10 Humble Food Hacks to Get You Through Hard Times

Grocery prices are rising, but don’t panic. You have more control over your wallet than you think.

Kim Duke
Published in
7 min readNov 30, 2020


A woman masked up at the grocery store.
Photo: Anna Shvets via Pexels

There they were in the grocery store: a perfectly shaped pile of cauliflower heads priced at $8 a pop. I took one look at them, rolled my eyes, and laughed out loud.

There was a snowball’s chance in hell that I’d ever pay that for a cauliflower. Especially one that’s been shipped 3,000 miles.

Recently the news is full of stories about grocery prices going up from the ripple effect of the pandemic — well, I’m sure it isn’t a surprise after your last visit to the grocery store.

Maybe you’ve lost your job or you’re worried you might in the months ahead. Or you’re trying to simplify your monthly expenses and stash some cash away.

Thankfully, your monthly food budget is the best place to find and save money.

Next to housing, food tends to be the 2nd biggest monthly expense for most people. (Yes — food expenses are usually even bigger than your car payment. And that’s before you add in any purchases of restaurant food.)

In good times — it is easy to spend money at the grocery store without thinking about it. The average Canadian household spends over $12,000 per year on groceries.

However, during a weird year like this and the many uncertain months to come — you need to pad your savings account more than you need to eat take-out pad Thai.

But take a deep breath — you have more control over your food budget than you think. You will still cook delicious, healthy food and have room in your budget for treats you love. You’ve got this.

1. Flip how you cook

This is a biggie — find recipes after you grocery shop. Often we find a recipe and then we impulsively go shop for the ingredients and often end up paying full price. (Yes, that’s how you wind up with strange and expensive spices you never use again.)

Try this instead — flip how you cook. Buy ingredients on sale and then look for recipes and create dishes that use what you already have.



Kim Duke

I happily write about food, nature and quirks of life. Heated. Mind Cafe. P.S. I Love You. Writing coach for women. Creator of Scribbly. www.kimdukewrites.com