$20 Doesn’t Buy Much At The Grocery Store Today

by Andrea

Grocery Shopping, Today's Economy

I went to the grocery store this morning for muffins and cat food. I usually spend $20 on every quick run to the grocery store (not including bi-weekly shopping trips).

Twenty dollars doesn't buy much these days.

Seeing the elevated prices in the store this morning, I could not force myself to pick up anything, and I left having only spent $17.

You might think that is great that I saved $3 — or that I had no business spending over $5 in the first place — but the extra money I usually spend at the grocery store buys my bulk sale items. )Unfortunately, the sales were few and far apart today.

First, here’s how high prices have gone from 2003:

    • Wonder bread – up 74%


    • Boneless center-cut pork chop – up 124%


    • Farmland Skim Plus milk – up 38%


    • Arnold stone-ground wheat bread – up 36%


    • Ribeye steak – up 64%


    • Carr’s water crackers – up 39%


    • Birds Eye frozen sweet corn – up 28%


    • Bananas – up 41%


    • Birds Eye frozen baby peas – up 21%


  • Diet Coke – up 10%

And, the change in world prices since May of 2007:

    • Meat – up 12%


    • Dairy – up 24%


    • Cereals – up 89%


    • Oils and fats – up 77%


  • Sugar – up 40%
Source: Time magazine, May 19, 2008


And here’s the price of food 2007 vs 2008.


What I Purchased Today:

20-dollar-bill-photo-by-ppdigital.jpgTwo boxes of Ritz crackers at 2/$2.99. Experience tells any Nabisco product under $2 is a great deal.

Hershey’s Kisses at 2/$3.19. This was a very good price, so I am stocking up for Easter treats.

1 pack of strawberries at 2/$4.00. In this store, you don’t have to purchase 2 to get the deal.

Store brand whole grain bread for at 2/$3.00. Once again, I only purchased one loaf.

Those were the best deals the store had to offer. Usually I can get twice that amount.

The Major Disappointments Were:

Four-packs of Nine Lives cat food at 4/$5.00. The price was raised 25% from $1 a four-pack. I only purchased 2 packs to get us through the week.

Four muffins cost $3.79. I was very disappointed, but also knew that if I did not have my muffins today I would eat something worse tomorrow. I made a mental note to save more money to replace my busted oven that went out Christmas Eve. Making them myself would have been much cheaper as there were boxes of muffin mix nearby for $2 that would yield 6 muffins.

My point in this exercise is to KNOW YOUR PRICES. Even if you have to carry a notebook, you have to be able to recognize when a sale is a sale, and when it is a thinly veiled rip-off. It is especially important in these lean times to get the best deals and leave the bad deals behind. If everyone shops wisely, the stores will have to adjust accordingly.