A “New” Old Tactic for Saving Money on Groceries

I did all my grocery shopping the other day and was dismayed to find that prices continue to go up. To make matters worse, in some cases the price increase is disguised by smaller packaging, which just makes me mad that food companies think we’re so stupid that we don’t realize what they’ve done.

For instance, a can of tuna is now 5 oz. I have recipes from when I was a newlywed (back in 1979) that refer to a 7 oz. can of tuna. So now, when I double a recipe using tuna, I have to buy three cans of tuna, not two. Do they think I don’t notice this?

As I’ve written elsewhere, I do the usual things to combat inflation. I bought 10 pounds of ground beef when it was on sale, cooked up 3 pounds and froze it, and froze the rest raw for meatloaf, etc. I watch all prices and only buy items when they’re on sale for a good price (as opposed to “sale prices” that are actually regular-price items placed on the sale aisle with a big sign, which is why we need to know our prices).

But as each grocery shopping trip reveals higher prices, I’m thinking I need to add a new tactic, one that makes sense but that I hadn’t really thought about in recent years: we need to eat less.

So instead of freezing one-pound packages of meat, I’m freezing ¾-pound packages, figuring a little smaller hamburger patty won’t hurt any of us. I’m putting fewer chicken pieces in each bag before I freeze it. I’m making cookies and rolls a wee bit smaller than usual.

This will make the food I buy last longer, and will hopefully help me shed a little weight, too. It’s healthier, and it also goes back to the way we lived when I was a child.

For instance, my grandmother used to split a can of pop between four of us kids. Each one’s share barely filled a juice glass (and we knew better than to ask for seconds!) Her logic was that pop wasn’t good for us so we shouldn’t have too much.

In an age of 32-oz. soda cups in fast-food restaurants, I think our society has lost that sense of limiting ourselves. But the era of unrestrained appetites may be coming to an end, thanks to inflation. I guess every cloud really does have a silver lining.

Previous posts on saving money that you may have missed:

Exercises in Frugality

Exercises in Frugality, Part 2

Exercises in Frugality, Part 3

Exercises in Frugality, Part 4

Exercises in Frugality, Part 5