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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scary Rise in Grocery Prices: Solutions

This week, I had a case of sticker shock. In 2010, I found a sale on Starkist Tuna--$0.50 for the 5 oz can. I could only afford 20 cans at the time and kept buying a few at a time as the sale lasted several weeks. Because I like tuna and eat about one can each week, this sale was a boon.

Since then, I have bought several cans at a time at the regular price, some weeks buying none. Oh, how I wish I had bought more when the price held steady at $0,82/can for several years. For the last few months tuna has been $0.88/can. I have a few cans here all the time, but it is certainly not a stash, just several cans ahead.

I was dumbstruck when I found the price had risen to $0.94/can! Folks, that is a 7% increase overnight. Are you seeing this in any food you buy.

This is the only dramatic price increase I have noticed. My solution: I will still eat one can each week, still. But, it will  make two meals, not one.

When I married in 1966, I could get four sandwiches from a can of tuna. I added three chopped, boiled eggs; Miracle Whip; chopped pickles; chopped onions; lots of chopped celery. Then, my husband and I each had a sandwich on two consecutive days for lunch. I can do that again with only one egg, and eat it in two portions. The sandwich can be fatter!

Often, I dump a can of tuna onto a bed of greens with tomatoes. Now, it will be half a can on my salad! Since I eat meat most days, this is not too much of a sacrifice. It just means the inconvenience of storing the rest. Yes, it hurts my back to stand for the extra thirty seconds to transfer it to a bowl, cover it,  and bend to put it in the refrigerator.

A friend is going to find the price at the PX or Commissary, whichever it is that sells food, and see if he can beat that price for me. Plus, I found a coupon for Starkist. Every little bit helps.

Your turn
What foods prices have you found with a dramatic increase? What is your solution?

10 comments:

  1. The best sale I've seen on salmon in about a year now, is 2/$3. Regular price on 2L store brand pop used to be .99, now it's at least 1.29. Milk keeps going up, sometimes over $6 for 4L, but then some brand will be on sale for $3.99, so I buy lots and freeze it. Everything else seems to bounce up and down, so as long as I shop the sales I'm still getting the same prices on most things that I'm accustomed to. Although, I'm probably not a great person to ask, since I don't really buy that much at the grocery store to begin with.

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  2. Wendy,
    Milk is $3.79, but I buy the store brand and not the Walmart brand. Name brands are just under $6.

    Even if you don't buy much, you can see rising prices. Actually, your not buying much means you can remember prices of what you do buy much better than someone who has more to keep up with!

    Do you freeze a whole gallon of milk? I tried that and it took over a week to thaw. So, I never did it again.

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    Replies
    1. Milk comes in bags here. A 4L bag has three smaller bags inside it. I take two out of the freezer at a time, and by the time we're finished with the one in the jug, the other two are defrosted. I have to put them in a bowl in the fridge though- they usually leak after freezing.

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  3. The price of bread just kills me. How can a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread possibly cost $4.19?

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  4. Wendy,
    So, that's how you do it. I bought four gallons and froze three. The kids would have starved to death if I had waited for the one to thaw that I took out when the first was low. I had to go out and buy milk with one just refusing to thaw.

    If I were to freeze milk for my consumption, I would freeze it in pints.

    I think everything leaks after it is thawed.

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    Replies
    1. Janet,
      They get what the market will bear. I go to the Thrift Bread Store and get whole wheat bread with no preservatives, no hfcs, and have double fiber--for $.99 until a month or so ago. Now, it is $1.29. The sell-by date is usually four or five days out. I think it is $3.89 in the store, way too high for me.

      The store prices are enough to make me want to give up bread. I certainly eat less bread, not a bad thing, I suppose.

      I did buy 6 or 7 loaves at a time and freeze two at a time in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag. I reused those bags for at least a year before they wore out. At least i never had frost inside the bread bag.

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  5. That is exactly how we do it too.

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    Replies
    1. Janet,
      It is the only way I can afford to eat quality food.

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  6. I think the plastic lids made for canned cat food will fit a tuna can. That might be easier than transferring the tuna.

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    Replies
    1. I looked at those as I went by and figured it was not food safe plastic. That was my thought--same size. Good suggestion!

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