Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rising Food Costs

Anyone who has been to the grocery store recently knows that food costs have been climbing. Dairy prices jumped this past fall. Prices for fruits and vegetables rollercoaster up and down, depending on weather and gasoline prices, which affect shipping costs from farm to grocery. And now wheat prices are set to skyrocket. My sister owns a cafe for which she does all the baking, and she found that the cost of a 50 lb. bag of flour from her supplier doubled last week, and is expected to keep going up. I had read an article just this past week that said that wheat harvests have been bad here and abroad for a couple of years. Yikes. Our pocketbook has been taking a steady beating lately, and this news does not bode well. Bread, rolls, tortillas, pasta, cereals.... lots of dietary staples will be affected.

So I'm looking for ideas!

I'm already couponing, using sites like Money Saving Mom , The Coupon Mom, Savvy Dollar, and others to help shave $$ off my weekly grocery bill. I'm thinking that I'll have to pare down the food options at home. Right now, with 2 teens and a youngster in the house, they expect readily available snacks and mini-meals whenever they get hungry. And my husband likes a hearty meal - to quote, "soup is not a meal, it is something you eat before a meal". And I care about our health, so I want to provide high quality, and not just junk.

Now, beyond saving on food, I found a site today that gave a recipe for homemade laundry detergent, at a fraction of the price of the top brand and even cheaper than the store brands.

Leave a comment and tell me - how are you making ends meet?


Tony D said...

Time to start growing our own food and canning it for the winter.

Creech Family said...

Lately: Coupons, gardening, no eating out except very rare occasions, D does grocery shopping on his way home so that I don't have to drive into town, wood stove to cut out electricity, using library books instead of buying books (one of the hardest for me :) !), cutting off and unplugging all appliances and electronics when not used, hanging out clothes instead of drying them, no more movie rentals (reading those library books instead!), giving "service coupons" (eg good for one vacuum and mopping, one-half day of yard cleaning, etc.) for gifts instead of store-bought ones, D using WalMart gift card to buy gas, getting all dentist appts on same day to make one trip only, and we're building a chicken coop to start growing our own eggs. I wish I had some "magic bullets" for you but am hoping others might have some better ideas than I do! All I seem to do is cut out small amounts but heh, a penny saved.....

Renee said...

Beth, to be honest this year has been the hardest year for me because of all the things you mentioned. I try to cook from scratch as much as I can. But things like cereals, quick snacks, fresh fruit, veggies, I find for cheap at Aldies in Raleigh. Before gas prices went through the roof I would go twice a month. Now I limit it to once a month. One small thing I do, if you like peppers (red, green, yellow)You can buy a three pack (huge) peppers for the price of one at grocery store. I chop them or slice them and pop them in the freezer in zip lock bags. After Aldies I swing around the corner to Flowers Bread Store, you can get three loaves of (white)brand name bread for the price of one at the grocery store. I limit my bread to whole wheat and I can also get it cheaper there. We have a big freezer so I can do this. It's also a great place to get bagels, english muffins, etc. When I bake a whole chicken (out here in Zebulon/Wendell IGA is the place to get whole chickens) I slice off what I know we will eat and freeze the carcass, skin and all to make soup stock (an old country woman taught me that). One of my favorite books is Miserly Moms by Joni McCoy. Lots of recipes to save money while living on one income. Thanks for sharing your resources with us.