Latinos, we’re used to being resourceful. We’ve created routine habits — and almost unconsciously — passed on from generation to generation. We simply have a peculiar way of doing certain things that, to us, are no-brainers but, to others, may seem out of the ordinary.
Whether saving our grocery bags or recycling plastic containers, we’re the masters at using what we have.
Now, as the U.S. inevitably experiences inflation, I know I’m not the only one staying in more often and cooking lower-costing meals during the week. It’s becoming more of a challenge to keep up with budgets, especially with the gas prices increasing. Everything seems to be adding up, and the only way to move forward is to continuously adjust our budgets.
Luckily, being Latine means being resourceful. And with that, here are three money-saving tactics that have been historically part of our Latino households. Let’s practice being better savers!
Everyone always wonders why Latine families always have food at home. It’s simple: we don’t like to spend our money on high-priced food!
While meal prepping sounds like something only nutritionists or gym rats do, it’s such a good money saver. My household prepares two or three types of protein to complement two side dishes a week. This facilitates home-cooked meals and pushes back the itch to comer afuera. Nowadays, a fast food meal costs about $10, which is money that can go towards your shopping budget for more nutritional value. Why not spend the $10 on beans and rice that’ll feed more than one mouth?
Recycle, recycle, recycle
There’s always that one tía collecting recyclables — and it’s for a good reason. While the value averages per pound depending on the material you’re collecting, trust me when I say that the efforts add up! Especially if your household consumes soda or canned drinks. Before you know it, you’ll have enough recycled bags to make the trip to a recycling center. With the money earned, who knows, maybe you can buy a little something-something for yourself.
Have your daily coffee at home
I know that Starbucks is a trend nowadays. It is a trend, but it’s also convenient and easy to grab and go. But those coffee prices are rising too. You may not realize it while placing your go-to order, but if you add up your monthly coffee budget, chances are you will be surprised.
I get it — YOLO! But a $5 coffee average daily means $20 a week, and so forth.
Instead of that, why not get a coffee-savvy at home? Recently, my sister introduced our household to the magic of grinding and mixing our favorite coffee bean and frothing our choice of flavored creamer. It’s basically all you want from a coffee chain: strong coffee with a deliciously sweet touch to it. And what’s best is that you have complete control of the outcome.
Historically, our parents and grandparents might’ve just done the classic café de olla, but now we’re modernizing it with our technology — and making it our specialty.