I've been to the store three times in the last week, but this is the first time I feel like I was really looking. Mostly I get only what I need for recipes I'm planning to make and I usually build my recipes around what is on sale and/or for what I have coupons. Every now and then, though, you need something when it isn't on sale and there is no coupon to be had.
So I just noticed a few things at one of my favorite stores. This had to have happened in the last 3-4 weeks. Land O Lakes butter is $4.58 a pound!! WHAT?!?!?! I knew milk had been going up. We get our milk at Food City here in TN because you get a milk voucher for each one and after you get 5 vouchers you get one gallon free. Their store brand milk with tax (yep, tax on food in TN) is $4.84.
Just a few months ago, I had stocked up my freezer regularly with pork tenderloins for $1.99 a pound on sale. Now you are lucky to find it on sale for $3.99 a pound. Breezing down the cereal aisle I noticed peanut butter cap'n crunch for $4.18 a box. And don't even get me started on the price of packaged cookies....I guess that's a good deterrent, huh?
But the most disturbing increase, to me anyway, was a tub of deluxe mixed nuts. This was a treat I would get for my husband every now and then because they were always expensive. I forget the size of the container, but it's a big tub with a plastic screw on/off lid. The price went up $3.58 since the last time I got them. No change in size or formula, but one day they just want an extra $3.58 for them. WOW!!! I couldn't believe it. With that kind of money, I might be able to get one pound of a good cut of meat on sale that would make a whole meal.
I don't want to be a complainer....all of this is just to say, now more than ever we need to organize and plan our meals and budgets to make it even try to go as far as it did before. Yes, it takes more time up front, but not really all that much. Most grocery ads come out in the paper on the same day. Or if you don't get the paper, you can get all of the ads online. Sit down with them and plan your meals for the week or month, however you do it. Maybe keep a list handy of all the main ingredients of your favorite recipes so that when you see a sale you can grab extras and be ready to make those recipes on short notice.
One thing I noticed people wasting money on when I was visiting over the summer, is pop...soda, soft drinks, whatever you want to call it. My hosts have their favorites. I get that, so do I. BUT, usually they are on sale every other week. This week Pepsi products, next week Coke. The prices of these drinks have gone way up as well. With them always on sale, you should never pay full price! You say, well I drink a lot of it, so I buy it every week. Usually you can get up to 8 twelve packs each time something is on sale. If that's not enough, you could always take some out to the car and come back in for more....but better yet, maybe you should cut back a little ;)
From my trip to the store yesterday, with only 3 coupons, I got $90.40 in food for only $63.12. Not my best trip, but not bad either. Remember, it only takes a little effort up front to save a lot of money in the end.
Until Next Time......