Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where's the Groceries?!

When grocery shopping lately do you find yourself wondering, what did I buy that cost so much?  Shouldn't there be more groceries in these bags?  I often wonder if I forgot a bag at the store.  It kind of reminds me of the old Wendy's Hamburger commercial.  Where's the BEEF?

Each time I go to the store, I am shocked at the amount of money we are spending to get the same amount of groceries. I overheard an elderly lady yesterday commenting to a store manager on the price of dairy and how they are having a harder time getting by with the increase in costs.  This is a concern among many people.  Not just the elderly. 
As I was unloading the groceries from my vehicle yesterday, I started to wonder, why is it I rarely see any of our neighbors carrying in groceries? This is something we seem to do on a regular basis.  I have watched them carry in fast food more than groceries.  Is this what main stream America eats, as opposed to cooking at home? 

I have watched documentaries which included low income families stating it is cheaper to eat off the the dollar menu versus buying fresh food to prepare at home.  They claim they can't afford or don't have the time to prepare fresh fruits or vegetables for their family.  One question you should ask yourself would be, what is the price I put on my families health?  Eating fast food at times may be "cheaper", however, is it really?  What price are you going to pay in the long run?

Fast food is something we rarely eat.  For one, I don't care for the food, it's not as healthy, and I have to wonder about the cleanliness of the place and the people working there.  It almost makes me sick to my stomach to watch a worker take your money and then go and prepare your food.   Yes, I am a little OCD when it comes to germs.  Not Howie Mandel freaky, but I do carry hand sanitizer around in my purse and use it often.  Eating out is also costing more.  I can still make a more healthy meal at home for my family that costs less.  It does take time to decide on a meal and prepare it.  Is this why many choose to pick up food on the go?  Lack of time? 

Cooking and baking at home does take time.  You have to plan a meal based on what you have available at home.  I know many people shop according to what they are going to make that day.  I detest going to the grocery store, and making a trip every day or two is not for me.  I prefer to shop once a week.  I would go less if I could get by with it.  I often wish our grocery stores would run sales every two weeks instead of weekly.  I generally shop what is on sale.  I stock up on items that are on sale each week and usually get enough to last until the item goes on sale again.  Shopping this way means you need to have a place to accommodate extra items.  If ketchup is on sale, I may buy 5 of them.  The same goes for meat.  This week hamburger was on sale.  I purchased 5 packages.  I will break the packages down into smaller ones and put them in the freezer.  By shopping this way, I have items on hand to prepare meals at home.  It just takes a little planning. 

Even shopping sale items, I am finding we spend almost twice the amount on groceries when compared to what we were spending a couple years ago.  To make things sound gloomier, there are rumblings that things will get even higher.  Wages for the average person are not increasing, in fact they are moving in the opposite direction.  Utilities are increasing.  The price of gas keeps going up.  We have cut back immensely on driving. My husband drives a motorcycle to work to save gas.  We shop locally when possible.  We often find the added cost of gas to drive to a larger city for an item doesn't offset paying a higher price locally.  How are others coping with the added expense of items?  Are you finding yourself cutting back in other areas?  Are you staying at home more with your family?  I myself, have been spending more time canning.  I think it started out of a need to become more prepared, and now find satisfaction in seeing the jars filled with goodies we will be able to enjoy for months to come. 

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