Written by Jim Loscheider (Elder and Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach) on October 1, 2023.
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
Are you tired of seeing these types of headlines?
So am I.
What’s the solution? For us as followers of Jesus Christ, Pray First.
Yes, commit everything to the Lord and ask Him for His direction. He will guide you and direct you. Here’s just a few verses on prayer:
- Colossians 4:2: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
- Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
- Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”• Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
So much more could be said, but prayer changes things! I love this thought on prayer from Corrie ten Boom: “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
Following prayer, it’s time to engage in what you can do with what you have. Here are some practical ideas from our friends at Ramsey Solutions to hit back at inflation and the higher costs we are all facing with groceries alone.
You don’t have to make elaborate dinners every night; simple meals like BLTs, omelets, or salads are perfectly fine. Consider having breakfast for dinner to save money and time, and remember that kids enjoy it too. Embrace these changes to reduce guilt and grocery expenses while gaining more free time.
Crunch some numbers while you shop
Keep a running tally of your cart’s total with your phone’s calculator to avoid surprises at checkout. This will help you reconsider unnecessary expenses like expensive sparkling water that’s not on sale.
Round up your grocery cost estimates
A clever money-saving tip: Round up the prices of items as you shop with a calculator, turning $1.49 into $2, and so on. This small adjustment helps you stay within budget and pleasantly surprises you at checkout.
Raid your pantry
Get creative by using ingredients you already have in your pantry or fridge to create meals. You don’t always need to buy more groceries when you can utilize items like frozen chicken thighs, black beans, and salsa, potentially saving you money with just a few additional purchases.
Think before you buy in bulk
Don’t assume bulk purchases are always cheaper; compare the price per unit or ounce. Avoid overbuying, especially for perishable items. While bulk cereal may be cost-effective for a family, think twice about a large quantity of perishable goods like Greek yogurt if you’re shopping for one.
Know when to shop
Timing matters for saving money on groceries. Wednesdays are ideal because stores restock and offer discounts from the previous week, but avoiding weekends with larger crowds is also smart. Shop early for clearance items or close to closing time when deli and bakery items are discounted for big savings.
Start freezing and storing meals now
Save money and time by preparing freezer meals. Find recipes online, spend a Saturday making a batch, and enjoy variety without food waste. It’s a convenient way to stretch your budget and meal options.
Pay with cash
Stick to your grocery budget and pay with cash to control your spending. Cash limits impulse purchases and encourages prioritizing essentials over treats. Consider taking out cash for groceries weekly to better manage your spending throughout the month.
Make a plan and stick to the list
To save on groceries, plan your meals, create a list, and stick to it while shopping. Involving the family in meal planning can make it fun and collaborative. Shopping with a plan and resisting impulse purchases, like candy, helps you stay on budget.
Order curbside pickup
Avoiding candy temptations is easier with online grocery shopping, where you can search for items and resist impulse buys. It also allows for easy price comparison, real-time cost tracking, and time savings by skipping the store. Consider any additional fees in your budget, but it’s a valuable money-saving hack.
Shop in season
Stick to buying fruits and veggies in season when grocery shopping on a budget to save money and enjoy better-tasting produce. Avoid purchasing items like pomegranates in the off-season when they are more expensive and may not taste as good.
Ignore eye-level items
Grocery stores place expensive items at eye level to encourage splurging, so be savvy and explore higher and lower shelves for more affordable options. Consider it a treasure hunt for better prices.
Try different grocery stores
Consider breaking the habit of shopping at your go-to grocery store if it’s overpriced. Ask for recommendations and compare prices at different stores in your area to save money. Checking weekly ads for sales at competing stores could reveal cost-effective alternatives nearby.
Learn the sales cycles
Become a savvy shopper by tracking when your preferred items go on sale and how much they’re discounted. Record this data to identify trends and predict future sales, saving you money.
There’s way more to becoming a smart shopper. I’d love to hear your ideas. Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your ideas and insights.
Stay tuned for more insightful information and articles at Wise Financial Resources. Learn how you too can be a better steward of what God has entrusted to you.
In His eternal grip…
Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach – Alliance Bible Fellowship elder