How do you feel about increased food prices at the grocery store?
Geesh! I just got back from the grocery store and I'm in sticker shock!. $5 for a jar of Hellman's mayo that used to be less then $3. Everything was so much higher then even last week. What can we do? I have a feeling they are not going down anytime soon.
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How do I feel?
I'd rather the prices be raised honestly, than the games companies are doing with sizes.
What can we do?
Wait for sales. Shop discount stores. Clip coupons. Try something new to you that is cheaper. Vote in November for whoever you think will help bring those prices down.
I completely agree about the changes in package size. If the production/delivery costs more, that's fine, I'll pay more (and probably use less). But don't decrease the size of the ice cream carton by 25%-30% and think I won't notice.
I also love your suggestions for what we can do!
Each week I check the specials for the 2 chains in my town, and plan the next weeks menu around the protein on sale and the veggies at the farmer's market. I stock up on staples when they're on sale, buy meat in bulk and freeze, and make as much from scratch as possible. I don't buy a lot of name brand stuff to begin with, but clip coupons for the brands I do use. The best trick for me is to coordinate coupon usage with store sales - nothing like a save $1 on two coupon and a buy-one-get-one sale!
Just 18 months ago I was in my very poor post-grad school phase, making $20K/year with no benefits in a community where the median income is $40K. I managed to get my total weekly grocery bill down to $20, but a diet of dried beans, rice, carrots, and celery gets a little old after awhile.
I got into a long 'discussion' on another board about shrinking sizes to cover price increases. It is just getting worse and worse and you can't follow it anymore. Sure when bacon goes from 1 lb packages to 12 ounce packages you have a clue. However, shaving a few paper towels from a roll, reducing packages by an ounce or two, I just can't figure it out or keep up with it anymore.
Do a search on "Eating like a Chowhound for $3 a day". It can be more than beans. I was eating heirloom produce and wine was included daily.
Ok ... do you want to hear outrageous ... starting tommorrow in California we will be paying the same price for the liquid in the bottom of the meat container or poultry bag. Yep, you can expect to pay about $1 extra for your poultry. I guess we were the only state not to include that in the charge. The USDA ruled that they wanted standards to be consistant across the country.
Now the way I understand this meat processors feel this is is fair because when consumers buy marinated meat they pay the same price per pound for the marinade as the meat. One processor said consumers would like this change ... what?
I am soooo tired of being nickeled and dimed and dollared to death in sneaky ways like this.
Buy smart and stock up, when things are on sale and go to places like Costco. Stay away from prepared foods, they're very expensive. I can make a killer pizza for about $3.
It's a bit jarring how much some things have gone up in such a short period of time. So now I always: use a list, clip coupons, read through the various grocery store circulars when they come in the mail, buy when things are on sale, and consider different brands. For example, instead of my usual Viva or Bounty paper towels, I bought 12 rolls of the Target brand paper towels. Normally I would have turned my nose up at them, but they actually are good quality. Plus, they are about 20% cheaper. Not everything can be substituted (no store brand replacement for Hellmans!) Watch where you shop: there can be a big difference in prices between grocery stores.
Jfood looks at this as a challenge, and he is somewhat of an "A type" (just ask the Mods).
There are two chains (Food Emporium and S&S) for staples has employee owned grocer for proteins, and a great produce store for veggies all sorta on his way between office and home. Likewise in the mailbox and on-line circulars . For example, TP on sale this week, there are 4 packages in the trunk, likewise with Purex.
He checks the local grocer, sees the protein on sale and plans around those specials, it's great to have the diversity and keeps him having fun in the kitchen.
But he understands the food chain price algorithm. From the basic corn, through production, through transportation, everything is higher in the value-added farm to kitchen model. It's unfortunate, but we are in a recession, whether it meets the true economic definition and you have to be careful, thoughtful and most of all resist, absolutely resist, impulse buying.