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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Recent Shopping

Nothing to do with shopping -- just my neighbor's spectacular front yard.
They chose to install a gorgeous garden instead of a traditional lawn.

This is not news to any of us at this point, but prices are almost everywhere. I've been shocked at times over some of these prices. Perhaps I've been out of the spending loop for a while, so I didn't realize some price increases had occurred before now. Or perhaps these increases are part of the recent inflation explosion. Here's my recent shopping experience.

On my husband's birthday I went to McDonald's to bring back a lunch just for him. My husband has always loved 1/4-pounders. So I got him a 1/4-pounder with cheese and a small order for French fries, no drink. My cost for this lunch was just under $9. This price for 1 sandwich and a small order of fries was shocking to me. I could have found a deal, but I was looking for his favorites. I will say, this made my husband very happy.

At Fred Meyer (Kroger affiliate) the price on a gallon of milk went up 10 cents per gallon in just one week. The price on milk there is now 80 cents more per gallon than it was 1 year ago. For my husband's and my joint birthday celebration, I wanted to pick up deli salads from Fred Meyer, so I didn't have as much cooking work to do for that gathering. Again I was shocked by the prices on various salads from the deli. The potato salad was the only reasonably-priced salad at $3.50/lb. (And I think that's too much for basically potatoes and mayo.) The rest of the deli salads were between $5 and $8 per pound, with the majority in the $7 and $8 range. I bought some of the potato salad then turned and shopped the produce section for easy to prepare produce items to use as sides. I bought grape tomatoes for $2.99 ($4.78/lb), strawberries for $2.97 ($1.49/lb), and 23-oz stir-fry kit that made 8 servings, marked down to $2.49 ($1.73/lb pre-cooked).

The exception to all these price increases was a sale on 80/20 ground beef, at $2.77/lb in 3-lb chubs. I bought the limit of 15 pounds. While this was a sale price and for the time being a one-off price event, I wanted to mention something that I've seen happen in the past (most recent not quite a decade ago) when livestock feed prices have gone way up. In this situation, ranchers have a tough choice to make: do they pay more for feed for their large animals and then hope to get a high price per head down the road, or do they decide it's better to shrink the herd now (sell of cattle to be butchered) and avoid the down the road possibilities? What I've seen happen is the second of the two scenarios, where ranchers sell off a lot of their cattle and the market sees a glut in beef, temporarily reducing the price per pound. Unfortunately, this is very temporary, as when ranchers sell off part of their herd to save on feed costs, it means that in several months there will be far less beef on the market, and prices will go way high, staying that way until feed prices come down again.. So, when you see a low price on beef (if your household has beef eaters), buy what you find and freeze it. Don't assume that beef prices will be immune to any of this inflation. Just a heads' up. Okay, back to the post.

My last price observation is the cost of gas. In my area, the price of a gallon of the cheapest unleaded is bumping the $5/gallon mark. Gas was $4.99 9/10 a gallon near me the other day. This is the highest we've ever seen gas in my area. Even in 2008 and 2009, the highest only hit $4.18/gallon.

What price increases have you noticed in the last week or so?

9 comments:

  1. Prices are up everywhere, but one noticeable one was the price of a dozen of eggs at Aldi's went from $0.88 to $2.88. Granted that's still relatively cheap for a versatile protein, but a big jump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      That is a huge price jump. But I agree, eggs are still a good buy for protein, even at these higher prices.

      Delete
    2. ^^that was from Lili ^^

      Delete
  2. I wanted to share with you something about beef prices. The grower we bought our beef from 9 months ago is now getting 50 cents a lb more than he was back then. Other than his direct sales to people like us, he sells to a meat market here in town. That place has raised their prices by a huge amount, but it's not going to Jerry. It's going in their pockets. We are buying more beef in a few months, but to get us by til then I bought 25 lbs of ground beef from a different rancher. I paid $4.20 a lb, which is only 21 cents more than safeways best sale price. His beef is slightly cheaper than the other guy's, but not quite as good tasting-but still very good. If I'm going to pay that kind of money for ground beef I prefer to give my money to the guy who raised it and not the middlemen. A lot of cattle ranchers around here have started selling direct-facebook has made that easier for them. The first guy we bought from is a friend of my ds's, and this second guy is actually a client of my dil's. She works for a nonprofit in the farm and agriculture branch.

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  3. Everything seems to be going up, sadly. One really noticeable jump was on breakfast sausage at Aldi. The package that was $6.89 a few weeks ago was something like $8.29 last week. We were at Costco in OKC on Monday, and their milk was $3.72 a gallon, so that's really jumped. Oddly enough, the Kerry Gold butter was on special for $7.98 for 2 lbs, a great price anytime. Yes, it's expensive, so we save the "good" stuff for uses where it isn't cooked, such as on toast, baked potatoes, etc... .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and Costco bacon, which we really like, was up to over $21 for 4 lbs. This was $15.99 not long ago. My husband bought it anyway, his rationale being that it will probably be even higher next time.

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  4. Most everything here in IN is rising in cost. I buy packets of link sausages for weekend breakfasts. They have went from less than one dollar for a packet of ten to 1.49. My coffee went from 5.99 to 7.99 a container. Each time I go to the grocery I am always really shocked by at these two or three item increases but many are up a small to medium amount each time I shop. I am really trying to concentrate on using things I have on hand, stocking on the sake items when I do shop and changing the way I do a few things. Old habits die hard but I am determined to succeed.

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  5. Yup, yup, and yup. We are dedicated milk drinkers so the $3.69/gallon at Meijer is probably the area that hits us hardest. Aldi is somewhat cheaper with milk prices but I've had several instances during the past few years (and recently) where their milk gets a funny taste close to the expiration date (not quite sour, but not palatable, either) so I have been sticking with Meijer for that. Chicken legs seem to be on sale a lot so while they aren't my favorite cut from chicken, I plan on purchasing more of them. I purchased ground beef for under $3/pound several months ago and I froze it and staggered our use of it during the winter. I anticipate that there will be some sort of sale on ground beef for Memorial Day so I will stock up then. Eggs have also increased in price but as L&L noted, they are still an inexpensive protein, so I have continued to buy them. As for gas ... I'm kicking myself for not purchasing some on Monday at $3.99/gallon. It's up to $4.29/gallon now. Oh well.

    I am glad that you treated your husband to his favorite fast food for his birthday! I think the enjoyment of that goes deeper than the price. We get coupon mailings here for fast food restaurants--might be worth checking into for anyone who eats fast food more than I do. Also, I think there may be a savings if you get the app on your phone?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Our staple, rice paper wraps, went from $1.29 to over $4 per 12 oz package. We stocked up when it hit over $2 a package. Produce has climbed the most in our area. Our favorite 4 lb bag of frozen blueberries went from $7.99 to $10.98. Flour also keeps rising especially because of the war. Also cereal products. Oddly, some food items also have remained the same or gotten cheaper, like peanut butter, some produce like carrots and cauliflower at Sam's, walnuts,and nori (seaweed).

    I'm more conscious of portions, waste, and using ingredients wisely. I delete an ingredient if I feel it would be fine without it. Im thinking more like a minimalist these says to reduce consumption. I'm not picky, so I can get by with a lot of substitutions. Last week, we had several meals of tacos. Instead of hamburger, I used the thin slivers of meat that were left after positioning a roast into breakfast steak. Cheap cuts of fresh beef can sometimes be cheaper and healthier than processed breakfast meats. Then when the beef ran out, I crumbled lentil patties that were premade and frozen for the meat.

    However, the flip side to this war on inflation is higher interest rate on savings. Definitely not nearly high enough but I bonds are paying 9.62% right now.

    Have a great day,
    Laura

    ReplyDelete

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