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Friday! Has anyone else noticed grocery prices lately?

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So, Sunday the food stamps came. We didn't lose too much because they re-figured ours to be higher than what we'd been getting, so we only lost about $9 per month. Still, we had a few shocks at the grocery store this week.

The prices of a box of store brand mac-n-cheese jumped from $1.00 to $1.49 in about a week. A couple of months ago it was .75/box. A couple of years ago it was .33. Mac-n-cheese, generic, the stuff the poor kids eat.. doubled in the past two or three months, in price. Not in size, if anything the size shrank a bit. It seems everything is up. Milk is up over $4.00/gallon around here. OJ as well, up over $4/gallon, even in Florida. And yet, food stamps benefits are shrinking, salaries are shrinking. I don't know what we're all going to be eating before too long.

So I did a little research to see what prices have done during my adult life. I paused during some major events of my life, starting with Graduation from High School, and turning 18 of course:

Cost of a new home:     $138,300.00
Median Household Income:     $27,225.00
Cost of a first-class stamp:     $0.22 ($0.25 as of 4/3/88)
Cost of a gallon of regular gas: $1.08
Cost of a gallon of Milk: $2.30

The year my first child was born:
New home: 111,000.00
Median Income$19717.00
Stamp: .32
Gas: 1.35
Milk: 2.29

When President Obama was elected:

New Home: $232,400
Median Income: $52,029
Stamp: 0.42
Gas: $4.10
Milk: $4.49

And last year:

The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2012 was $256,900
Median Income: $50,054
Stamp: .45

One of the common Republican Meme's is don't have kids if you can't support them. Look at the price differences between when my son was born and now. Do you think in 1995, even if I was sitting down to figure out how much he would cost me every year (and completely discounting the disabilities I knew nothing about at the time), that I would have figured the cost of milk almost doubling, or gas tripling? And what about that box of mac-n-cheese? I seem to remember that being about .25/box in 1995. Now it's $1.49 and he can eat a lot more of it than he did back then too!

So the next time someone goes on about how much people are getting in food stamps, remind them of how much groceries are rising every single year! I know I can't find peanut butter for under $5 for a big sized jar any longer. Draco goes through one of those a week. It wasn't that long ago those were $3.50, and the HUGE jumbo sized of Peter Pan was $7, that would last him almost a month.

So what have you had to change in your grocery budget to keep up with the price increases? Do you remember how much it cost to eat when you were in your 20's? How are our young people to survive if this trend continues?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:55:14 PM PST

  •  I got my new camera today (10+ / 0-)

    and took a few sample pictures that left me thinking, hmm, I dunno. Of course I'm not used to taking pictures inside at night with the flash, mainly because the flash never worked with my old camera because I dropped it about 2 days after I bought it and knocked the flash out, lol.

    The new camera doesn't have as many exposure as the old one, and I miss them. It's really bonehead point & shoot. Also I couldn't get it unload to my computer without downloading some kind of Kodak software, twice. Shake my head ..

    But, the real test will come tomorrow when I try out some product shots. I like doing them outdoors, if possible, under natural light. We shall see. Meanwhile here are some of the test shots I took with assistance of my Studio Cat, LuvLee:

    She's not really giving me the stink-eye. She just woke up and she's got "bed fur."
    LuvLee testing new camera 111413

    Now she's into posing for the camera!
    LuvLee testing new camera 111413-002

    Here's LuvLee's corner - with her favorite wintertime bed, scratching post, toy collection, etc.
    LuvLee testing new camera 111413-004

    And, here's some of the new jewelry to be listed in my Handmade Gallery shop. Each piece needs to be photographed individually, so that darn camera better work! lol
    New jewelry display 111413-001

    "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:38:19 PM PST

  •  hmm. can't say we've noticed it much. YET. (9+ / 0-)

    but we have been expecting things to go boom for a while... like in response to the years and years of drought we appear to be typhooning out of this year?

    well, my soda went from $7 for a six-pack (artisan root beer) to $9 overnight last year! (whee! just noticed one of our regular groceries that I had NOT noticed carrying it, IS carrying it, and price is currently $8!!! gonna' change where I get THAT staple, all rightie!)

    I've got picky, picky eaters, with very limited palates, so we don't buy much industrial product, more "perimeter" stuff. We are lucky, I know, to be able to pay what we have to for what we need. We're all in relatively good health, except for the food sensitivities, so that helps.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:26:15 PM PST

    •  LOL, and I feel like I'm splurging (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, Mortifyd, trkingmomoe, chimene

      when I buy the .87 per two liter soda at dollar general :). Usually I drink cold brew tea because I don't have the patience to wait for the other stuff. That's about the only reason I still go to Walmart, because at Walmart it's around $3 and at Winn Dixie it's $4.50. I used about 3 boxes of it a month, so I save about a box and a half a month that way.

      I wish I could get more perimeter stuff, but fresh fruits and vegetables have gotten so expensive I often can't. We do a lot of tomatoes and carrots, lettuce for those of us that will eat it, and yesterday we splurged and had spaghetti squash. I always check for sales. But I can't afford to keep us in fresh fruit at almost $3/lb with five of us who eat it. Even if I get the 3 lb bags which are a bit cheaper they only last us a few days.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:09:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can remember when milk went to 99 cents/gal. (11+ / 0-)

    and can remember a Coke going up from a nickel and gas for 17 cents.  (no Alley Oop is not my younger brother)

    OTOH court went OK yesterday and the judge approved the adoption so, as soon as the paperwork clears, my daughter's two little girls will legally also be her husband's.

  •  You already know what I have to say (9+ / 0-)

    on this topic.

    This whole American set-up,
    300 million American customers,
    using lots of diesel fuel
    to grow the food,
    more diesel to transport the food,
    and everything else,
    lots of gasoline,
    to get the customers
    to work and back,
    and to the Walmart Supercenter,
    all that,
    to make the oil families wealthy,
    and powerful.

    So powerful,
    one oil family
    put two of it's men
    in the White House.

    as the supply of oil dwindles,
    the price of everything,
    especially gas and food,
    will go up,
    and will become scarce,
    and then folks will starve and die.

    Build a chicken coop,
    raise some chickens or ducks,
    and you may survive.

    If you can produce your own chicken feed.

    Good morning.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:06:16 AM PST

  •  Wages has been flat for the last 30 years. (7+ / 0-)

    After basic expenses the rest goes for food and needed items. I tell the older grandkids that I used to go into the grocery store and not worry about over spending.  I made a special Sunday dinner of a nice cut of meat every week and cooked up a storm for holidays year around.  I can't do that anymore and have not been able for the last 12 years.  

    I cook everyday and do a lot of baking because it is the cheapest way to go. I spend quite a bit of time in just keeping everyone fed.  I don't shop at Trader's Joe, Whole Foods, Cosco or Publix because I don't have the budget for it.  Instead I shop local specials at Winn Dixie, Big Lots and General Dollar Market.  

    I go to a farmers market once or twice a month and find produce priced lower that is nicer then in the Grocery Stores.  It is part of a flea market on the week end and it is nice just to walk around and look.  I know when Winn Dixie marks down meat and I make a point to be shopping then.  I get some really good deals that way.  I take it home and divide it up into packages and freeze it.  Then I figure out how I am going to use it.

    The first part of this month I bought flour and sugar on sale.  It was a 2 for one sale.  So I got 4 each of Flour, Bread Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar and Powdered Sugar.  Also in that same sale was chocolate chips and other baking pieces.  The list I had with me got shoved back into my purse.  I bought just what I had to have and went home with my hoard.  I still had food in my pantry and freezer.  I also do this when the truck comes in at Big Lots and they put out name brand can goods and cake mixes. This past week end they had eggs 4 dozen for $5 at Winn Dixie and I bought that because that is dirt cheep for eggs in this area.  Last night we had a savory egg and vegetable pie for supper with a salad.  I got the idea from a recipe in a 1999 Annual Southern Living I had just bought at Goodwill.  

    I don't buy magazines but I do find annuals from recipe magazines at Goodwill for $4. They are wonderful hard bound cook books that get donated and they are always like new.  People close up housekeeping here in Florida because of death or to old to live alone and the 20 years worth of collected annuals are not wanted by the family. I enjoy them better then hunting for recipes on the internet.
    I also like to find Wilton baking molds and pans at the thrift stores too. Usually they are a dollar.  It just makes holiday baking more fun.

    I spent a year saving to buy a share in the local CSA farm.  Saturday I pick up my first box and will also get to do some u-pick.  This will be a real up grade in quality for us.  Next year I will be able to volunteer to work a hundred hours and get it free.  I also have my own little garden.

    I see how hard it is for my neighbors too some get food stamps.  I get so mad at the GOP when they start their talking points beating up on people below the poverty level.


    •  We do Winn Dixie and Dollar General as well. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, broths, Mortifyd, trkingmomoe

      Big Lots isn't close enough to be of use, but there is a Sav-a-lot we can get to with just a bit of extra effort. We get most of our meats at Winn Dixie when they're on sale as well. Those buy one get ones are great. And even this past week when we went to the store we saved $78 with the card, which is very very good when a lot of that was meat. My kids though are SO tired of pork chops and pork steaks LOL.

      Winn Dixie has Turkey for .59 per pound when you spend more than $25 in the store. That's going on our list for next week. We plan to get 2, make one next weekend and cut it up, freeze it, and hold the other for Thanksgiving.

      The farmer's market here isn't really a farmer's market. We were very disappointed. It's more a artisan market, with soaps, spicy home made jelly, etc. There was only one stand with produce and that was very limited and more expensive than the grocery store. It was better quality and very good, the little we bought from it, but it doesn't help our budget any.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:17:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pork has been inexpensive compared to beef (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, bigjacbigjacbigjac

        and chicken this summer.  When they have chuck or round roasts on sale BOGO, ask them to grind them up for hamburger.  They will ask you if you want them ground twice and the answer is yes.  They don't charge me extra for that.  There is less fat that way and you use less when cooking.  Just about when I run out of ground meat they have another sale and I have 2 more roasts ground.  I also can do my own with the grinder I have but it is messy with a lot of clean up.  So I try to get them to do it for me. I also use their fuel perks.  I try to make one tank of gas last a month.  That is an additional savings but the perks are not as generous as they were.

        I don't go to Save a Lot very often because it is out of the way to get to.  Big Lots is on the same block I live so I can see when a truck comes in.  I print their coupon out every week because they have a card system too.  Last month they had 20 % off day on your whole purchase and I stocked up on canned goods and other pantry things.  They do this every 3 months.  For example I got Green Giant canned corn for .45 a can so I bought 10 cans to hoard.  I bought Del Monte canned veg. too that day.  Big Lots don't accept EBT other wise they would always sell out right away.  So in January I will keep money from my weekly shopping for the sale. I store the extra cans and boxes under my bed and replenish my pantry as needed.  

        This kind of a shopping system sees me through bad months when I have an emergency to pay for. It took a while for me to work my way into this kind of bulk buying. I know you have health restraints have a big impact on how you can shop.  But you may be able to try getting beef ground for you.  A friend gave me a turkey this month from her freezer but I still plan to get 2 like you.  You can have them cut one in half frozen to store in freezer.  

        •  I usually don't have the grind them. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trkingmomoe, bigjacbigjacbigjac

          Instead I replace hamburger with diced beef wherever possible. When I really need hamburger for something I go to sav-a-lot and buy rolls of turkey burger for about $1.25 for 12 oz.

          I'll probably store one turkey in my freezer for thanksgiving and cook the other and divide it into meal sized portions for recipes. Makes things easier in the long run, not having to worry about cooking it later, and cutting it up cooked is a heck of a lot easier than cutting it up raw.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:30:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning. (6+ / 0-)

    It's going up to 50 today.   They say it will be partly cloudy, but it's really gloomy with dark clouds now, so we'll see.

    My freezers are both full, so I'm not doing major shopping now, except for fresh fish, and a few things I need for recipes.   I also don't use much packaged goods, so I really haven't noticed much price change.

    Today is make soup day because tomorrow night is soup night.   One Saturday night in November I make 3 different kinds of soup, and get good breads, and friends come over for dinner.   They bring the dessert, and a good time is had by all.   Soups this year are mushroom barley, Ribollita (this is like minestrone but with herbs de Provence instead of Italian herbs), and chicken noodle.   Usually it's really cold in November, as it has been this past week, so soup is a really good dinner.   Tomorrow's going to be 55 with thunderstorms.   Soup will still be good.  

    Have a great day.

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 04:56:45 AM PST

    •  I would love to get a freezer for out in the car (5+ / 0-)

      port room. Given the electric out there can support it. I haven't tried the electrical outlets there yet. Right now we just have the freezer with the fridge, so we're limited on what we can buy at a time. I hear there's a local 'meat store' or butcher shop, but I haven't found it yet, and I'm not sure how close it is, if we'd have to take a cab there and back.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:20:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  By the way, for a more filling, (7+ / 0-)

    and less costly,
    mac and cheese meal,
    buy the cheapest elbow or shell
    macaroni you can get,
    and buy some real butter,
    and buy pasteurized process cheese slices;
    I have found the lowest prices at Sam's Club,
    a five pound package
    for about $13,
    a little over $2 a pound,
    compared to $11 for three pounds
    at Walmart,
    nearly $4 a pound.

    Boil water,
    with chicken bullion,
    and one pound of macaroni,
    not a large amount of water;
    you will not drain the water.

    After the macaroni in chicken bullion water
    is al dente or softer,
    remove from heat,
    add one whole stick of real butter,
    and about ten slices of cheese.

    Stir til butter and cheese are melted.

    This high fat food
    is more filling,
    so everyone should get full,
    on less of it,
    it should go farther,
    and cost less per actual meal consumed.

    Bottom line,
    to save money,
    cook from scratch.

    And make it high in fat,
    to feel full on less.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:04:39 AM PST

    •  I've tried home made mac-n-cheese (5+ / 0-)

      My picky 10 year old will not eat it. She will only eat Winn Dixie brand or Walmart brand. She won't eat Kraft, or any other kind no matter how good the sale, and she won't eat home made. She's a weird kid, I know. So she's going to get a lot less mac-n-cheese. We'll only buy it now when it's on sale. We used to keep it on hand for the days when we make a side for the adults that the kids don't like. I guess they are going to be eating a lot more fries because Draco won't eat potatoes any other way and they won't eat rice either.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:22:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if she would like to learn to make cheese (4+ / 0-)

        sauce?  I bet she is a good cook!  If there were some leftover macaroni/noodles she could try her sauce on them. :0)

        Our favorite cheese sauce is welsh rarebit, made with cheddar and beer and served on toast points.  It was a special holiday meal but could easily be adapted to a cheese flavored cream sauce.  Caution, the best part is dipping the toast points!

        If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

        by weck on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:45:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Off to the senior center.... (6+ / 0-)

    Didn't make it on Wednesday.  My ride called and begged off which suited me.  Today I really need to go.  There are things I need from the craft/fabric store and Dollar Tree.  Both are in a shopping center across the street and down a ways.  If she can't stop there afterward, I can "run" across the highway while she's at Gentle Exercise.

    I'm not ready for the craft fair.  I'll get a few things done today and that'll be it.  I have a funeral to play right in the middle of it all.  Hope I can get someone to watch my table.  I have a feeling I won't sell as mjch this year.  My inventory is low, the fair is one day instead of two, and I won't be there for part of the lunch rush.  Of well, the funeral should pay at least $75.  Yes, I'm a bit of a callous ghoul....

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:29:54 AM PST

  •  Oh, yes, (5+ / 0-)

    I'm well aware of price increases. Milk, eggs, cheese, rice, pasta, fresh vegetables & fruit have all gone up, some pretty swiftly, not over a 5-year period, but seemingly month by month.

    I don't remember what I paid for food in my 20s, but I'm a much more careful and selective shopper than I used to be. I'd bet most people are.

    Thanks for the diary, FloridaMom.

    Hope everyone has a good day!

  •  We have very competitive stores here. (3+ / 0-)

    There are strong chains like Wegmans and Tops, Walmart and local independents.  There are Dollar Generals, Sav-a-Lot and Aldi.

    I have been able to keep my budget in hand because I am a voracious reader of the shopping papers.  I stock up during sales and I am still a coupon user, as I have been for most of my adult life.  I have room to store things so any non-perishable is fair game for stocking up.  

    This morning I have to write the list, but I know that I will at least go to Tops because they have the Diet Coke for $1.11 for a 2-liter when you buy 5.  Since this is the only thing partner drinks (except tea when he watches British shows on PBS) I always watch for sales.

    I shop based on unit pricing too, I will buy the cola in whatever container has the lowest unit price.

    The freezer and the garden help with the weekly bills.

    Right now there is no beef in my freezer because of high cost.  

    The paper products are very expensive for what you get, I expect to pay no more than 50 cents a roll for TP, and I haven't seen a sale that good in months.  Eventually the stockpile shrinks and a purchase is required, so last week I paid $10.99 for 20 rolls of store brand "1000 sheet" TP.  That is 55 cents per roll, a 10% increase, and probably will become my new standard price.

    Years ago I determined that the best way to price TP was by weight, not square footage or number of sheets.  Scott came out on top in the name brands, but it may be time to do the measurement again.  Picture me in produce with the scale and 5 different brands of, don't!  If you know the weight of one roll you can determine the price/value of any size package, then you can buy the best value for your needs.  Our waste system doesn't handle 2-ply very well, so I stick to one ply for now.  Coupons can make a real difference on a small package, too.

    The TP industry is trying to move Americans into using pre-moistened wipes as well as TP.  However if you can use something wet, why not eliminate the corporations and go straight to cleaning with water? Other countries are moving that way and I imaging there is historical precedent for washing as well.  TMI?

    The fans of the chained CPI say that people will downgrade their purchases if they don't have enough money to keep up with their previous lifestyles choices; that there are so many things to "downgrade"  that seniors will be able to make do with less.  Well, I think having to downgrade or eliminate their long time staples is embarrassing to these adults,  robbing them of their dignity in public places like grocery stores.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:22:30 AM PST

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