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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Food Prices on the Rise? Yes, but...

Food is still very cheap in the U.S. So says my Frugal Son. He's right. Plus, Americans spend a relatively small percentage of income on food. The global/philosophical picture notwithstanding, I still like to practice my frugal ways on food.

During a recent trip to San Antonio for a conference, Mr. FS and I hit a local grocery for some snacks for the long drive home. It seemed to me that food prices in San Antonio are lower than they are here. In fact, boiled crawfish (which has been the subject of many local laments) was incredibly cheap, not that one wants to spend a 9 hour trip in the company of boiled crawfish.

So, how do you save money on food? Easy. Read the ads. I scanned the ads today and discovered that Albertsons has the most stuff on sale. Now I'm only going to buy one or two things since I am still trying to eat from the pantry and freezer. But if you lived here, this is what you could get.
--whole chicken @ .49/lb
--pink lady apples @ .99/lb
--red seedless grapes @ .99/lb
--celery,green beans,sweet potatoes @.99
--tuna @ .59
--barilla pasta @ .88
--camellia red beans @ .88/lb
--frozen veggies @ .88/bag

For $20.00, you could get a lot of food, some of which could last more than a week. Notice that I didn't mention coupons, because I am too lazy and messy to think about using them.

Hmmmm. A Waldorf-esque salad? Salade nicoise? Plain old roast chicken? Chicken chil1? So many wonderful possibilities.

Do you pore over grocery ads?


FB @ said...

I don't pore over ads (we don't get any, one of the perks of living in a hotel)... but wow. Your prices are CHEAP.

*envious* :)

How much are tomatoes there? Here it ranges from $4.99/lb to $15.99/lb (those are the fancy ones I touch in the store but cannot bring myself to buy)

SewingLibrarian said...

I'm spoiled because of a regional grocery chain I patronize that has great prices on produce. They have posted a sign apologizing for a rise in prices lately because of bad weather, but they are still miles ahead of the big grocery chains. I watch their ad and one other ad, and my husband buys some of our groceries at Costco. I think we do pretty well.

Duchesse said...

Roast chicken need never be "plain old": lemons, garlic, shallots: stick something in it and let it sing!

We buy seasonally and watch for specials on items we use a lot, like canned San Marzanno tomatoes. In our house the waste side of the equation is the one we watch most closely.

Funny about Money said...

Whoa! Your prices are a lot cheaper than they are here.

I paid $1.99 for cutrate chicken the other day. A small organic whole chicken here routinely costs around $15.

Now, I don't buy those things. I pay about $5 for a chicken at Costco. By the pound? Not sure. But when it comes to meat, I feel happy if I can find chicken, pork, or beef for under $1.99 a pound.

On the other hand, I'm with FB: I just don't have time or patience to study the food ads and clip coupons. No doubt you could do a lot better here with a little strategic planning.

see you there! said...

Those prices haven't been seen here in some time. Grapes, any color have been over $2/lb for ages. Chicken never under $.99/lb at best. Celery was $2.49 a bunch last time I bought it. I can't wait until our garden is producing.


Boywilli said...

Sadly, the items most likely to be in the grocery ads here are not for items we normally buy: candy, convenient foods - mostly fattening ones, beer or cider. Tinned goods we do buy are name brands whose sale prices still don't compare well with the generic foods at our usual grocery, which doesn't do much in the way of leaflets anyhow. I do peruse the Netto's ads, though they are much as described, because the occasionally will have one or two items at such good prices we make a special trip and stock up big time. We save the most by purchasing from a variety of locations that specialise: the butchers and the green markets, then fill in on pantry items as needed. We currently have loads of cornmeal and beans to use up...

Frugal Scholar said...

@FB-That's because I picked out the bet deals. When we visited Canada, we thought the prices there were cheap--for things like couscous, which here count as a gourmet item.

@Sewing--Ooh--what's the chain? Just looking at the ads for 1 minute is a help--not time-consuming at all.

@Duchesse--That's true. I STILL haven't made Marcella Hazan's famous chicken w/ lemon...waiting for my tree to produce again after a freeze.

@Funny-I'll do the food ads for you if you want. It can be my fun project.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Darla--I only picked out the cheapest sale prices. I looked at three ads.

@BoywilliakaShelley--Lots of stuff is much cheaper in Great Britain and the quality of produce was much higher.

DavidHill76 said...

Not to mention, those are actually very healthy choices for the calorie conscious.