Four years ago, I asked about grocery prices...

@peavey (16866)
United States
October 15, 2011 11:54am CST
I had no idea. I wish the prices were like they were back then! As they keep going up and up and up, I've tried several tactics to try to keep my budget balanced, but it's not easy. what have you done to deal with it? Are you eating lower quality foods? Couponing? Cutting out snacks?
6 people like this
16 responses
@1hopefulman (33872)
• Canada
16 Oct 11
It is becoming more and more difficult! Here we have a variety of grocery stores. So I check the circulars and then go where they have specials and plan my meals around those items. Example: one store had 10 big beets for 99 cents. I bought a bag, gave 4 to one of my friends and I'll eats beats 3 days in a row, along with other fruits and vegetables that were also on sale. Also I have cut out any nonessentials, so that I can eat the healthiest food possible.
2 people like this
@peavey (16866)
• United States
16 Oct 11
Ten beets for 99 cents is a real deal here. What nonessentials have you cut out?
2 people like this
@peavey (16866)
• United States
22 Oct 11
@1hopefulman - You were very nice to pick his grapes! Do you have an area where you can garden? I'm sorry I didn't see your post earlier and I'm not getting notifications of everything.
@1hopefulman (33872)
• Canada
23 Oct 11
Buenavida, I ate all the grapes in a few days. You know how much I love fruit. I rarely drink anything but water. Peavey, I am really a nice guy to help anyone that wants me to pick his fruit or vegetables. He was an elderly man and couldn't eat anymore grapes and appreciated somebody picking them as the birds come to eat the grapes and make a real mess that made it difficult for him to clean up. I also don't get all the notifications and sometimes it's only days later when I go back that I see them.
@marguicha (104444)
• Chile
15 Oct 11
I don´t eat snacks ever. It´s the source of putting on weight. I have experienced the only time I did it. When I quit smoking, I changed ciggies for snacks for a month or two. I put on around 20 pounds and I haven´t been able to slim down in over 3 years. After an age, metabolism is slower so snacks stay. Snacks stay, but your money doesn´t if you buy them. They are a lot more expensive that the rest of the food. When I have friends over, I have learned to make unexpensive appetizers that people love because they are different. Funny enough, as I make all my food from scratch, I eat a lot better.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
15 Oct 11
It's smart to not eat snacks at all, in more ways than one. I usually make all my food from scratch, too. That's just how I was brought up and it's a lot cheaper, I agree.
2 people like this
@marguicha (104444)
• Chile
16 Oct 11
Snacks are awesome but it takes a minute to empty boxes or dishes and a lot of time to take off the extra pounds. Our body does not need tohse extra calories and we don´t hve to spend on that.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
17 Oct 11
True!
@GardenGerty (104430)
• United States
16 Oct 11
We buy in bulk, on sale, and with coupons if we go to stores that accept them. Sam's Club and Aldi's do not accept them. I think we are eating better quality though, as we eat far fewer processed foods. We made our last purchases from the farmer's market today, until next year. When we find food we like in restaurants, I try to copy them at home in a healthy way.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
16 Oct 11
Copying restaurant food is a good idea, but I've never been very successful at it! Basic non processed food is nearly always cheaper and healthier, I agree.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104430)
• United States
16 Oct 11
Actually it is more like making improved versions, I guess. I like orange chicken. I even bought some at Aldi, but it was not great. The name brand versions at other stores charge enough for " dinner for two" to pay for at least one serving at a restaurant, and then half of what you get is rice. . . white rice. I make brown rice, do not bread my chicken, but do copy seasonings in an recipe from online. Even my son ate it and I was surprised. If he had not been eating with us, I would have thrown in some frozen broccoli as well.
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@peavey (16866)
• United States
22 Oct 11
That sounds really good. I don't use white rice, either. When did you say I could come to dinner?
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@JenInTN (27564)
• United States
29 Jan 12
I remember my grandfather fussing when gas went up to .99 cents a gallon He would freak out if he saw them now. As far as groceries..they are constantly going up and it seems like there is no relief in sight. I have taken a few steps to try and keep my budget balanced. I haven't really cut out extras but I have cut back on them for sure. I try to buy in bulk too...that seems to help some. I use coupons sometimes but only for things I would buy anyway. Sometimes you can spend more money of your get stuff because it is on sale versus your need or regular use of. I do buy some off brands to cut costs too but they aren't really lower quality stuff...just not the popular brand. I try to maintain quality. I also use this card that the grocery store here has called a value card. They scan it at the register and it gives you the sale price on various items for cardholders. If you use a coupon with it, it further discounts the product. Comes in very handy.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
30 Jan 12
I agree, you have to be careful with coupons. I buy in bulk when it makes sense to, but it doesn't always for me (a one person household). Value cards help, too, although they track your purchases, I guess it's worth it. I guess we have to use all the tricks we can!
• United States
11 Feb 12
Those cards indeed track your purchases. I imagine they sell your shopping habits to big food mfgrs, otherwise they would not of shelled out the money for such a program in the first place. Thankfully one grocery store has dropped the card business all togeather. And the other one that does it still requires you to use your card to get sale prices and limit amounts you can purchase on deep discounted items. I saw that in line a few months back someone's grocery card was rejected so the person behind them let them use their card so they could get the sales. And my guess the card was flagged because of going thru the line for the limited quanity items several times?
@JenInTN (27564)
• United States
11 Feb 12
It might have been. I don't know about the limited number. I know that there are some sales that only allow a certain amount of the item to be purchased. As far as the tracking thing...yes..I'm sure they do that. The use of the card has been very handy for me though so I don't mind.
@buenavida (8293)
• Sweden
16 Oct 11
I guess we have to look at the price and quality and check what we can buy that is not too expensive. Junk food costs a lot and the nutrition is not good. Better avoid it. I try to look for healthy veggies and fruit when they are on sale. Different stores can have very different prices.. I´m using coupons when they have a good quality offer, but have not bought snacks or sodas for many years. Too many bad fats and aspartame and other harmful ingredients etc etc.. Nowadays many want to buy organic food, so it is available to decent prices in the latest years..
@peavey (16866)
• United States
16 Oct 11
It's good to see so many paying attention to healthy food as well as saving money and see that they go together so well. I'm glad the price of organic food is coming into line with "conventional" food, although the price of both are high, it seems.
1 person likes this
@buenavida (8293)
• Sweden
16 Oct 11
I guess organic food has better nutrition than the conventional, so I wonder if a small organic banana has the same nutrition as a big conventional one..?? Anyways - maybe we can also make our own sprouts and make the beans and lentils healthier.. I wrote some articles in Triond about a year ago about health food that grows in our refrigerators. Must be the cheapest food you can get and takes almost no time to prepare!
@peavey (16866)
• United States
22 Oct 11
You're right; sprouts are cheap and healthy. I should eat more, but I forget to start them. I only think about it the day I want to eat them. I'm not sure about that banana, but I know that when I eat all organic food, I don't get as hungry, so it could very well be!
@bagarad (12868)
• Paso Robles, California
16 Oct 11
I am trying a new diet this week that excludes sugar and grains, and it really is limiting. I'm allowed to eat healthy fats and nuts; protein, and fruits and vegetables, beans, and nut butters, except peanut butter. I've discovered I do better if I do have a serving of whole grain a day. My body seems to need it. We save money by buying in bulk at Costco and Smart and Final and getting produce and dairy mostly from farmers market and Trader Joe's. I hardly enter a supermarket these days. I am using a lot of quinoa, which my diet permits, and dried beans (as in chile). Cooking from scratch saves a lot of money. I have stopped buying premade sweets, since I'm not supposed to eat them and neither is my husband. That saves a lot of money. Some products we buy in bulk and keep as staples are various kinds of dried and canned beans, quinoa, brown and white rice, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth. I don't have time to make soup stock, but I stock up on broth when it's on sale. I do make most soups myself because even if I do use some canned products with the fresh, the finished product is still cheaper than buying the soups I make would be and the quality is better.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
16 Oct 11
Sounds like you eat healthy and it sounds good, too! Can I come for dinner? Buying bulk can make a big difference. I try to buy locally whenever I can, too. How do you use quinoa?
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@bagarad (12868)
• Paso Robles, California
16 Oct 11
You can use quinoa as you do rice, in most cases. The texture is lighter and fluffier. I haven't yet attempted to make Spanish Rice with it, but I might very soon -- maybe even today. If you use it in stuffed pepper recipes, it doesn't hold together as easily as rice with the other ingredients, but is best if you save them and reheat on the second day for you first meal. It gives it longer to absorb the flavors. You an also use it like rice to accompany anything you would serve rice with, such as a stir fry or meat with gravy. My favorite way to use it is in salad. Here's my baseline recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Salad, which is very healthy. http://www.squidoo.com/recipe-for-quinoa-black-bean-salad That's where I start. I made a batch last night and used a sliced Persian cucumber, a chopped medium green pepper, about a cup of grape tomatoes, halved, and about 3/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds in addition to the quinoa and black beans. One day I left the black beans out and substituted some chopped broiled chicken strips. Let your imagination and what's on hand be your guide, just as you would if you were making a chef salad. I might try one with bacon and avocado today and celery today. I normally add feta cheese to taste and dress the salad with Italian dressing. I put about half a cup on the salad and mix well before I put it in the frig to chill. Then we add more feta and dressing to taste individually when we eat the salad. Start with the basic recipe as a guide, look at what you have on hand with flavors that mix well, and substitute and add ingredients you especially like. Some might like to add olives, grapes, raisins, or other flavors, according to your tastes.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
22 Oct 11
Thank you! I'm going to try it. I think I have some in the pantry but didn't know exactly what to do with it. That black bean salad sounds really good.
• United States
7 Nov 11
One has to find what foods will go the furthest in their household and how to prepare them so that everyone will like what they are given (the hard part in my house). I don't do coupons much so many of them seem silly to me. Like today I saw a coupon for .50 off two pkgs of shredded cheese from a brand that sells their packages for $4+ and I had to buy 2 to get .50 off. We don't buy snacks other than 2 take 2 school. Though our big snack around here is popcorn I can get a 12lb bag of unpopped kernels for say $5(only buy it once a year so I'm sure the price is up)it lasts abt a year and we air pop it. We've also cut out alot of drinks, so we really only have milk, water, tea, or coffee to choose from.
@KrauseHome (35514)
• United States
12 May 12
Well, personally for us, it has to be watching for the Sales, and stocking up when an item is on Sale and planning and budgeting for the foods we enjoy, and then making sure we have them around. Many times it is hard to make ends meet, and sometimes it is being able to keep a full cupboard. But I have learned a lot of times it just takes learning to plan and budget, and also a little Prayer and in the end everything usually will turn out OK.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
12 May 12
I've been thinking of what I would buy if I only had... whatever. Like $20 or maybe $15 for a week, then thinking of what I would buy and eat. It helps me think things through as I'm budgeting. I know you're right, things do work out when we pray.
1 person likes this
@ladym33 (11007)
• United States
16 Apr 12
I shop a lot at Aldi's their prices pretty much stay consistent or only go up a tiny bit so I know I can rely on them to not get too pricy. All of their stuff is good so I don't have any problem shopping there. If a snack food is too expensive I just don't get it. If we want something sweet like cookies, brownies, or cake I can just make those things. I have also started several seeds for several different things that I will grow in my garden.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
17 Apr 12
I wish there was an Aldi's near here! Nothing like it, but we do have a Save A Lot and a salvage grocery which helps.
@aprilsong (1886)
• China
3 Feb 12
Well, it is hard to lead the same standard of living with the same amount of money now. In fact, the prices in my countries have risen rapidly, take foods for example, some goods cost double amount of money then one year before, but the salary is only rise very little. Therefore, people's living is much harder than before.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
3 Feb 12
It seems to be that way almost everywhere. Food prices are rising and I hear rumors of food shortages in the near future for everyone, due to several things. I hate to see that happen.
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
24 Oct 11
We are trying, but it's hard. there aren't really good coupons in our province, although they are putting them on cereal boxes now, so that is sometimes helpful. We don't even buy much cereal though. We are making most things - including bread - from scratch, and just trying to take it one week at a time. I remember when 1 week's groceries would be about $45 for the 2 of us, but now there are 3 of us and prices are higher. To be honest, I'm trying to cut back in other areas to compensate, since it seems very hard to cut back any further on food.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
24 Oct 11
I think that making things from scratch is a really good way to cut expenses. There are a lot of recipes and methods online on things that I never even thought to make from scratch. Macaroni and cheese, for instance, or onion soup. Basic ingredients are still cheaper than ready made things. I think there are many who are cutting back in other areas to have enough money for food.
@Bluedoll (17041)
• Canada
22 Oct 11
Not much can do about inflation but look for sales. I still shop quality because in the long run we need to stay healthy. I've been gardened and now starting to look backwards like doing things like making my own baked goods such as bread because it is making sense again. I still use things like butter but now treat it as a luxury and maple syrup well that is liquid gold. If prices continue to rise I'll maybe eat just not have a life.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
22 Oct 11
I understand that! I was lucky enough to find maple syrup at the salvage grocery here for a really good price. I buy milk from a farmer and make my own butter so it isn't as expensive as buying from a store. I will continue to do that as long as I can.
@flowerchilde (12547)
• United States
18 Oct 11
I've noticed those prices that's for sure! Whwn I do our shopping I now at least stop at three different places, one is a discount grocery store (Aldi's, no baggers, etc) then the Dollar store (or Dollar tree) and also Family Dollar.. but Aldi's is last,s even that store is getting expensive, but what I can't find at the others I get there as the regular grocery stores are more expensive, although some do have a discount aisle or brand, ans those come in handy too. Good luck!
@peavey (16866)
• United States
18 Oct 11
I wish we had Aldi's here, I've heard so much about it. I have shopped at Dollar Tree, but kind of forget about it. It takes time and commitment to go to three different stores!
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
18 Oct 11
i meal plan and pretty much only shop sales. its hard to manage when wages stay the same but prices just skyrocket.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
18 Oct 11
Yes, it sure is hard. Shopping only the sales is great when you can do it. Building up a pantry makes that easier, too.
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
17 Oct 11
We don't buy many snacks to begin with. We do use some coupons but it doesn't seem to help much. Mostly we just eat cheaper stuff. We are a family of five so it's hard to feed us all cheaply. We do spaghetti twice a month because for the box of spaghetti and sauce it only costs us about $4 for all of us. We also do tv dinners once a week. The banquet ones are only like $1 each so we all can eat for about $5. I hate doing that but it's all we can afford right now.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
17 Oct 11
If you can get TV dinners that satisfy everyone for a dollar, that's not bad, and if it works for you, don't feel badly about doing it. Thanks for your comments!
@keihimekawa (2010)
• Philippines
16 Oct 11
We (my parents and I) used to ignore grocery discount coupons but now we use them all the time. Before we seldom take part in "buy1-free1" promos but these times, my parents always look after them :P
@peavey (16866)
• United States
16 Oct 11
We live and learn, huh?
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