Grocery prices - re you, or the wide range of people you know?

Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:24 pm
Hard to summarize myself here, in a sentence or two, but I have, for varied reasons, low income and a background of one cognizant of food and food culture.

My ordinary low income self, say five years ago, still went to highish priced places - farmer's markets, co-ops, because of the good products.. and tempered my desires re their products re my wallet.

But now I have various price constraints, and geographic constraints re availability, and because of where I live, very west side albuquerque, no local market that would even begin listening to me.

-- and I'm zoning in on what is out there on the shelves to people throughout the u.s. Quite a wakeup - whether you are talking plain old local fresh food, healthfood, gourmet, world food, and so on.

Offhand, I'd say, nothin' much out there.

But, that is my glum view.

I also know people who live in , say, new york city and toronto and a lot of other cities have many more options that I do now - re foodstuffs and cuisines, or, say, in the case of Sonoma County, major local cuisine..

Where are you in all this? (Not limited to u.s. folks, for sure.)

Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:29 pm
For many years, I bought what I wanted and didn't pay much attention to prices. But due to the recent grocery price increases, I've changed my habits. I now shop paying more attention to what's on sale and I'm more likely to shop in stores with better prices in general, even though they're less convenient.
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:37 pm
I use convenient, per force of gas prices if nothing else.. Whole Foods, which I haven't been to for years, except once, is a batch of miles away. Not that I think they're perfetto either, but I'd go berserk there now for the items I don't usually see.

Thinking, the..

exhilaration of endive...
tintinabulation of truffles (that one doesn't work)
tintinabulation of (your turn)

( but don't get me started)
cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:43 pm
We often shop at the chain supermarkets like Safeway and Luckys, but also go to Trader Joes because of their "health foods." We have a wonderful Whole Foods supermarket in Cupertino, about six miles from our home, but their prices are extra-high priced. My wife and I go there once in awhile to share a bowl of soup for lunch. Their fresh salmon is one of the best I've ever eaten, moist with full salmon flavor, but that's an extravagance we rarely allow ourselves. What I find interesting, though, is how busy they are every time we go there to "window" shop. Their parking lot is always full.
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:47 pm
a tintinnabulation of tilapia, perhaps?
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Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 09:12 pm
I've started paying attention to coupons.

On a recent trip I saved like $91.00! Seriously!

I got Mo a pair of $45. shoes (I know, not grocery, but bought at the grocery superstore) for $15. by using mulitple coupons.

Today's paper had a coupon for a different store that saves you $10. on any $50. purchase.

Coupons, baby, coupons!
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 09:34 pm
Certain items, such as broccoli and carrots, I buy more expensive organic, but many products we get are based on price. My noon meal is very cheap - a tin of 44 cent sardines, mixed with a boiled egg, shredded radish and garlic, with something green, such as clantro or raw kale mixed in.
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 11:01 pm
Alas, I have near no-interest in anything they sell with coupons. I checked that again this week...
we all live differently, and I'm in the group of Women Making It Alone, Thriftily, without fabric softener.

But past all that, what is available in produce here is a reflection of imports (yadda) and local interests...

It's the local interests I zone in on, and what is news to me.. the lack of interest in
food at all here, plus no promo for any good stuff...

I guess I have to get used to a minor growing season. Might be another year or two...

Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:07 am
Prices aren't just high, packaging is smaller and product quality and concentrations have been watered down.

I've also found that you can't trust what the supermarket has posted as being the true unit costs. Take a calculator along with you and do your own math. You'll find that many of those unit price tags are several cents away from accurate.

What used to be concentrated liquids are now watery liquids in smaller bottles with higher prices. I've noticed this especially in the soap products, liquid soap, dish detergent, laundry detergent, and hair shampoos, etc. Am also noticing it in ketchups and sauces, items that were so thickly concentrated you could stretch them by adding your own water to them while cooking. Not any longer. The stuff is runny right from the bottle. We're paying more for the extra water added to products.

I can't remember the last time I did impulse shopping at a grocery store. For at least two years everything is planned out down to the last penny and only bought when on sale and with coupons to maximize the value for the dollar spent. I used to at the very least have some form of meat with every dinner meal I cooked by scratch. Meat has become something I treat myself with once a week and the daily fare is now rice and beans or pasta and frozen veggies. I used to buy bread then resorted to making my own to save money. I'm even cutting back on that because the flour is just too expensive. I stretch juices by adding an extra two cans of water when I use frozen concentrate. What should only make 2 qts, I stretch into making a gallon of juice. When there is an exceptionally good sale on something I try to buy a several month supply of it as a way to beat rising inflation of prices. I don't buy prepackaged food, nearly everything is made from scratch. It's too expensive to do otherwise. I don't eat lunch anymore, just breakfast and an early dinner. It helps me stretch the food budget.
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:13 am
With prices very high right now, I've decided it's time to be on a diet and to cut down on the quantity of food consumed per meal.
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Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:32 am
I've gone from a person who loved to shop fresh and could do so, with the local co-op on my short way home...

to today, when I hope I've bought in some primary way for the month.

I liked the first a lot... a whole lot.... better.
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Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:37 am

But past all that, what is available in produce here is a reflection of imports (yadda) and local interests...

It's the local interests I zone in on, and what is news to me..
the lack of interest in food at all here, plus no promo for any good stuff...

If u like produce,
under the income circumstances that u have described,
perhaps u might consider growing some of your own produce, if u have access to fertile ground.

I lack the patience to be concerned with coupons
nor with prices; fortunately, I like to eat out a lot.

0 Replies
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:51 am
Food prices are sky high in Hawaii. Of course that is because most of our food stuff is shipped in from the mainland.

Merry Andrew has a great joke viz a viz food shopping.

This lady went running to a policeman crying that a hundred dollars of food had been stolen from her car. The policeman asked if her groceries had been in the back seat, and she said oh no officer. They were in the glove compartment.

I find myself making a lot more soups these days and beans.

We have a great open market in Hilo on Wed and Sat and I can find good buys on local vegetables and fruits.

It is a challenge to say the leaste.

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Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:56 am
Edgar what is the brand on your 44 cent sardines. The cheapist I can find is 99 cents.
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 04:41 am
They are Island brand. 2 for 88 cents. There is another brand selling for something like 55 cents each. I shop mainly at HEB.
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Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 07:12 am
@cicerone imposter,
There is no "S" in LUCKY.

Just like there is no "S" in MEIJER.

Where do people come up with that damn "S" anyway?

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Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 07:17 am

My wife uses it. She gets more free stuff than you could imagine. Meijer recently had their store brand pasta on sale for $0.99. There was a $1 off printable coupon on their website that thegrocerygame knew about. She bought about 50 lbs, and gave a lot of it away. Meijer owed us 50-cents to take it away.
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Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 07:23 am
We have lots of farmer's markets in Atlanta, but they all seem to be on the East side of town and in the tonier neighborhoods. We have grocery stores, but some I just won't buy any perishables from at all, and the other is inconsistent with quality and availability. Thing is, Georgia has tons of farms. We should be able to get lots of fresh good stuff whenever we want.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 07:50 am
We don't have farmer's markets here (= in town) just the normal market twice per week - I go there usually only on Saturday, mostly just for flowers, though - but with some local farm butchers and farm bakeries as well as local organic producers.

Usually, I buy nearly all in a larger supermarket in town, because they are cheaper than the supermarket here in the village. Mostly, I buy organic grocery products there ... which aren't thaaat much more expensive than higher quality products.

If I wanted, I could go to a couple of local farm shops near by ...
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Bi-Polar Bear
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 08:00 am
I'm constantly hearing about how expensive Whole Foods is... but on produce I just don't find that to be the case. Their produce is wonderful. They are a little higher than Food Lion or Kroger but not much. The are cheaper than the organic produces in the organic section of the chains... and better quality. Their seafood is definitely more expensive but it is the best fresh available around here, period. Going there to eat brunch or lunch is an incredible treat... and no more expensive than any place other than the drive thru or Waffle House. Naturally if you buy specialty gourmet type foods you're going to spend a bundle but that's anywhere. I really love being able to draw off my own still warm pure honey...and that's cheaper than the chain stores.

Of course I'm a fairly basic eater at home....and I can dress up "regular meat and potatoes" stuff fairly well....and squinney is the Queen of that trick so I find Whole Foods a good buy. I'm also big on preventative medicine of which I consider diet a huge part. The only thing that keeps me from shopping there more is that it's on the other side of Raleigh.... but there's one going up in N. Raleigh about 7 minutes from the house. HOORAY!!!!!

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