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Rising food prices?

ReenieHJ
ReenieHJ Posts: 8,397 Member
edited June 4 in Food and Nutrition
Time to buckle down and really shop the sales and go without more of the luxury type items I guess. :(
Passed by cantalope yesterday and my jaw dropped due to the price.
How are you all planning to save money now? Things like peanut butter, are now going on sale for 'non-sale' prices from just 2 months ago. :/
I do wish I could get dh on the save money band wagon with me though. It ain't gonna happen. :/
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Replies

  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 949 Member
    I'm a pretty frugal shopper. I used to be even more so (would only pay absolutely rock bottom for everything, used a lot of coupons and figured out how to stack/get things for free), but thankfully our budget is not quite so tight anymore and I don't have to spend quite so much time on it. When I set my food budget I use the USDA guidelines based on family size here: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cnpp/usda-food-plans-cost-food-reports-monthly-reports

    When we started buying local food as much as possible (which can seem more pricey because for some things you buy upfront, like a CSA membership or bulk meat), I did get a little nervous because it took up more of my budget, but according to the USDA stats I'm actually doing very well - my family of seven eats for under their typical low-cost plan for a family of four, and we eat very, very well. So some of it was adjusting expectations.

    I think the best strategies to save money are food are: buy whole foods and learn how to cook them. Eat food that's in season and grown to close where you are and supplement with minimally processed canned, dried, or frozen options. You definitely pay hefty convenience fees to have a company prep it and ship it to you. I make my own convenience foods by doubling and freezing. We eat almost all of our meals at home. Even though we're not entirely plant-based we don't rely just on meat and dairy for protein and eat meatless at least once a week (part of that is religious observance too).

    If you have Aldi where you are, shopping there changed my life. I am not brand loyal to many things, but I am loyal to them.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 949 Member
    Oh, another trick I've learned is that many trendy items can be bought for much less at ethnic grocery stores if you have them around. A regular or high-end supermarket will charge you an arm and a leg for what's a staple for everyone, regardless of income level, in another country.
  • Sara3veg
    Sara3veg Posts: 47 Member
    Just renewed my Sams Club membership, after taking a year off, to help offset the rising costs. It's also almost farmers market time where I live so for the summer months I'll be getting most of my fresh produce locally, which tends to be cheaper. Normally I only do this a few times a summer, mostly for the experience, but this summer I'm going to make going weekly a priority.
  • Sara3veg
    Sara3veg Posts: 47 Member
    edited June 4
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    It's so wild how much stuff fluctuates based on location. I'm in the midwest and we're still under $3 a gallon, which is very normal for our area. I was reading an article this morning though, that said CA could hit $7 a gallon this weekend?!!
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 5,907 Member
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    It's so wild how much stuff fluctuates based on location. I'm in the midwest and we're still under $3 a gallon, which is very normal for our area. I was reading an article this morning though, that said CA could hit $7 a gallon this weekend?!!

    WFT? I'm in CA!!! (Wait, California or Canada? :))

    I just spent almost $3 on a medium soda at Subway because the gas station's soda fountain where I normally get it for $1.08 was on the fritz and it...killed...me...dead.
  • Sara3veg
    Sara3veg Posts: 47 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    It's so wild how much stuff fluctuates based on location. I'm in the midwest and we're still under $3 a gallon, which is very normal for our area. I was reading an article this morning though, that said CA could hit $7 a gallon this weekend?!!

    WFT? I'm in CA!!! (Wait, California or Canada? :))

    I just spent almost $3 on a medium soda at Subway because the gas station's soda fountain where I normally get it for $1.08 was on the fritz and it...killed...me...dead.

    Northern California is what the article was about.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 1,868 Member
    Aldi opened a store in my area right at the beginning of the pandemic. My grocery bill was easily halved, even with still needing to go to Publix for certain things that Aldi doesn't carry. With very few exceptions, the quality of the food I've bought at Aldi has been more than acceptable for the price.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 5,907 Member
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    It's so wild how much stuff fluctuates based on location. I'm in the midwest and we're still under $3 a gallon, which is very normal for our area. I was reading an article this morning though, that said CA could hit $7 a gallon this weekend?!!

    WFT? I'm in CA!!! (Wait, California or Canada? :))

    I just spent almost $3 on a medium soda at Subway because the gas station's soda fountain where I normally get it for $1.08 was on the fritz and it...killed...me...dead.

    Northern California is what the article was about.

    Phew! Not that I actually drive much....
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 638 Member
    edited June 4
    Aldi opened a store in my area right at the beginning of the pandemic. My grocery bill was easily halved, even with still needing to go to Publix for certain things that Aldi doesn't carry. With very few exceptions, the quality of the food I've bought at Aldi has been more than acceptable for the price.

    Aldi is the BEST! A few months before the pandemic, I had eight $5USD coupons when spending $25. Since I was determined to use all eight coupons and save $40, I ended up buying freezer, pantry and pet food. Plus, I'd canned and frozen quite a bit from my garden. When COVID hit, I had a prepper's pantry thanks to my frugal ways. I didn't need a darned thing!

    And another vote here for checking out ethnic markets. I just got two large daikon radishes, a big bag of baby bok choy, and a 3 lb. bag of sprouts for less than $4!
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,959 Member
    edited June 4
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    It's so wild how much stuff fluctuates based on location. I'm in the midwest and we're still under $3 a gallon, which is very normal for our area. I was reading an article this morning though, that said CA could hit $7 a gallon this weekend?!!

    WFT? I'm in CA!!! (Wait, California or Canada? :))

    I just spent almost $3 on a medium soda at Subway because the gas station's soda fountain where I normally get it for $1.08 was on the fritz and it...killed...me...dead.

    Northern California is what the article was about.

    That's an isolated/remote station that overcharges. It's averaging just over $4/gal, which is a bit above where it was pre-pandemic. The gas in CA is higher than other states due to the special blend for emissions and higher than average fuel taxes.
  • socajam
    socajam Posts: 2,689 Member
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    What works for me...

    Buy in bulk. Buy seasonal. Couponing. Gardening. Foraging. Discover new foods (especially from so called "ethnic grocery stores")

    But my gracious, nothing will ever stop me from getting light roast coffee beans, sun-dried tomatoes, PROPER maple syrup, dark chocolate, eggs or salmon 🤷🏿‍♀️


    I am with the salmon and it has to be wild
    I am lucky we don't eat meat/chicken, hardly ever buy eggs - mostly spring mix salad and lots of vegetables.
    Love Costco. I know people say that Wholefoods is expensive, but there are certain things that I refuse to give up - Wholefoods harvest rolls ($1 each), Costco mixed nuts, salmon burgers, carrot juice and organic lactose milk to name a few things
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 949 Member
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    Sara3veg wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    It's so wild how much stuff fluctuates based on location. I'm in the midwest and we're still under $3 a gallon, which is very normal for our area. I was reading an article this morning though, that said CA could hit $7 a gallon this weekend?!!

    WFT? I'm in CA!!! (Wait, California or Canada? :))

    I just spent almost $3 on a medium soda at Subway because the gas station's soda fountain where I normally get it for $1.08 was on the fritz and it...killed...me...dead.

    Northern California is what the article was about.

    That's an isolated/remote station that overcharges. It's averaging just over $4/gal, which is a bit above where it was pre-pandemic. The gas in CA is higher than other states due to the special blend for emissions and higher than average fuel taxes.

    Yes, some of this varies state to state because of regulations. Several states have controls on dairy prices, for example - it doesn't matter where you shop, a gallon of milk will cost the same (unless it's organic or has some other prestige thing going on where it would be even more expensive.) Generally this applies to any 100% milk product - so it would include products like sour cream or half and half, but not cheese. Milk is a common "loss leader" product in some grocery stores (in states where the price isn't controlled) - the price will occasionally be set so low that the store loses money on it, but they are betting that by getting you in the door to buy the milk you'll also buy something else, too - and it works!

    You can learn some of the tricks that stores use and consciously work against them, too - stick to a specific list, bring a calculator/use the one on your phone to check unit prices (some stores are tricky and will change the units used for the unit price to make it harder to figure out which is the better deal), look above and below eye level, don't take their word for it that something is on sale for cheaper than it usually is (one local chain is a big violator of this - things marked as "specials" that are actually higher than their typical retail!) I used to keep an actual price book, then spreadsheet, but now I have it mostly memorized for commonly purchased items.

    This is kind of counter-intuitive but buying in bulk doesn't always work out if you can't use something up before it goes bad.
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,959 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.
    Going back to this after seeing @penguinmama87 comment on loss leaders, gas doesn't go on sale because it's ALWAYS on sale. Gas stations make their profit on the convenience store and other services such as car washes. The gas is sold at next to no profit and just serves to bring traffic to the location.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 5,907 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.
    Going back to this after seeing @penguinmama87 comment on loss leaders, gas doesn't go on sale because it's ALWAYS on sale. Gas stations make their profit on the convenience store and other services such as car washes. The gas is sold at next to no profit and just serves to bring traffic to the location.

    Kinda like movie theaters and them making money from the concession stands? 😀

    But it also completely went up once people started going back to work.

    Not gonna lie, I miss the quaranteen days. 😀
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 4,136 Member
    I was very surprised to see we were middlin’ on that chart, because we buy fresh fruit and vegetables by the cartload. The only frozen veg I buy is riced cauliflower.

    Lidl opened up within bicycle distance late last year. I loooooove Lidl. It’s like a higher class, cleaner Aldi (our Aldis are gross for some reason) with more national brands, a very good in-store European style bakery, and similar prices.

    I’ve started treating myself to a big $6.99 bouquet every couple weeks, so that’s part of the budget now, too.

    Now what did get next to me was the sunflower chips I bought yesterday, to feed the birds and thusly entertain the spoiled cat. $52.99 for a bag. I didn’t even look at the receipt til I got home and nearly dropped my teeth.

    Is there a bird channel on Netflix?
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 638 Member
    There are several bird channels on YouTube. My kitty loves them.

    A big new Nepalese grocery just opened across from Aldi. The selection is phenomenal and I am looking forward to trying lots of new things. Planning a a field trip soon.
  • yweight2020
    yweight2020 Posts: 586 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    And gas. Why does gas never go on sale?

    I've always been pretty cheap but I started low key watching how much I paid for food once my very possibly not having a job ongoing scare started. So I'm going more with store brand items and buying like the bigger bags of cereal (to the detriment of my tendency to stick my hand in there for handfuls that I never weigh and log). I'm also going to the dollar store more for items I normally buy.

    Yes The highest gas near me in California $4.75 a gallon, why. I just walked to and from the dollar tree nearest me a wealth of savings. I purchased 2 healthy choice chicken noodle soups, mom have these for dinner some nights,, 4 frozen rigatoni pasta dishes. My mom have these for lunch, 2 packs frozen breakfast sausage, 2 frozen breakfast sandwiches I like these and when I'm totaled these work but I mostly always cook but convenience foods are nice, a couple bottles of comet cleaning spray and the kids mamba candy.

    I purchase condiments, oatmeal, rice and veggies here when needed, for savings if I haven't purchased in bulk from my main Grocery store or if this is only what fits my budget at the time.


    Hope things are ok for you or get better.🤗
  • OnceAndFutureAthlete
    OnceAndFutureAthlete Posts: 185 Member
    Aldi opened a store in my area right at the beginning of the pandemic. My grocery bill was easily halved, even with still needing to go to Publix for certain things that Aldi doesn't carry. With very few exceptions, the quality of the food I've bought at Aldi has been more than acceptable for the price.

    2nd (or 3rd) this. I'm a HUGE Aldi fan.

    I started going there years ago for the European items (it's owned by a German company and they have great "fancy" european items at great prices, especially at the holidays), and I found myself buying more and more staples there as well.

    Their "house" brands are mostly very good.
    They have lots of organic staples at REALLY good prices.
    Their low carb flour tortillas are The BOMB at 80 calories, and half the price of other stores.
    The only thing I wasn't a big fan of was their meats (beef, especially), but this has gotten much better in recent years.

    Yes, you will have to occasionally go to the "regular" supermarket for some things, especially if there are brands you really want (for me, it's Hershey's chocolate syrup - there is no substitute!), but the savings from getting the bulk of your shop at Aldi is significant.