Protect your grocery budget from inflation, price surges

Your Money

(NewsNation) — The rising cost of living brought on by inflation has led many Americans to grow their own food.

However, home gardening was booming worldwide, and the trend was happening long before the pandemic.

A new survey by Garden Pals, a community for gardeners, found that 42% of Americans have begun growing their own produce.

If you think your green thumb is good enough to replace some of your trips to the grocery store, you’re not alone. Two-thirds of Americans said they would have no problem growing their food, according to the survey. In addition, more than 60% said they could live off the land if they had to.

In 2021, the coronavirus pandemic created 18.3 million new gardeners, most of whom were millennials, according to the survey.

So, will gardening save you money?

According to the 2021 National Garden Association report, it can yield $600 of produce a year.

Of course, there are risks that pests and other factors could impact your harvest, but overall most people found it was a net saving.

Tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers are the most popular products people are growing, likely because they all grow well in a small garden or indoors.

However, not everyone is going to grow their food. And while the hefty price hikes are staining many Americans’ pockets, Matthew Telles, a professional shopper also known as The Grocery Guy, said there are ways consumers can save money.

“I am seeing some new clients coming in more price consciousness, more so on the produce end, looking for a better bang for your buck,” he said. “I’m seeing a whole lot more chatter so far, not actually purchasing decisions on saving.”

Telles said his best saving tip for consumers who shop for a particular brand or style is to do their due diligence and have a plan when shopping.

“Not a lot of grocery stores are doing great discounts,” Telles said. “What I always say is your morning, say bathroom time, instead of TikTok looking at funny videos, go through some coupon apps or loyalty discount programs.”

Telles also recommends consumers use coupon apps to earn cash back rewards for purchasing products with it, getting discounts or products, or bank the discount you get from all those products.

“Ibotta, they have a lot of good discounts on there, a lot of good stores; they’re growing every day,” he said. “I stack coupons for like AutoZone, things like that, and I get free oil changes. It’s basically just cash back into your pocket from a lot of the apps now. “

Telles said he’s also seeing fewer people buying in bulk.

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