At this point, everyone has noticed the prices at the grocery store are creating up and are feeling the pinch. For those that are used to things like eating name-brand foods there are more options to fight the rising costs like trying different store brands while others need to get a bit more crafty and learn to cut costs even more with a little creativity and elbow grease. These simple tips will help you fight inflation. Start with the easiest ones to make cuts now and build your way up to more advanced options to prepare your family for further increasing costs. Baby steps to fight inflation at the grocery store These tips are easy to do even if you are just beginning a frugal lifestyle and you can work to build up to a more advanced option as you gain new knowledge skills, and the spare money to get going. These same tips will help those struggling with finances even in times inflation is not a factor. Menu plan. One of the best ways to cut food costs so you can begin to build a buffer for dealing with inflation is meal planning. We spent the past couple of years in a really good place where I didn't even have to think about where our food budget was going to come from so when things changed this year this was my first step to getting our rising food costs back under control. I created a menu keeping the budget for the week as low as I could. Sometimes it wasn't the healthiest in those first couple weeks but then opened more room in the budget to build a stockpile that allowed us to switch back to the healthier diet we were used to. Shop with a list and stick to it. Not only will haveing a menu plan and a list save you money it will help you ensure that you get everything you need saving on gas for trips to the store for things you forgot. This can be a big deal because prices at the pump are rising faster than the grocery store. Sticking to a list can also prevent impulse buys that are not goog clearance deals that you already planned in your budget. Stock up on items you find on sale. This time of year we get a lot of great deals right before the prices in the stores skyrocket in January. Something this year will be even worse thanks to the rising inflation costs. Work wiggle room into your budget to buy things your family uses a lot of on sale. For us, this included stocking bulk eggs, butter, milk, flour, and other basics that allow us to make our own food from scratch. When my husband and I go to the store to shop sales and each takes our own cart to fill to the limits for the best deals we get some off lucks but walking out of the store with months worth of things like eggs, butter, and flour really helps to ensure our family has what they need later when these items are not on sale. Buy clearance items. I stock a lot of clearance items ranging from cake mixes the kids can whip up for themselves to huge clearance cases of produce from our local produce market. We get these for pennies on the dollar then preserve them for use later. In the past few weeks, we have gotten so many great produce deals in these cases to help feed our family and the kids help to get it all sorted, canned and frozen. From cucumbers to make pickles to bushels of green beans and enough plumbs to feed an army we don't let these deals get past us because we know how important every bit of food really is for feeding our family as the cost goes up. Switch to store brands. One thing we constantly do is buy a large chunk of our food and household goods at ALDI. We love the ALDI brands because they do not use artificial dies but at the end of the day, they are also much more affordable than national brands. This store will save you a lot of money and even improve the quality of a lot of food your family eats. Even if you have to drive a bit to do a bulk shopping day once in a while to take advantage of ALDI prices I recommend it. Just add some other errands to the list so you can get the most for your gas money. Fight inflation with food preservation One of the best ways to fight the rising costs at the grocery store is to learn how to preserve your own food so you can buy things on sale and clearance and not worry about losing it. There are many great ways to preserve food so you do not lose the food and can provide your family with better quality food. Freezing. Freezing is one of the easier ways to preserve food for your family. This is the best way to stock up and save on meat, cream cheese, butter, milk, and other essentials. Get a vacuum sealer to make your frozen foods last longer without risking them getting freezer burnt. Dehydrating. This is one of my favorite ways to preserve food in the summer where I can run the dehydrator outside and not heat up the house. From mushrooms to sun-dried tomatoes this works well for vegetables we plan to cook because they will simply rehydrate while we cook and tend to take up very little space allowing us to store more food. Canning. In the winter canning is my preferred method of food preservation. This is because in the winter I can run the canner to put off heat and add humidity to the house. This helps to keep us warmer and heat the house without raising our power bill. Canning allows me to make things like homemade jams and jellies from clearance fruits and pickles as well as meats, butter, milk, and other staples for our family. Cooking to fight inflation at the grocery store. Learning how to make your own foods or simply spice up a clearance box of cake mix can help to make it easier to fight the rising costs of food on a daily basis. Try your hand at making your own bread, soups, even crackers to reduce how much you are spending on food. this is a great way to improve the quality of the food you are eating as well. Cook frugally filling meals. Now it is winter it is the perfect time to bulk up meals with soups, stews, and even casseroles. Not only do those foods help to fill you up at a low cost with lots of fillers like rice, beats, and vegetables but they also tend to help heat up your house while they cook.