While inflation prices have been steadily declining over the last year, you (and your wallet) have probably noticed the one place where prices seem to keep rising: the grocery store. Grocery prices have continued to rise, and according to analysts, the prices aren't going to decline anytime soon.

 

IcemanJ
IcemanJ
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Stop Eating Out

Fast Food prices, which have long offered a value option for many to get food on the go for cheap, have seen prices rise dramatically over the past couple of years. Infamously, McDonald's was recently seen selling a single hashbrown for 3 dollars. That is ridiculously expensive for something so small, especially considering you can buy an entire bag of potatoes for nearly the same price. The Wendy's $4 for 4 has been abolished, and Big Macs are now $18 in some areas. Eating out is just not economical.

 

Fast food big lunch set of tasty hamburger, french fries, paper coffee cups, brown paper bag and box on the table on white brick wall background.
igoriss
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Stop wasting your money on cheap food and start packing/preparing your food ahead. Meal prep gives you the ability to prepare your food ahead of time to have it ready for wherever you go while saving money by getting multiple uses out of the same meal. Here is a quick guide on how to start meal prepping, as well as some foods to prep well.

One Reddit user said it best:

As weird as it is to say, I am glad they upped the prices.

A display of four meal prepped dishes
Photo by S'well on Unsplash
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Bread Is Bread, No Matter the Shape

This was the most interesting recommendation I came across. This thread on Reddit started when someone noticed that hamburger buns were significantly cheaper than a loaf of bread for only a little less amount in the bag ($1.70 for 14oz and $3.79 for 20oz).

Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash
Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash
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This created a bit of a snowball effect of people revealing their bread-alternates. Here are the two main ones:

 

Tortilla Shells: Cheap with less sugar and carbs, I love using tortillas for sandwiches and have no issue using them as a bread replacement. Reddit user SinkPhaze listed off all the various meals you can make with tortilla shells ranging from tuna salad to chili taco. Tortilla shells have lots of range. 

 

Bread Maker: Many many people discussed getting a bread maker and making their own dough. The ingredients for bread for cheap and can be bought in bulk. Bread makers can be expensive, however many of the users on this thread said they thrifted bread makers for $10. It would be worth looking into! Here is one woman's recipe for creating the perfect loaf of bread.

Bonus: that dough can make great pizza dough as well.

 

Photo by D. L. Samuels on Unsplash
Photo by D. L. Samuels on Unsplash
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Freeze Your Food

One such item you can look into freezing is bread. Putting your meal prep, bread, or other leftovers in the freezer preserves it for extended periods. This allows you to get long-term use out of one item, even if you are only using it periodically.

 

Some of the best foods to freeze according to the Food Network are fruits, vegetables, herbs, soups (chili, stews, etc), baked pasta, bread, rolls, flour tortillas, and pizza dough (!!! Remember me mentioning that?). These all freeze and stay good, keeping them fresh much longer than just putting them on the counter or in the fridge.

 

 

Frozen berries and vegetables in bags in freezer close up
lyulka
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Use The Flashfood App

The first thing I do when I pick something up to buy it is to check the expiration date on said item. Nothing makes me more upset than owning something for two days only to find it has already gone bad. But have you ever wondered what happens to food that doesn't get bought?

 

Freezers that you'd find in the "Flashfood Zone"
Freezers that you'd find in the "Flashfood Zone" / from Flashfood
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The Flashfood App is an app where stores post food items about to pass their sell-by or expiration dates and sell them for a steep discount. These items are placed in a specific Flashfood freezer usually located at the front of the store where users can view what is currently in the freezer, which can be pricey items like beef, and shoppers can purchase the items directly through the app.

 

This app is currently only available in certain markets, so you click here to see if it is around you. (For Michiganders: Flashfood is in Meijer!)

 

Utilize Food Banks

My last tip is one you may already know about or maybe doing but is one that people may not consider. Go to your local food bank!  You won't find gourmet meals by any means, but what you will find are staple items like pasta, canned meats, vegetables, rice, etc that can be kept for extended periods and can be used in many different meals.

 

The foods given out at food banks are given out for a reason. You do usually need to have a certain income to apply for a food bank, however, so it is important to research your local food bank to see if you are eligible.

 

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
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You Should Never Put These Foods in the Refrigerator

New West Michigan Restaurants

Nearly 40 new restaurants, including authentic Mexican eateries, breakfast joints, pizza places, and Boba shops have opened in West Michigan in the past year.

How many have you been to?

Gallery Credit: Janna

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