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Thursday, January 20, 2011

To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat Pig

Hi everyone! I wanted to talk today about food prices. If you pay any amount of attention to the prices at the grocery store, you've noticed that prices are going up! (Or, prices are staying the same, but the packaging is shrinking. Same thing!) Last week, I overheard a woman tell the man she was with that the creamer was $3.09. The man responded, saying, "Wow! Last time we were here it was $2.79"! Sugar prices have gone up. Grain prices have gone through the roof! Folks, none of the food that you buy is going to get any cheaper anytime soon. Well, So what?, you say....I can handle paying an extra 30 cents for a bottle of creamer! Can you? What if everything you buy--100 items in a transaction--go up 30cents each? Can you handle paying an extra $30.00 for every transaction? And many thing will go up more than 30 cents.

I would recommend that you establish a 'core' pantry, if you haven't already. Sugar--how many 5 lb. packages do you want to keep on your shelf at a time? Me, I keep 12. Then, when it's my week to shop, I go to the pantry and see what's missing and replace those items so that I always have the 'core' items covered. As you can see from the above picture, I was short one package of sugar this week, so I purchased a package at Aldi. ($2.39! That was a price increase!) But, I now have 11 packages purchased at a cheaper price, and only one package purchased with more funds.

In the picture below, you can see that the box that holds canned peaches and pears is missing some. I picked up 4 cans of canned fruit this week. I watch the sale ads and, if there's a great sale on something I use, I buy as much of it as I can. If there's no specific sale, I still replenish what's missing because I don't want to be caught with my pantry down! (I think that was a title of a book, wasn't it?)

The next thing I would encourage you to do is to plan to grow some veggies this year. I know, I stressed the same thing last year, but this year it's even more important. Seriously, folks, if you're not prepped already, if you don't grow and store your own foods, you are going to be taking greater and greater amounts of your income to buy food. And, don't forget the lovely income tax increase that is being enacted here in Illinois. You're check is going to be a bit smaller every week as it is! You cannot afford to NOT prep, shop sales, garden, and store your own food!

Do you see the paper with graphs on it? Can you understand what it says? Me, neither. But, it was posted at the feed store to explain why the bags of chicken food I buy have increased in price! The 50 lb bags used to be $11.xx and are now $13.xx. Folks, math might not be my best subject, but even I know that those numbers show a more than 20% price increase in the cost of feed! Remember, that commercial chicken growers will pay the same increases and will pass the cost down to you!
I've started to watch grocery sale ads even closer than I did in the past. The past 2 times I shopped (which happens every other week to restock the pantry) I got great deals on pork roast and potatoes at a new store that I normally don't frequent because of higher prices. But, if they're going to have great sales, I'll watch and buy what I need. I encourage you to do the same, if you can. Really scan those sale flyers. When something is at an unbelievably low price, SCOOP IT UP!! You may never see the price that low again! Consider that every penny saved on food is precious and that the food budget is a huge expense that YOU can control! Let's start saving some money at the grocery store!
Please, please, please, take this seriously. I believe a world of grief awaits us if we're not careful with our food budgets.
Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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SciFiChick said...

Great Advice. I hope folks will pay attention. The rising cost of foods is scary to say the least. I "preach" to folks all the time about "stocking up" on things. Catch the sales- Like the store you went to that usually has higher prices... They put those sales on and I WILL take advantage of everyone I can.
And it makes no sense at all to me why everyone doesn't at least have a little something growing. Even if you don't have room for a garden, you can always find a spot for a container to grow a tomato plant!!
Prep on like your life depended on it people, because one day... It just might.

Roxie said...

I think you are absolutely right...prices are just going to keep going up and buying now is a hedge against the inevitable. I grow a garden every year and plan to increase mine again this year.

You mention having a "core pantry" plan. Do you have a sample chart or know of one somewhere in the interwebs?

Aloha2U said...

So true. Not everyone is paying attention to what's happening to our commodities, especially food and the rising costs that affects it. Prices here in Hawaii have been rising significantly and continue to do so at an alarming rate. Our dollar cannot buy as much as it did 5-10 years ago.

Just about everything is over a dollar in the grocery stores here and I'm talking about canned vege's and fruit, some are up to two dollars. Spam runs over two dollars a can and tuna is around $1.50 or more per can, Hormel canned chicken over two dollars per can as well.

Luckily I've over stocked my pantry a long time ago with these items. A bottle of spices such as cayenne pepper, tumeric or sage can run easily over six dollars each at any given grocery store here. Glad to say I've also heavily stocked up on my spices a long time ago as well.

I really think people have a false belief that everything is going to get better like before but what they just don't realize is that before was much more different than what it is today. And today shows no signs of returning to any of yesterdays prices nor ways. It is just so evident in our current condition of our economy.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Hi ladies!! So nice to see you all!
SciFiChick,you're SO right! Even having a few veggies plopped in a pot will help the budget (and give such satisfaction!)"Prep on like your life depended on it..." VERY TRUE!!
Roxie,you've seen prices increase, too? It's crazy how it's like a weekly (or every-other-week!) thing to see! I think I'll do a post on the 'core' pantry items. Thanks for the idea!!
Aloha, Hi!! You pay $1.50 for a can of tuna!! Oh my goodness! And, $6.00 for spices! Yikes! It's a VERY good thing that you've been stocked up for a while! If I remember you saying it, prices are higher in HI to begin with. Add inflation to that and....WOW! Hang in there, girl!

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