Rising Food & Grocery Prices

The week flew by in a blur-like state since returning home from Aruba.  The combination of almost 3 weeks away, let lag, returning home and starting work on a Friday last week, which is an odd day to start work again, all made this week seem surreal.

However, I’ve had a few great runs outdoors this week.

Today it was gray and overcast though.  May Gray & June Gloom it’s called here in San Diego.

I saw some pretty trees and flowers on my path.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Lots of juicy fruit has been consumed.

As well as green salads

Dressed with homemade Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

And for snacks there have been always a few handfuls of these

And a few handfuls of Peanut Butter Chex Mix, i.e. Puppy Chow (Vegan, GF, No Bake, Easy & Fast)

And I’ve washed it all down with Vanilla Iced Coffees

These just hit the spot in the summer.   Or year round.

I don’t discriminate with coffee.  I’ve previously reviewed about 20 different types of coffee.

Speaking of coffee, I went to TJ’s yesterday to pick up some of my beloved “daily brew” coffee, Dark Sumatra.  For the price, and availability, and just all around, this is the coffee I reach for day in, day out, after I’ve tired of Smores Coffee or specialty brews which are fun here and there, but Sumatra is my daily workhorse.

I noticed the price went up from $4.99 to $5.99. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s an almost 18% price increase.

I asked a TJ’s employee was I mistaken or did prices go up and she told me that yes, prices did indeed increase on coffee because there is a worldwide shortage of coffee from things like poor weather in the growing regions to more people worldwide drinking coffee to continued weakness in the Dollar.

All of these factors and more are driving up coffee prices and they are at a 34 year high.

Folgers also raised their coffee prices.

She also said that cocoa prices went up, too, for similar reasons.

From my last post, Eating the Rainbow Recipes, it was fun to hear what Rainbow colored foods are your favorites to eat and most everyone agreed that eating rainbow-colored foods found in nature just make you feel so much better.

Questions:

1. Have you noticed any grocery prices rising in your area?  Or any particular items that are now more expensive?

Jenn and I have discussed this a bit and so I know others are experiencing rising prices.

Hypothetically speaking…My musings, thoughts, and opinions only follow…

Imagine if your groceries, across the board, went up 18 to 20%.

That means that the $100 you used to spend for the week for your groceries, just turned into $120.  Are you making more?  Can you afford $120 instead of $100?  I don’t think anyone is getting a raise of 20% just to cover their possibly rising grocery bill.

But what if you couldn’t pay more for food.  You just don’t have the money.  Since you can’t pay more, you’ll just have to eat less. Cruel thinking, but let’s play out the example.

You only have $100 to spend, but now you are really getting about $80 dollars worth of food rather than the $100 you’re used to because of the increase in prices.  Are you going to make sure your kids eat first?  So will you be the one hungry?  Someone’s going to be hungry if you’re used to get x amount of food and now you’re getting x – 20 and you don’t have any extra income.

Or will you take on a second job?

20% is not a small amount for the average person or family to cover or absorb.  It doesn’t sound like much, here and there, but as a lump sum, it becomes very significant.  Imagine if prices did rise 20% across the board for groceries.  Or imagine if your auto insurance went up 20% or your mortgage payment suddenly went up 20%.   However, those things aren’t going up as fast as food prices are rising.

Have you noticed any rising food prices? Overall, you likely have.  Food prices have been, and continue to be, on the rise, overall.

3. How would this effect you and your life?

Would you eat less in general?

Would you eat at home more?  Less takeout?  Cook more?

Buy generic?

Part with the “I have to have organic” thoughts and buy whatever is cheapest? (this is what I frequently do)

Grow your own food? (this is not always cheap, easy, or effective.  Could you feed yourself with what you can grow on urban NYC on balcony or in rural North Dakota in January?  Didn’t think so.)

I have a post on Saving Money at the Grocery Store which has been a popular one and I give some of my real-life suggestions and tips.  How to feed a family and not go in debt is a real issue for so many.

Lots to think about with our food supply both in this country and worldwide and how this global picture translates and boils down to mom and pop and kid just trying to get dinner on the table and eat healthfully and affordably.  I still think you can eat the rainbow and not break the bank.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this!  And again, my opinions only, my musings, and just my stop and say hmmm, thoughts of the day and in no way a complete commentary on this extremely complex topic.

P.S. Last reminder to enter my Coconut Oil Giveaway.  Winner announced Friday (next post).

57 comments on “Rising Food & Grocery Prices”

  1. I feel like prices go up all the time and it stinks. Yeesh — look at gas. When I started driving it is a little over a $1 a gallon. Now it is almost $4 (around here at least) — you just have to adjust for that sort of thing. Spend less in one area to make extra money for something else.

    Honestly if food went up that high we’d probably eat less or we’d have to cut way back on stuff like meat, treats, etc.

    Yeah I would love a 20% raise! :)

    • Gas is almost $5 here.

      And no, I don’t think the avg person in CA is making 20% more than they are in MN, either. Some are, maybe, but that whole cost of living argument I find wayyyy skewed too! But we are paying for sunshine. Which I am happy to do :)

  2. I have definitely noticed food price increase here (new orleans) and with no cost of living raise for 4 years now it is hurting us for sure. We have a garden which helps with produce costs but not too much I can do about coffee. Our garden doesn’t sustain us but it helps offset cost plus teaches my three kiddos about growing food, eating local etc. Your fruit pics look heavenly!

  3. Amen. I’m only 25, but I remember when bacon was $2.99 for a package vs. the ridiculous $5.99 it is today. And cheese – crazy prices. $30 for 5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts?

    I agree with the previous post. I’ll take a 20% increase in pay! LOL

  4. How do you make your iced coffees??? They look fabulous!! I make my own too…cold brewed coffee, english toffee stevia mixed with almond or coconut milk and of course ICE!!! Just wondered if you have another twist???

  5. Funny you mention this because last time I was at the grocery store I noticed the bottles of seltzer I always buy increased 20 cents. That’s a 20% increase, like your coffee! Obviously, there can’t be seltzer shortages as it’s just water so I figured the only explanation was increased transportation costs b/c of gas prices.

  6. ack I knowww! I’ve been growing my own produce, shopping farmers markets and trying to eat more produce and less convenience stuff (the natural gunk free stuff – don’t worry! i have priorities still! hehe) — so that means I may be soaking and cooking my own beans finally and foregoing those cans…. oh dear. here we go!!!!

  7. I’ve been seeing a food price increase too! Especially on things like sugar and coffee and coconut products that grow in tropical regions. Its kind of worrying but I could probably use to cut back on caffeine anyway!

  8. I would definitely feed my child first and chose to go hungry if I couldn’t afford all he food we need. I try to shop at the farmer’s market and buy what’s in season (usually cheaper or on special) or buy in bulk. I find it helps with reducing the overall cost!

  9. NO doubt I’ve noticed the increase in food prices. When we went down from two to one income, I totally changed my shopping habits, and often feel like I can’t cut anymore than I already have. And I need to spend MORE on food, as I want to increase the amount of natural and organic foods. I live in St. Louis, and are gas is currently $3.60ish, but our gas expenses have been way over budget, as well.

    I don’t know how we’re going to compensate yet. Certainly not eating less, but hopefully we’ll continue to eat smarter. Right?

  10. haven’t noticed the food prices, but DEFINITELY noticed the gas ones!

  11. I truly haven’t noticed a difference in prices, but that may be because I just moved, so I haven’t been paying attention. But I have heard that about cocoa and coffee and just yesterday I went to the store for watermelon and there was a huge empty display with a sign that said they were not getting more because of floods. No watermelon?!?! Yeesh.

    The gas price thing was interesting to notice as I drove across the country. I expected a ton of flucutation in prices, but everything stay relatively constant. Until I got here – its about 20 cents more than anywhere along the route I took.

  12. This week has been a blur, I’m sooooo looking forward to our actually hot weather this weekend – woot! Beautiful produce pics.

    Doesn’t surprise me about coffee prices, still cheaper than Starbucks daily – not sure how people afford that!

    1. Yes, produce and some bulk foods, bulk nut prices fluctuate all the time – worse than gas I think!
    3. (2? :-)) Bugeting a little more carefully and thinking more about impulse purchases, if I’ll get my money’s worth.

  13. Yes, I find grocery prices going up. I haven’t even been buying groceries that long in the grand scheme of things(I can’t look back 20 years and say prices have changed) but even I notice the change. I like your questions after question #2. How we spend money on food is pretty minimalistic as it is, but I know a lot of people eat out a lot, or buy expensive processed foods so when prices go up maybe people will consider not spending their money that way. We’re lucky enough to have plenty of room to grow a lot of food in the summer(I can all the tomatoes and peaches we need for the entire year and freeze fruit from trees in our yard and from neighbors, that kind of thing) but honestly if we couldn’t grow a lot of our own food and over all food prices went up 20% that would have a huge impact on our lives even though there’s only 4 of us. Makes me think of my mother in law who feeds 11 people on Sunday night when all the kids come home for dinner, and 5(including 3 extremely active teenagers) on a regular basis. How crazy do you think 20% would be on top of that bill? And yes, I would go without for my kids if it came down to it, no doubt about that but there are a ton of ways to save money before it gets to that. My hubby and I were just talking(and quite often do) about the prices of everything going up but wages not increasing at all. The money has to come from somewhere and for some people it can’t come from any place else. Like for a lot of people there are other things to cut out of a budget that aren’t necessary but for a lot of people there are no extras to cut out and that is so sad :(

  14. I haven’t noticed the price of food going up too much. Maybe because I shop at so many different places: Farmer’s Market, WF, TJ’s, Publix, etc. I would SERIOUSLY consider getting a second job if food prices went up 20%. There’s absolutely no way I would be able to afford food. I work for the government, so there’s basically no hope of ever getting even a cost of living raise, let alone 20%@ I would apply at WF because then maybe I could get a sweet discount also..

  15. I haven’t noticed any drastic changes in food prices around here lately, I probably should pay more attention. Also, I might have been distracted by the ever changing gas prices (they go up and down by more than 10 cents three times a day – crazy!). Prices are always going up, but our incomes usually don’t follow.
    I wouldn’t eat less, but probably cut down on treats and eating out, and I’d try to find cheaper food items. Something like living on rice and beans. No, just kidding! There are many ways to save money at the grocery store without going hungry. Guess you know most of them already, right? ;)
    Most effective, in my opinion, is buying seasonal and local produce. It’s generally much cheaper. Berries, cherries, and tomatoes are my favorites at the moment. Thank goodness it’s June and not January!

  16. I’ve noticed some increases in food prices, especially for fresh produce. I almost never buy organic for that reason. I doubt I would eat less, but I would buy more frozen produce, and eating cheaper food like rice and beans instead of tofu or tempeh. I’m not sure a garden would be much cheaper than just buying produce once you factor in the plant prices, fertilizer, fence to keep out critters and such. At least that’s the case where I live.

  17. Yep…I just got “the letter” from green mountain explaining their recent price increase (I “subscribe” to their coffee club so get auto shipments) It feels like it just happened a couple months ago, but they had to rise again! So glad it’s not like that across the board for groceries.
    I am very grateful that I have the time, for now, to make a lot of the more expensive things that would otherwise be on my grocery list. Handing over $5 for the good bread when I don’t have time to make it just about kills me because I know it’s a fraction of that from scratch. Other things like granola bars, boxes of cookies or munchies, too. All very expensive in comparison to how much the ingredients cost me if I were to make them. None of this stuff has risen, necessarily, just something I’ve always noticed.

  18. Green Mountain Coffee just sent out a notice to their customers informing us that the price of coffee is going up as well. I didn’t calculate out the percentage increase (and I can’t find the letter) but it was significant.

    Despite that though, my grocery bill has stayed relatively stable…but I try to buy my produce locally sourced and in season. I’m especially excited for the farm down the road to start selling it’s produce because there’s nothing better than fresh veggies straight from a garden!

  19. i love talking coffee – on my blog today, too!
    rising prices: i definitely feel it with gas for my car. i try to drive as little as possible but do make a round trip to toronto (one hour each way) at least weekly, and it is a hit to the pocketbook. but family time > money, so i’ll make adjustments elsewhere.
    food prices: i stash when items i love are on sale (ex: starbucks via coffee – have enough for at least two months now!). and if i suddenly HAD to do with 20% less for groceries, i would pick cheaper items, but not reduce QUANTITY. ex: tofu for $0.99 instead of chicken breasts, say. and organic would have to go.
    wow, can’t believe you’ve been back a week already, you’ve accomplished so much in the last seven days of being home!

  20. I saw an article about the coffee shortage/price rise a few days ago but I’ll just search around for some coupons and hopefully hit a sale:)

    To keep my bill down i don’t buy much processed food, I ALWAYS look for coupons, and i only buy in season (aka the cheapest) fruits and veggies and most times from road side stands or farmers markets. I also have a garden so i cant wait for it to start producing veggies:)

  21. Yeah i noticed about the price increment,especially a gas prices,sometimes it becomes really tough at the end of month,when the gas is about fill and we don’t have the idea about the exact price rise of the market,at the month end mostly of us have a tight budget.

    I wish these price fluctuations don’t get place in such random action.

  22. I just bought some more coffee the other day, too, and I thought it was abnormally high. :(

    And I honestly believe you can eat completely healthy and b on a budget. You don’t have to go out and buy goji berries or cacao nibs to be healthy. Regular produce is not terribly expensive. I get organic produce from a co-op every other week-and it is good food for really good prices.

  23. As a graduate student, I definitely could not cope with a 20% increase in my grocery bill. I try to feed myself well, both quantity and quality. I’d have to part with some natural products if there were an across-the-board increase, but my first effort would be to reduce unnecessary spending elsewhere in my budget. I try to buy locally, in bulk, and part of the reason I’m vegan is because of the economic and environmental effects of eating and producing animal products. I definitely would not part from these values, because I believe it would exacerbate the problem in my own, albeit small, way.

  24. It always takes me a little while to get back into my element after a trip. Sounds like you’re definitely getting back into your groove though. LOVE puppy chow… it’s been WAY too long since I’ve had it.

    I tend to keep an eye more on gas prices than food prices (more visible = easier I guess?), but I do notice if some of my staples go up in prices. That said, I don’t think I would ever skimp on my staples. I eat what I eat because I feel it fuels my body it a healthy way and makes ME feel good. If non-staple items went up in prices, I would probably be willing to find an alternative or cut them out if it was TOO high to afford. But with staples, I would make other adjustments in my buying to keep affording what I know makes me feel healthy and energized, and tastes good.

  25. Cocoa is also expensive because you get 50% butter and 50% powder from cocoa beans. Butter is expensive, and it’s sitting in silos, not selling very well. Companies that make cocoa powder and butter are having to make money off their cocoa powder. Coffee is crazy, and there isn’t much we can do. Part of it is fund involvement. Instead of making money from the stock markets (or in addition to), fund managers are also making money from agricultural futures. It makes it very tough because the fundamentals don’t always apply when it comes to actually buying the food. It could be a great crop year and prices aren’t predictable because of fund involvement.

    In the US, we pay a lot less for our food than do people in other countries. We have been very lucky. I was reading about a family in Guatemala. 80% of their income goes to food. They really do eat less.

    Maybe it’s because we are in the middle of a recession, but I think that we will have to start paying more for food. I don’t think there is rally any way around it.

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