How Chicago Consumers Can Fight Rising Food Prices

You can combat rising gas prices by carpooling, and you can counteract an expensive mortgage payment by downsizing to a smaller place. But you can't exactly fight rising food prices by not eating.

No, when the price of milk, produce, and coffee goes up due to weather and high fuel prices, we have to suck it up and pay more at the grocery store. A bigger price tag is never fun, but for the many Americans already on a tight budget because of growing debt, it can feel like the last straw. But there's good news - we still have some say over our supermarket bill, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

Make a List
When most folks go over budget at the grocery store, it's not due to high prices but to something else - impulse buys. Maybe shopping on an empty stomach causes us to pile every tasty-looking box and bag into the cart. Maybe a particularly appetizing end-of-aisle display piques our interest. Whatever the reason, it's nothing that making a list - and firmly sticking to it - can't fix. If you really want to start saving, make your shopping list by browsing the weekly grocery ads and coupons and planning meals around what's for sale.

Cook at Home
Speaking of meal planning, you're still better off cooking dinner at home - and brown-bagging your lunch and brewing your own cup of Joe. Restaurants and coffee shops are feeling the pinch of higher-priced ingredients, and they're hiking their own prices to pass the cost on to the consumer. Even an affordable meal out could be made at home for a fraction of the cost - and probably the calories as well.

Pay Cash
And remember, how you buy is just as important - maybe more so - than what you buy. Pay with cash, and you'll pay just the sticker price. But pay with credit and, until you pay off your balance in full, you're going to be coughing up interest on those grocery purchases every time you pay a bill - long after the food has been eaten.

Costlier food will always be an annoyance, but it it's causing serious hardship, it might be time to seek financial help. Paying interest makes everything more expensive, not just food. If most of your income is going to interest on debt, you could use a fresh start. Bankruptcy can be the most effective way to provide it. It's easy - and free - to learn if bankruptcy is right for you with a complimentary personal debt analysis courtesy of a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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