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grocery prices

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Went Krogering yesterday....

 

The trip was a blast as the 4 year old Grand came along (pushing her little cart...think that is a marketing ploy to get you to buy more ;-) to "help"...very glad I inventoried her choices before we checked out lol.

 

I don't shop often ('cept for the usual perishables) and it had been almost 3 weeks since the last "big" shop, but in that amt of time 75% of my par items had increased in price....and some are now in smaller jars and packages to boot.

Some by quite a bit (cranberry sauce, whole in the can pushing $2 from $1.50 ish).

I realize this is the time of year for the whole raw berry (and I do make from scratch when available) but I like to keep a can or two around for pork roast and/or roasted chicken.

Same with the canned evaporated milk.... about a 50 cent jump.

Don't even get me on the subject of unfiltered honey, spices and dried fruit (fruitcake time !) .

 

How are people feeding themselves?????

The fisherman and I consider ourselves fortunate to be able to purchase the brands we like at current retail prices .

Not saying that I won't go off brand and do stock up if my item is on sale but when it comes to convenience products I have learned the hard way to not go cheap.

 

Chips...jarred and bottled sauces....frozen veg... dairy... boxed "kids" cereals.... all top shelf and all (as I discovered yesterday) have just about priced their products out of my (tolerated) range.

 

Started a conversation with a lil' ole lady shopper (eek that will be me in a decade or two lol) at the butcher's case about the price of meat.

She (like us) shops for the larger cuts and breaks those down into steaks and burger, saving a small roast depending on what she needs at the time.

Talked about the increased shelf space stocked with generic products as well as some favorite items dropped from store inventory.

 

They fish and hunt as well , keeping well stocked freezers with a variety of proteins....

 

We stood and watched more than one soccer mom digging thru the precut packages and about half left the department without putting anything in their carts.

 

Kinda sad as this store is located in a neighborhood with great schools (re expensive homes).

Some of the cars parked outside have sticker prices in the 6 figure range.

Their kids take music and dance lessons.

 

We live in a state that was not as affected by the "downturn of the economy" (downturn...HA) until just recently so are just now being hit with the ridiculous gas prices and mall sticker shock.

 

I ask again.

How are people (after paying their mortgages, car note, utilities... don't need to list as we all have these expenses) feeding themselves?

 

Scary.

 

mimi

 

$$$ thanx for letting me vent.......

 

m.

post #2 of 15

Great topic. I live alone so making dinner for one can often be a challenge. 

     Keeping a supply of dried beans, various pastas, assorted flours and some basic canned goods like tuna fish on hand makes me feel more secure and lessens what I end up feeling the need to buy. 

 Around here there are Aldi's, Shop and Save and a few other discount stores I use for certain items. Aldi's has pretty good chocolate, right near the entrance so I rarely make it past without picking some up. 

     In spring and summer the farms and orchards always have good prices on fresh vegetables and fruits, especially for pick your own.

I do a fair amount of canning so the pantry always has some vegetables on hand. This year I managed corn relish, pickled beets and apple butter.

Today's project is sauerkraut which I have a fermenting crock for so as long as I keep the water seal up, the kraut lasts quite a while. I never really liked it until I had some home made and most recently I started trading with another fermenter. That keeps it interesting. 

      Recently I've been trying to make a supply of my own convenience items to flash up dinner. Roasted garlic butter, ramp pesto, basil pesto, reduced chicken stock ice cubes. They can be kept in the freezer and popped out when needed.

 Good quality olive oil really makes a difference but of course butter makes everything better so when that is on sale I buy more than I need. .

Meat here is pretty expensive so I stick with the cheapest cuts I can find when I do buy it. 

No question that keeping the grocery bill down requires some effort. The last time I went for just a few things it cost me $60. 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

You sound like you have it licked.

When I was single (yea yea dinos roamed the Earth lol) I pretty much depended on the restaurant/bar and grill's family meal.

"cept when I could flash a wink and end up with a dinner date lol.

 

My fridge was for storing booze and condiments lol.

 

*1 for Aldi's chocolate.

Their canned peaches are good as well.

I never remember my bags so I have to buy one (my collection is getting pretty big lol).

 

There is a neighbor who keeps a greenhouse so I barter Meyer lemons for his tomatoes.

The Grands like to garden (carrots, spring onions...some of the easier veggies) and living in south Texas they usually get started in February.

 

The butter is starting to go on sale so looks like the fisherman will need to rearrange the freezer lol.

 

mimi

post #4 of 15

I shop in  many stores in  the South . I have found Aldee  to be the least expensive but like Costco they do not have the product all the time. Costco is by far the cheapest on pharmacy . Walmart is # 2 for price I have found them 20 to 25% across the board cheaper then Publix or Kroeger.But their produce stinks.  Publix being he most expensive.  

    Crackers and cookies and frozen veges and some grocery  Dollar Tree is the cheapest. When that guy carries your basket out of Publix to your car, believe me you are paying for that service.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #5 of 15

I'm very lucky to live in a very ethnically diverse part of Chicago, so I do most of my food shopping at ethnic markets--mostly produce markets. I've always spent most of my food $$ on fresh produce, so this is a longstanding habit. I am usually horrified when I see supermarket prices on produce.

 

I have several Vietnamse/Chinese markets right at my train stop and there is a Mexican Produce market/grocery store/carniceria that I can get to easily, where I buy most of my fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts in bulk packaging, I also buy pork shoulder there when it is on sale--and it is often on sale there, as is ground pork. There are also Indian Markets a couple of miles from me. I buy spices there and at a Middle Eastern market in my neighborhood. I eat a lot of lentils, chickpeas and beans, also inexpensive in bulk in all of these cuisines, so I buy big packages.

 

I do go to the grocery store once a week but I buy little there. Chickens or chicken parts when they are on sale, pork tenderloins when they are 2 for 1. I freeze what I don't eat. Bacon, ham, sausages--also get purchased on sale, portioned, and frozen. I usually use these only in small quantities to flavor dishes. I haven't bought beef in a very long time. Too expensive and I've never eaten much of it, so I don't miss it terribly.

 

I don't buy fish because it is too expensive here unless you buy it at the Vietnamese markets. The fish there is whole and the labels are in Vietnamese and Chinese, so I don't have the slightest idea what any of it is or how to prepare it. I'm also just a totally inexperienced cook when it comes to fish. 

 

Cheese...I miss cheese. I love good cheese. There used to be a wholesale European Import store here that opened to the public every 3 months or so that had great prices on cheeses but they closed a couple of years ago. I'm a little terrified because this just opened today a few blocks from my apartment. I can afford neither the $$ or the calories.

 

http://www.pastoralartisan.com/

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

It is interesting to see how everyone shops to not just to survive but to eat well.

 

I buy what looks the best (and hopefully in season and on sale) and try to preserve in the freezer or jars (sometimes I am physically unable to stand that long and we end up eating it all or just prep it for the freezer).

 

Our closest formal "farmer's market" has become a hodgepodge of highly scented handmade soaps.. expensive artisan cheese... and seasoning packets and @ChefEd mentioned WM produce department ... I can hardly tolerate to walk thru it at the height of summer as the little gnats pretty much rule the roost.

There is one farm that brings lamb products but are so expensive that it is a rare treat to buy from them.

The muffins and cookies as big as my head I can pass on lol.

 

We drive around on the weekends and buy (barter sometimes but mostly they want cash)  whatever the guys are selling from the trucks and "stands" ;-)

I usually ask to taste and I get sure...pick one out as they whip out their pocket knives.

They are more than willing and don't look at me like I have 2 heads like the vendors clothed in all organic cotton at the organized markets :lol:.

 

@ChicagoTerry I see why you are nervous re that new store.

Can gentrification be far behind?

It would be sad to see your home turf (so rich in culture) turn into sidewalk coffee and wine bars with free WIFI populated by the little plate and charcuterie board crowd)...disclaimer...I love all of these things but to overrun an established neighborhood is the *8th deadly sin  IMO.

 

There goes the neighborhood :(.....

 

I try to buy in bulk and just what I need but oftentimes I will pass after watching a little kid with grubby hands reach into the bins (where are their handlers???).

Luckily some of what I need is too high for them to reach or not so much of a treat (dried beans and whole spices) so end up paying wayyyy too much for packets of dried fruit and nuts that are free of chemicals I cannot even pronounce. 

The overage can be frozen but still it irks me as freezer space took a hit with the death of MY side by side (baking stuff and fresh produce) last spring.

 

There is a lot we can learn from each other.....

 

mimi

post #7 of 15
For the most part, I shop online and have my groceries delivered (for a fee). I pick the time and date, and can view my shopping history view nutritional values etc.

I shop approximately every 7 to 10 days, as I want fresh produce.

I have become aware of same being more costly. Not sure if it's due to the drought.

Recently, for health reasons, I cleaned out the pantry, as I am careful about carbs/sugar and sodium. It can be very confusing. I don't buy chips, candy or sugary treats.

I shop seàsonally, but noticed a high price for avocados, tomatoes, grapes and especially blueberries. They used to be sold in same sized cardboard containers as strawberries at the same price. Now they are packaged in tiny clamshells for triple the price, and not delivered (out of stock?)

I changed my diet for health reasons and lost 20-25 lbs in 4-6 months. Re the price of groceries, don't have any easy answers. I think it all evèns out at the end of the day.
Edited by Cerise - 10/30/15 at 10:47am
post #8 of 15

I'll second the ethnic markets. I enjoy access to quite a few. Traveling to all in one trip isn't sensible but when in the neighborhood I always stop to pick something up. Prices and selection are great even though I don't understand half of it but it is fun to read all the labels.  

     ChicagoTerry-I also have an Asian fish market that rivals anywhere else in the area. Cooking fish isn't tough, just quick. Employees will translate for you or get someone who can. They will cut it however you want or buy it whole. Most fish like white wine and lemon, baked in the oven. No need for challenging techniques. When it flakes, it's done. I encourage you to gamble on a fish or two from your market. 

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTerry View Post
 

I'm very lucky to live in a very ethnically diverse part of Chicago, so I do most of my food shopping at ethnic markets--mostly produce markets. I've always spent most of my food $$ on fresh produce, so this is a longstanding habit. I am usually horrified when I see supermarket prices on produce.

 

I have several Vietnamse/Chinese markets right at my train stop and there is a Mexican Produce market/grocery store/carniceria that I can get to easily, where I buy most of my fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts in bulk packaging, I also buy pork shoulder there when it is on sale--and it is often on sale there, as is ground pork. There are also Indian Markets a couple of miles from me. I buy spices there and at a Middle Eastern market in my neighborhood. I eat a lot of lentils, chickpeas and beans, also inexpensive in bulk in all of these cuisines, so I buy big packages.

 

I do go to the grocery store once a week but I buy little there. Chickens or chicken parts when they are on sale, pork tenderloins when they are 2 for 1. I freeze what I don't eat. Bacon, ham, sausages--also get purchased on sale, portioned, and frozen. I usually use these only in small quantities to flavor dishes. I haven't bought beef in a very long time. Too expensive and I've never eaten much of it, so I don't miss it terribly.

 

I don't buy fish because it is too expensive here unless you buy it at the Vietnamese markets. The fish there is whole and the labels are in Vietnamese and Chinese, so I don't have the slightest idea what any of it is or how to prepare it. I'm also just a totally inexperienced cook when it comes to fish. 

 

Cheese...I miss cheese. I love good cheese. There used to be a wholesale European Import store here that opened to the public every 3 months or so that had great prices on cheeses but they closed a couple of years ago. I'm a little terrified because this just opened today a few blocks from my apartment. I can afford neither the $$ or the calories.

 

http://www.pastoralartisan.com/


Chicago Terry I live in rural America but lived in Chicago before that for 20 years. It was a culture shock to come here and not have the diversity available.

 

I have friends who send me stuff by UPS or overnight mail.

Things like jicama, radicchio, really descent artichokes, are impossible to find here.

If you do see them on a grocery shelf, they are old and shriveled because no one buys them and the store employees don't know how to display them properly or know when they are bad.

We are supposedly getting an upscale supermarket here in 2017 (Meijers) but I have reservations about how it will be accepted.

post #10 of 15

If you have a 99 Ranch Market in your area, give it a try.  I used to bring home half a roasted duck for about $18 (I forget) from another small asian place.  Need to go back again soon.

 

post #11 of 15
Sam Woo? Great Chinese BBQ just two doors down from 99 Ranch!
post #12 of 15

Sam Woo in Alhambra was one of my first stops when I went to LA last December.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

Sam Woo in Alhambra was one of my first stops when I went to LA last December.


Very cool. How much is a duck? Alhambra is quite away from me, but i'll try Google to see if there's a woo closer to me. Thanks guys. The Asian/Thai places around me have gone downhill.
post #14 of 15
Sam is also downtown and in Van Nuys. Closer?
post #15 of 15
Thanks..
Edited by Cerise - 10/31/15 at 9:26pm
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