Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My How Food Prices have Risen!

This is something I think that all of you who shop for groceries have noticed - your money isn't buying you what you could get for the same amount a year ago. Whether it's rising prices or shrinking sizes, the cost is going up rather sharply!

One of the first things I noticed is sugar. I used to buy 5 pound bags every few months and the next time I needed to get some, I saw that the bags are now smaller - an entire pound smaller! Now a 4-pound bag of sugar costs me the same as what I paid for 5 pounds less than a year ago.

Next is produce. Now you'd think that by my living in California makes fruits and vegetables cheap. Not so!

Side note: I keep meaning to get to the farmer's market more often, but it's out of the way and frankly, I've been a bit LAZY about it. I promise I'll make a better effort though!

Onions, for example, are at about $1.49/lb. Potatoes, regular russet are the same price. Heavens, I used to get red potatoes, usually costing more, for 99 cents/lb! And these aren't vegetables that are necessarily out of season right now.

Then there are my greens that I have been using for my green smoothies. I usually like to get them at a different supermarket where organic costs $1.79/bunch and they are big, beautiful bunches with huge leaves. At Safeway, however, a CONVENTIONALLY grown bunch of chard cost $2.49 EACH! I just spent five bucks on two bunches of so-so greens!

For rice I've been paying about $1.79/lb in BULK for regular long grain brown rice. Couldn't you used to get this for less than half that a year ago?

So the most dramatic increase in prices that I've noticed have been in staples. Sugar, grains and fruits and vegetables. It is insane. And we're supposed to be telling people to eat healthier? How can many families afford this?

Personally, I'm going to try braving the crowds on Sundays in Berkeley when Aidan is in Thai school and go to this natural foods store that's ENORMOUS called Berkeley Bowl West. They have the largest selection of produce in northern California. And for being an expensive shi-shi grocery store, their produce actually has excellent value. Their bulk foods are also not bad.

So I shall try and plan meals better and stock up on veggies n fruit there.

What have you noticed about food prices in your area? I'd be especially interested to know how you fare in non-agricultural states.

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