Skip to comments.Rising price of groceries forces families to make changes
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.
I do a lot of the grocery shopping for my family (my wife cooks wonderful meals and cleans up the kitchen its 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 Sams Club, Reasors, Food Pyramid, Wal-Mart and Braums. You tend to buy groceries close to your home (you dont want the ice cream to melt on the way home).
We are charter members of the Sams Club near 41st Street and Sheridan Road. We live half-way between that Sams and the one at 71st Street and Mingo Road.
At Sams, 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 Sams.
You cant get everything you need at Sams 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 cant think of any single item we buy at Sams that hasnt 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.
Reasors is a block from our house. They carry a lot of stuff that we cant buy at Sams and Reasors has terrific sales. The staff at Reasors 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 Reasors.
Everything has gone up even sales items. During their periodic 12-hour sales, Reasors 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 Oreos on sale for $1.99. Now, its 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 Reasors has some killer meat sales (pardon the bun) but unless you have extra freezer space, its 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 Reasors. We buy a lot of hard goods at Wal-Mart but not a lot of groceries.
We buy milk and ice cream at Braums. Braums milk just seems to taste better and they have the best price in town. Braums 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 Sams and repackage.
2. Buy more than you need on sale at Reasors 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 dont know how people on fixed incomes will cope. (I dont know how ordinary people can afford to smoke, drink at bars or gamble at casinos, either but thats another column).
Maybe its time we elect another president who has policies that will stem grocery inflation instead of putting Americas middle class further in the poor house.
The reports also don’t take into account the shrinking of package sizes. For instance tuna is still about the same price, but a 6 oz. can is now 5 oz., and i’ve even seen 4.5 oz ones. Lots of other things have got smaller too to keep from raising the price.
Life's not too rough if you are still buying the grated cheese rather than spending less to buy the big block and grating it yourself. Also, I've noticed that it tastes better when it is freshly grated rather than having whatever additives the manufacturer adds to keep it in separate shreds after months of refrigeration.
Who could argue with such solid statistical data such as:
“And I can tell you, from direct experience, that food prices are skyrocketing.”
Rural living has many advantages, and I wouldn’t trade it for the best cities I’ve lived in - but I sure miss having 4 or 5 choices within a 5 minute drive, like the author describes...
As it is, I have to drive 30 miles (each way) to a town that has one Walmart, one Brunos (high-end grocer, but occasional good deals on things like meat and produce) — we’re pretty much at the mercy of all the retailers in town - and they know it... :(
I might add that the can of tuna you get is called Chunk style. but it is filled with Tuna mush and water. Probably 3 ounces of water.
There is a lot more generic everything in our house. Name brands and coupons, still are not buying the ‘house’ brands or generic. And even the coupons have inflation in them. Many require you to buy 2 or more these days.
Laugh all you want, but I saved my last bag of flour and sugar marked at 5lbs. Those might be valuable antiques some day.
of course this leaves out obama moochelle and virtually every cabinet member and member of congress
You don’t have to be a statistician to know that gas cost $1.79/gal when Obama was inaugurated. You just need to pay your own bills and live on a budget!
This aggravates me more than the rising prices. Not only does changing the size of certain staples screw up a lot of recipes but they're insulting my intelligence as well, as if I'm too stupid to notice that a half gallon of juice is now 54 (or 48) ounces.
Although I can’t quote each price as things go up, I have noticed packaging in smaller sizes while prices remain either the same or slightly higher. My take is that what used to cost me $80-90 per week, just a year ago, the same groceries I always buy now cost me $120-140+. And I shop at Winco (a lower priced Costco store). I do prefer butter to margarine, and the butter which used to be $2 is now $4 for the pound...and it’s the cheaper brand (I prefer Challenge Butter but it is usually too expensive.) Food prices have gone up significantly...and I seldom buy chips, dips, cookies, candy, and other gimmicky foods.
“Life’s not too rough if you are still buying the grated cheese rather than spending less to buy the big block and grating it yourself.”
Grated cheese?? Holy cow, they’re living like kings!
EVERY ice cream package is geting smaller, therefore the price is going up.
As for the ‘melting’ ice cream-—where I live, EVERYBODY going to the grocery store has at least 1 and usually 2 collers in the back of the vehicle!! It’s 24+ miles one way to the grocery store. We don’t ‘go to the store’ every day!!
For several months, one food item we buy often was $1 each. Last week it was $1.08. We reviewed other items, and it appeared the increases ranged from 8% - 11%. Not good.
Hey, with the price of gas they’ll be walking more and high food prices will lead them to eat less. A fitter, happier America! (and with no jobs, we can all sleep in, too)
Worse than Jimmy Carter over again. If the GOP wants to get the W.H. they better start talking about inflation not only through prices but also through size reductions. Drive it home with folks. I personally find that it is easy to spend $60 or $70 at the grocer store and I usually buy the biggest so I pay for product instead of packaging.
It’s not just the grocery store either.
My local Burger King’s ‘Dollar Menu’, has burgers at $1.39 instead of a dollar... they haven’t changed the name of the Dollar Menu either....psyc ops I guess
Plus, it starts drying out as soon as you grate it and in doing so, changes the taste. I do not buy it for that reason. The same can be said for fruit already cut and sold in cups in the produce department. You can taste the difference.
Where I live a nice chunk of Parmesan, Romano, etc. costs more than the pre-grated packaged stuff.
For everyday use we buy the pre-grated - it is a special treat to buy a block and grate it as needed.
As I do a lot of grocery shopping because I like to cook. Mama likes it also. I can tell you for a fact, the things I purchase have risen 25% percent or better over the past 18 months. I watch the prices and I know. You can take it or leave it, but I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is brothers and sisters.
I agree kiltie, I shop once a month, I used to spend under 300. a month. Now I have to scrimp and nickel and dime myself, to keep it under 600. So the overbill has more than doubled. Still cheaper than trying to do it once a week, separating pkgs and freezing, etc, but even doing it once a month, I have to leave some things out and switch to generic, not to mention go to 4 different stores to keep it double. Otherwise it would be more!
We shop at Sam’s too. We also shop at Aldi’s and buy Walmart’s Great Value brand. It’s just as good as the name brands. I buy meats on sale even when we don’t need them. I stocked up on coffee recently when there was a good sale and I had coupons. Gardening season is upon us and we’ve already planted some hardy stuff. Our neighbors probably wonder how two people can eat so much!
” Walmarts Great Value brand. Its just as good as the name brands. “
I’ve found occasions where the GV product is more expensive than the brand-name equivalent...
Walmart is sneaky that way, and ya gotta watch ‘em every minute.... ;)
Our local 4-H has a cheese sale every year. We buy a 5lb block for $15.00. I wish I had ordered two of the sharp cheddar instead of one. We’re gonna have to make the one last!
“hamburgers 40 percent”
That’s because they can’t use pink slime anymore!
I've noticed a trend on foods sold in jars/plastic containers like Peanut butter and such. The volume of the package will be smaller but the package looks to be the same size. The do this by putting an indent in the bottom of the container. (visualize a cone in the bottom of the package the points towards the lid.)
“hamburgers 40 percent”
That’s because they can’t use pink slime anymore!
We shop at Sam’s about once a month for non-perishables (T-paper, beverages, cereals, pasta); yes the prices are way above a year ago. I go to the local farmer’s market once a week, where I buy all my fresh produce and meats. The prices there have risen, but only slightly, nothing like in the grocery store. I can still get fresh chicken, beef and pork right from the local (farmer) butcher at reasonable prices. I feel very lucky to be able to do so.
I love the sharp cheddar. It is what my father used to call rat cheese. You could buy a wheel of it wrapped in cheese cloth. Was so good.
Yeah, I try to watch, but I do get bamboozled every now and then. They seem to rotate which items they raise and lower prices on. Lately the GV butter and cream cheese is lower but other things go up. Most of the stores around here lower the cost of eggs, cream cheese and butter for Easter. I try to take advantage of that, especially since I’m baking tons of cookies for son’s wedding in May!
And that is a really good price. I buy about 3 oz of gruyere for $12.00
Yikes. If there is a Trader Joes near you, it is 10.50/lb there. I just bought some last week.
The prices of groceries and gas have held pretty steady, once you exclude the volatile food and energy categories. /s
It could also be silicon dioxide.
Average thanksgiving dinner was up 13%
Oh that is wonderful news. Thanks. A Trader Joes is opening here soon. We have not had one in San Antonio before. I look forward to the opening. Look at Everyday Food for Spinach Cheese Puff. It uses the gruyere. It is my 9 year old grandson’s favorite dish ever. He eats three helpings of it before he eats anything else. It is three pkgs of frzn spinach, thawed and squeeezed, some heavy cream, nutmeg and gruyere...off the top of my head. It is really good. And thanks again.
The Obama economy.
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.
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....
I am a very careful shopper and yes, food prices are skyrocketing....
same with steak.....buy it less frequently but buy the best you can get...
Looks like I need to hunt more and get a bigger garden.
And coffee containers now have a convenient handle where there used to be coffee.