917-6248110.

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