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Rising price of groceries forces families to make changes
Tulsa Beacon ^ | 3/22/12 | by Charles Biggs

Posted on 03/26/2012 2:41:28 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin

According to the federal government, food prices rose 4.4 percent in 2011.

That’s hogwash.

I do a lot of the grocery shopping for my family (my wife cooks wonderful meals and cleans up the kitchen – it’s only right that I help in some fashion).

And I can tell you, from direct experience, that food prices are skyrocketing.

We buy most of our groceries from Sam’s Club, Reasor’s, Food Pyramid, Wal-Mart and Braums. You tend to buy groceries close to your home (you don’t want the ice cream to melt on the way home).

We are charter members of the Sam’s Club near 41st Street and Sheridan Road. We live half-way between that Sam’s and the one at 71st Street and Mingo Road.

At Sam’s, we save money by buying food in bulk. For instance, we buy grated cheddar cheese in a big package. We take it home, repackage it in smaller freezer bags and freeze it.

We buy fish, hamburger, bottled water, fruit (canned and fresh), toilet paper, paper towels, peanut butter, oatmeal, spices, rice, flour, charcoal, bagels, vitamins, shaving cream, rotisserie chicken (its great) and lots of other stuff at Sam’s.

You can’t get everything you need at Sam’s and you never, never, ever want to go in there when you are hungry. You will come out with a case of asparagus or a gallon jar of dill pickles (which we did once – it took us a year to eat all of it).

In the past year, I can’t think of any single item we buy at Sam’s that hasn’t risen in price. They still have some of the best prices in town, but rice has gone up maybe 30 percent, hamburgers 40 percent, toilet paper 20 percent – and the list goes on and on.

Reasor’s is a block from our house. They carry a lot of stuff that we can’t buy at Sam’s and Reasor’s has terrific sales. The staff at Reasor’s is always friendly and they will check in the back if a product is sold out on a shelf.

We buy produce, meats, bread, soup, chips, cookies, cheese, juice, dairy products, frozen food, cereal, baking goods and other stuff at Reasor’s.

Everything has gone up – even sales items. During their periodic “12-hour sales,” Reasor’s used to sell Coke or Pepsi products at $2 for a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans. Now, the sale is around four packs for $11.

I can remember buying Oreo’s on sale for $1.99. Now, it’s a sale if they cost $2.99. Cottage cheese that used to go on sale for $1.99 is now on sale at $2.79.

Obviously, there are some produce items that might be selling for less than a few years ago but that would be the exception.

And Reasor’s has some killer meat sales (pardon the bun) but unless you have extra freezer space, it’s hard to take advantage of bulk buying. We have a refrigerator in the kitchen and one in the garage and both freezers are usually packed (with mostly meat).

Food Pyramid has some great sales but overall, their prices seem a bit higher than Reasor’s. We buy a lot of hard goods at Wal-Mart but not a lot of groceries.

We buy milk and ice cream at Braum’s. Braum’s milk just seems to taste better and they have the best price in town. Braum’s ice cream is outstanding but awhile back, they went from a half-gallon carton to a three-pint carton – which I considered a price increase.

So our family strategy is:

1. Buy in bulk at Sam’s and repackage.

2. Buy more than you need on sale at Reasor’s and Food Pyramid.

3. Eat more at home and less at restaurants.

4. Grow fresh produce in our back yard this summer.

5. Buy fewer processed foods (they actually sell frozen Texas toast) and cook more at home.

With gasoline set to rise over to $4 a gallon this summer, groceries will have no choice but to continue raising prices.

Last year, former President Bill Clinton actually warned that there could be food riots around the world in 2012 because of political unrest, famines, droughts, floods, earthquakes and other problems.

In Tulsa, not only are grocery costs soaring but the trash bill, water bill, electric bill and gas bills are all potentially increasing by double digits.

I don’t know how people on fixed incomes will cope. (I don’t know how ordinary people can afford to smoke, drink at bars or gamble at casinos, either – but that’s another column).

Maybe it’s time we elect another president who has policies that will stem grocery inflation instead of putting America’s middle class further in the poor house.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; US: Oklahoma
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The Obama economy.

41 posted on 03/26/2012 7:31:04 PM PDT by Henry Hnyellar
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The gov’t inflation figures are pure propaganda. We buy pretty much the same stuff from week to week. Our standard grocery bill was around $130.00 a couple years ago, went up to $150.00 last year, is now $180 - $200.00. We’ve been in slow retreat, giving up name brands for generics and pricier items for cheaper alternatives to keep our bill down. We try to stick to Wally World or Sam’s for everything and limit purchases from more expensive grocery stores (Publix has way better selection, friendly and helpful staff and is a way better all around shopping experience, but we can’t afford to shop there). Many of the items we regularly buy have gone up in price and the package size has been reduced at the same time - Double Stuff Oreo Cookies is one that comes to mind (the kids now have to settle for regular Oreos). Meat is simply crazy, we only buy it on sale (Winn Dixie buy one get one) or at Sam’s now. Produce is also crazy - can’t find apples for less than $1.50 a pound, can’t find grapes for less than $1.89. At every store, advertised specials are higher than the regular prices were a year ago.

42 posted on 03/26/2012 7:51:51 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Hope springs eternal - maybe the Bucs will break .500 this year)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
ditto to all his at home...use leftovers and never waste food....

we've been guilty of not eating up our food and letting it go bad....

now, I even clip the tops of celery, bits of carrot and even onion peels and freeze them to make soup on another day...

trying to not eat as much meat and making it go farther...

of course, buy when things are on sale....

43 posted on 03/26/2012 9:31:51 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Raycpa

I am a very careful shopper and yes, food prices are skyrocketing....

44 posted on 03/26/2012 9:33:20 PM PDT by cherry
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To: Iron Munro
I love Dubliner cheese and Cougar Gold cheese....both spendy....but I'd rather cut down or out on other things to have decent good cheese...

same with it less frequently but buy the best you can get...

45 posted on 03/26/2012 9:38:15 PM PDT by cherry
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Looks like I need to hunt more and get a bigger garden.

46 posted on 03/27/2012 5:22:53 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Mad Dawgg

And coffee containers now have a convenient handle where there used to be coffee.

47 posted on 03/27/2012 6:26:28 AM PDT by jdub (A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.)
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