Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Grocery Prices Rising Through the Years

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Grocery Prices Rising Through the Years

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I saw this pin on Pinterest the other day that had me thinking back to the good old days of spending. I didn’t save the pin, but the jist of of it was 3 shopping carts, and what you could buy for the same amount of money in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The cart was full in 2004, and as the years pass, the less full the cart was. I thought “How True!” I remember when Jason and I first moved in together and made our first real shopping trip. I think we ended up spending close to $100 buying everything we needed for the house, and I was freaked out by how much everything cost. That was the day I knew I needed to learn to live a little more frugally. We immediately subscribed to the Sunday paper for the coupons and to get the sale ads to price compare with. Any time I would spend over $60 a week, I would panic. That was 14 years ago, and thinking back, I laugh at myself for thinking those shopping trips were expensive. I really wish I still had those $60 grocery weeks! It seems like everything has almost doubled in price since then. Even on my best weeks, I can’t leave the store without spending $130 or more. Gone are the days of $2 gallons of milk, $1 eggs, and 25¢ per pound bananas. Each week I stand there staring at my receipt thinking WTF did I buy!? It scares me thinking how much more prices are going to rise in the next 14 years!

I am once again having to relearn how to be a little more frugal at the grocery store. Our newspaper coupons are almost non existent anymore, which leaves me hopping on my laptop searching for printable online coupons. I just found out my favorite grocery store will no longer double coupons after this month, which means my grocery budget is going to take a huge hit. I have entertained the idea of store hopping for the best sales, but I worry the amount I spend in gas will eat up my potential savings.

Today I am looking for tips from my wonderful readers on how you save money at the grocery store? Do you store hop? Do you have a membership to a bulk shopping center like Costco or Sam’s Club? If so, is there a big savings difference? Do you coupon shop, and if so, where do you find your coupons? Please share your money saving tips!


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26 comments:

  1. I almost always go over budget if I'm grocery shopping alone. Some of the prices of staple items (milk like you mentioned being one) are just ridiculous. $6 for a jar of peanut butter? And not even a big one? That's what I paid today. *sigh*

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    1. Don't get me started on the peanut butter! That is another one that really irritates me where price hikes are concerned!

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  2. Food also doesn't last as long as it did. I feel that's a big reason why I have to go to the store more often then we did when I was a kid.

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    1. It's because they keep shrinking the packages, but keeping the prices the same or even raising them. Then we wonder why we've went through the groceries so quick. It's disgusting!

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  3. I was thinking the same thing the other day about our grocery bill. It was so nice to get so much food for $100 but now it really has doubled and I am at the store more often. I would love to know some tips too. I never cut out coupons but I really should. I wish I was an extreme couponer at times!

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    1. I don't get those extreme couponers and how they do it. My store only takes 2 like coupons, so stockpiling just isn't an option. They must be making a ton of trips to the store.

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  4. Here's where I suck - when I need stuff, I just buy it at Walmart or BJ's Wholesale club. I don't use coupons and I don't shop sales (gasp). But the price of food HAS tripled since I bought my house 11 years ago. I spend probably at least 800 to 1000 on food per month for 5 people and it seems like we always run out of stuff before payday and I have time to get back to the store. Growing boys.....

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    1. It's not just boys, my girls tear through the groceries too. It doesn't help that their friends are always over too helping themselves to the cabinets.

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  5. My Hubs and I were just talking about how expensive food is. Eating healthy is even more expensive for some reason. I just wonder if it is ever going to stop....

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    1. Isn't that crazy? You would think the healthier options would be LESS! We spend less on unhealthy foods, but end up paying for it in the long run in medical bills caused by those bad for you foods.

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  6. I really need to start using coupons...my sister saves a TON by using them!

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    1. She should teach a class on how to do it. I'd love to learn how to save more with coupons!

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  7. I agree...prices are insane now a days!! It's unreal. We have a Costco membership and LOVE it. It really helps save money in the long run for us, and with the Executive membership, you get 2% back with each purchase that you're refunded with at the end of the year. We also use the Rebeez app on our iPads to sift through flyers easily and find deals, as well as price matching with stores. Coupons aren't as fabulous here as they are in the U.S., but I do try to use them when I can ;)

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    1. I wish we had a Costco in our area. I hear their prices are fantastic. And I have also heard their pharmacy prices are unbeatable. We spend a lot of rx so that would be worth a membership alone!

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  8. Yeah it is pathetic how much things have gone up and keep going up. as said eating healthy is even worse. Plus things cost more and have shrunk too, so you have to buy more to get the same amount, which costs even more. I use costco, as it does save me a bit, not a ton, but at least a little bit.

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    1. I agree. They are so sneaky when they reduce packaging size, like we aren't going to notice.

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  9. oh i know!!! it has gotten crazy with food prices--i like to think i am pretty frugal but must admit to rarely using coupons---i am thinking about joining sam's club--good post!!!

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  10. Oh Theresa! My oldest daughter is coupon QUEEN. She has the 4 newspapers delivered and has the big binder of coupons every week. Her cold storage looks like a regular grocery store. Man! I coupon on stores like Target, Kohls or Walmart for single things I want. I love the $10 off or $5 off coupons that go toward anything!

    Your Auntie story was funnny. So funnnnnny! Like you (cute funny, not weird funny)

    I have more OPI polishes too but I love this lavender one a TON!!!

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  11. It is really shocking to see how food has gone up in my country also Theresa. Our dollar has devalued so much. We try to shop around and buy nothing that is not absolutely necessary.

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  12. Costco really is only so so as far as saving money on grocery items. Unless it's something you can freeze or stick in the pantry there are no savings to shopping there at all. And the items you can store, the savings are generally pretty marginal.

    I scour the flyers and because I live in a relatively small city it really does pay for me to follow the sales around. One of the best things I've done recently is buy a foodsaver sealer. Buying in bulk before was a crap shoot. Freezer bags really aren't very effective and the food may or may not be freezer burned before I actually get around to pulling it out of the freezer. It's also prompted me to do more big batch booking at home and freeze homemade meals.

    Even little things like my daughter loves macaroni and cheese but maybe eats 1/4 of a box at most in a meal. I seal the rest into individual foodsaver bags and when she asks for macaroni again I simply throw the bag into a pot of water, along with another sealed bag of mixed veggies, and voila. Doesn't get easier that that and I didn't open a new box of KD and waste most of it.

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    1. I beg to differ about Costcos. I pay $14 for contacts. Bananas, milk, blueberries, and eggs are much cheaper. Plus every time I go, I eat my money's worth in samples. You can find a cheaper cake either, and they are good.

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    2. Those food savers sound like a great idea! I am going to hint around that maybe we should get one for Mother's Day! I like the idea of big batch cooking too. We unplugged our deep freezer, but I am starting to think it's time to pull it back out and start big batch cooking.

      Joyce, you always crack me up! We went to Sam's Club once and were giddy over all the samples they were passing out. We ended up skipping lunch that day lol.

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  13. We go to Costco for a few things. They're great for OTC meds, toiletries, frozen food, and condiments. Other than that, we just try to get what we can on sale at the grocery store, and only get a few things from the health food store. We have a $100 per week budget but sometimes go over.

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  14. I love coupon deals but the supermarkets here don't really do coupons so I usually try to buy items on discount. times have really changed and amazing how we can easily spend just $20 on snacks alone!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  16. Well, you know how much money I spend on groceries for my family. And I don't even coupon all that much these days. We eat lots of fruit and veggies, and they aren't cheap up here in North Dakota. We don't have a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's here either.

    We stockpile when things are on sale. Even without coupons, sometimes it pays to buy something to last for several weeks when it is on sale. For instance, when frozen veggie sales happen (typically this month is BIG for frozen veggies), I stock up to last us several months. During the summer, when farmer's markets have stuff cheaper than I can get it at the grocery store, I buy it and freeze it.

    We've also recently decided that I'm going to be cooking a lot more things from scratch that we might normally buy at the store (frozen pizzas and burritos, canned beans, etc) and then freeze them for later.

    We do most of our shopping at the commissary, but my sister works in Minot part time, pretty much right across the street from the big grocery store in Minot. She goes in there for loss leaders when there's actually something we need, and we shop at the grocery store in the town my son attends school in the same way.

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Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :)

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