Grocery Shopping

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Economist fears ‘nasty’ recession headed our way this year


Possible Recession Winner: The Dollar

Recession? We Could Be In One Right Now

Regular blog entry:

Well, eggs were up to $1.76 a dozen for the medium sized last night. I can’t imagine why they are costing so much more, maybe it’s the threat of bird flu, I don’t kow.

Kristina, Ouch! $5 a dozen. Does that mean you simply go without or ration them carefully? Here I’m complaining about $1.76, $5 is shocking! Do you use powdered eggs instead? Are they any cheaper?

Roxie, first off, it’s so nice to see you again. I enjoyed your comments on Velveeta. It’s definitely kid-friendly seeing as it’s so cheap and mild tasting. Next, I appreciate your insight to the economy. You have a special perspective, as you pointed out, as a mom and small-business owner. I can see a long series of “repairs” after this current administration too.

My Fred said he’d heard something that made a lot of sense to me. He said that Bush really wants to be the smartest person in the room and that in order to do that he has to keep hiring idiots who are even less intelligent than he is. That’s a difficult task because he sets the bar so low that to find “qualified” people, those who make him look smart, he has to to hire the most stupid people he can find. This may make him look good by comparison, however it does nothing but harm to our country. Now I’m not saying that this idea is true, but I will say it gave me food for thought. I can honestly say that I don’t think we’ve ever had a president who was less intelligent that Mr. Bush, and it’s a shame that he has made so many mistakes, the consequences of which, we the people will have to manage. I find that a bitter pill to swallow.

Anna, I would love to raise chickens. We have the land for it, but blasted zoning laws won’t allow it. I have considered getting some anyway, but Fred says I can’t make the family a target for the zoning comission. In this case, I’m bowing to his wisdom and authority, albeit with gritted teeth. 😉

Wendy Bluebird, I’ve been meaning to answer you, I totally agree with your stance on impulse buying and everything else you said in your comment. I have been shopping twice in the past week and each time I had to fight myself not to pick things up and drop them in the cart. At Dollar General I found empty notebook journals. The kind with pretty paper and fancy bright covers and a little elastic band to keep it closed when not in use. I lusted after those things for a full 10 minutes, looking at each one, imagining the way it would match my kitchen, all of the wonderful things I could write in one. It was obsessive to a minor degree. Finally I cam eback to my senses and pushed my cart away from teh siren song those notebooks were singing to me. I had to work really hard to resist. I have every justification for buying one that you can imagine–They only cost $2, that won’t break us. Think how orgainzed it will make me to have a notebook to write everything down in (I only have a dozen of partially used ones at home). A new one will inspire me to do better and achieve my goals. I’ll be a better mom and a better homemaker. I completely sold myself on that notebook and it’s only through the grace of God that I was able to walk away.

It’s not the the notebook itself was so expensive. It was more of an example of the kinds of small things that we’ve allowed to suck up our money over the years. The truth is I don’t need a new notebook. I need to clean out an old one and really use it instead of fantasizing about it while browsing the aisles at the Dollar store.

Other impusle buys I fought were a 5-pound block of cream cheese from Sam’s. It was cheaper per pound than the stuff I usually buy in 8-ounce packages, but I think there would have been more waste due to mold, and that would have cancelled out the savings, plus probably costing me more in the long run. I also spotted a Taste of Home baking cookbook that wanted to jump into my cart. It was a full 40% less than the publisher’s suggested price. But I don’t need another cookbook, especially about baking, and that $18 it would have cost me is better put into my saving account than propped on a book shelf to collect dust.

Thanks to everyone else for sharing the price of eggs. The USDA’s cost of food index has been slow to update. They’re still showing the October chart ($554.20 for a month) and I really want to see the November chart. I noticed prices rising before November, due to the gas hikes. During November, however,I noticed the biggest rises in food prices–Jumps actually. I don’t think prices are going to go back down either, I think these are the new prices that are here to stay. That spells inflation in my book and I’m not happy about it.



Filed under Grocery Shopping, Recession

15 responses to “Grocery Shopping

  1. Katrina

    Finland has 17% food tax compared to a 7% tax here in America where we live. It’s actually cheaper to buy food in Finland with that huge tax than compared to the Recession prices here in America. I never thought I’d see the day when that happens.

  2. mennomom

    I am not sure i full understand recession vs. depression, do we have to have prices rise for so long till its actually called a depression? If the U.S. dollar is already lost 16% value since last November, and all overseas exchanges are based on the U.S. dollar how long will it be till we switch to Euros, which seem to be more stable right now?

  3. Vicki

    Maggie, did you know that you can get many Taste of Home recipes from their website? I saw that book at Sam’s too, but I like to download the recipies into Mastercook from the website. Just thought you might like to know in case you didn’t already.
    Love the new site!

  4. Great Idea Vicki, I suspected they’re recipes were downloadable, but I’ve never been to the site. Thanks for the link. 😀

    MennoMom, the difference between Recession and Depression is length of duration and severity of unemployment. There is no hard and fast rule to divide one from the other. It used to be that all Recessions were called Depressions, but then after the Great Depression the term Recession was used because it was hard to call small recessive downturns in the economy Depressions when they paled in comparison to the Great Depression. I do not think we’ve got another Great Depression coming on. I do think we have a significant Recession starting, and that it will be as bad if not worse than the one in the 1970’s. This is just my opinion though, and I don’t have a lot of evidence upon which to base it.

    I had to laugh at your suggestion to switch to Euros. With the current status of the Dollar, it’s beginning to seem like a good idea ;D

  5. Katrina you make a great point. It’s hard to believe that even with 17% food tax (ouch!) it’s cheaper than our inflated prices in America. Just goes to show how bad things are getting.

  6. Darlin’, I covet notebooks, too. What is it about them?

  7. K in MN

    Here is how I resist many tempting products such as those notebooks: the Made in China label. I find it truly ridiculous that we are importing so many things that are so heavy, all the way across the ocean, trucked all the way across the U.S. Is this a good use of fuel? Add to that a mental picture of factory workers and emissions in a place with poor environmental controls.

  8. Cari

    Funny, K in MN, I do the same thing! I have a harder time resisting if it says Made in USA. Rare, but it happens. But if it says Made in China, easy to put down.

  9. BarbC

    I didn’t read everything, but I saw your comment on a pretty notebook. I have an idea for updating and making pretty inexpensive notebooks. I use a $.10 spiral bound notebook from the back to school sales and cover the cover with pretty paper from the scrapbooking area. Sure the paper costs more than the notebook, but I have gotten that on sale too. Glue the paper down with a glue stick folding over edges about 1/2″ if you want to be fancy cover that edge with another sheet or an undecorated sheet. Using glue stick keeps the paper attached near the spirals. I have also used pretty wrapping paper on those Composition books. These are simple things, but they make life a bit sweeter.

    Glad to have found you again Maggie. 🙂 (even if you don’t *know* me)


  10. Nancy

    I have noticed that eggs have gone through the roof price wise. I found though that you can substitute 1tbsp milled flax seed +3tbsp water for one egg in all your baking (breads cassaroles , goodies)and not affect the taste. the milled flax seed can be found in most grocery stores by the flour and the cost is about $2 for a pretty good size bag. the flax seed has the same good for you oils that you find in fish so you are really being heart healthy (as well as money savvy) by making this switch. Happy cooking!

  11. H Maggie,

    I’ve been kind of out of the loop here since i haven’t been online much lately. But i think you are so on target about the recession. My finace talks about this in the same way, feels it’s a direct backlash from greed. “Need not greed” is his favorite saying and how he lives. When you were describing earlier your experience with the notebooks in the dollar store this reminded me of this. He might mention something he saw when shopping that he’d liked but didn’t buy it even though it wasn’t all that much. “‘Well why not?’ is what i used to say “it wasn’t even that much”. And he’d say, “Well, because i didn’t ~need~ it”. Your experience with the notebooks finally helped pop on the little lightbulb there : )

    Also the way you are learning to still stay within what is needed rather than go beyond that, even when your fiances have gotten better, has been a real lesson too. I remember before my partner hurt his arm and was working last summer in Alaska, we had money from that and used it to stock up on some things. But what was strange was that, along with the relief of not struggling then with money so much then, there was this strange stress there too….a pressure i felt inside that “now that the money is here i SHOULD be doing all you can for myself, getting all the new supplements etc couldn’t get before, if it might work for helping with fill in the blank, then i just “must” try it”. I didn’t go that far, his arm getting hurt cut it all short, but i could see that that little greed monster was definitely coming out. I think it’s the background in psychology, we were taught as the key focus that you must do “all you can for yourself” with what you have (along with you that whole misguided “you should dredge up all that’s wrong with life ands vent vent vent”, but that’s a whole other thing!). When that’s the sort of thing you have buried in the back of your head, poverty is almost a relief, because it gives you “’permission” finally to not be greedy. But i love how you have gone beyond that, and are finding a way to not be greedy even when you do have abundance.

    I’m realizing this need not greed thing isn’t only about things either. When we ask someone to do something for example, that too can come from either real need or just greed. For instance if i’m looking at a sink full of dishes and my injury is flared up then etc, asking for help there really would come from a place of need. But asking for that same help just because I know the help would be given if asked and it would feel nice, when i don’t actually ~need~ that help then, that’s more greed. I hate it so much when folks belittle or take lightly another’s true needs and vulnerabilities and so my focus has been there a lot. But the other side of that “need not greed”, that taking care not to slip into greed, is feeling more and more key too. Not that someone offering to give you something you don’t need is wrong if they want to give it, just that we shouldn’t forget that need/greed line in what we ask for or expect in life. And as a culture we’ve definitely lost that line, making the recession not a surprise at all. Had to laugh at your “woodshed’ image, but you know, i think you’re right! We forget that when it comes down to it we are just children really. Anyway, this need vs greed stuff has just really been hitting home lately.

    Something else has been too. A bit back we were talking about how our bodies are designed to “store up” in order to nourish. I think its more than storing up to feed children, i think as women we instinctively store up to nourish period, whether we have children or not, that its this primal sort of thing that just instinctively happens. I’ve been finding lately when i overeat that asking “what am i longing to nourish” really helps, trying to discern what is needing your mothering. I know it may sound weird, but I’m finding when i do that then the overeating seems to calm more, so just thought id share that for what its worth.

    With the egg thing (and food in general), prices are definitely up over here in the northwest too. I haven’t been doing the shopping up here in Washington since I’ve been here the past couple months ( my finace is closer here and does it) but when i lived in Portland before i noticed that before i could buy eggs (and dairy too) at the dollar store, but then suddenly you couldn’t get either there anymore because they had shot up so much. The difference was so stark that they even had to have a sign in the aisle where the eggs and dairy used to be, explaining why!

    Anyway, sorry for the looong comment here, I guess that’s what happens when you are offline a long time and come back for a bit….

    Peaceful Week : ) Wendy

  12. Ruth

    I have been exploring your website, and I find it very interesting — especially all of the recipes! However, I am very disappointed in the slander I see of our president, George W. Bush, in your blog. You have repeated the charge that the liberal media has made that he is stupid. Don’t you know that whenever they want to discredit anyone who disagrees with them, they portray him or her as an idiot? Are you privy to all the factors that our President has to take into consideration before he makes a decision? Do you receive all of the information that he does about our country and the world? Do you pray for this man, who is the most pro-life president this country has had in a long time? This final year will be extremely difficult for him. Do you pray for his wife as well? I can’t imagine the stress on their marriage.
    “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” 1 Timothy 2: 1-2 RSV

  13. thefrugalsinglemom

    It is amazing isn’t it! I was just blogging about the very same thing a few weeks ago. It’s interesting that as soon as they came out with vehicles that run on corn based products everything that has corn or eats corn jump significantly! Great blog BTW – I use to read your site at the Hillybilly Housewife 🙂

  14. This is a great site.

    I know we are in a recession, because my business has been booming. I write resumes and I simply can’t keep up with the demand, as I am a mom and also have a small part time job at a local Non-profit. Even if I could work 80 hours a week, I could not keep up.

    Also love your commentary on Bush. In my opinion he’s simply the most ineffective and damaging president we’ve ever had.


  15. Kirsten

    My experience with cheap groceries? My husband and I were each on 2 different prescriptions, my kids each had a cold each month and we were always tired and cranky. We knocked out the store bought milk, white flour (except for my sourdough starter), canned fruits and veggies, ice cream, cookies and crackers and store bought meats. We do not eat out at all. We pack our lunches/snacks/drinks wherever we go. I decided last year this was the best way to grow healthy kids and keep my hubby around longer. We do not take any OTC meds or Rx ones anymore. None of the kids have had a cold in over 9 months and my husband’s loose stools and diagnosed IBS has cleared 100% since going on raw organic milk.

    The moment I knew we were doing the right thing was one week I wasn’t able to make the milk pick up time and we had to fill in with store-bought organic milk. My youngest got hives, we all had very loose stools, my husband had a repeat of indigestion and IBS and felt horrible till the next raw milk delivery. We ended up drinking water and threw out the store milk.

    Too many children are going through puberty way too young, have mental problems, learning problems, are on Rx meds, and are obese. Our diet is directly to blame and I, and this is just my personal opinion, would rather have healthy organic kids than have a fat bank account.

    Am I bragging? No. Just stating a fact we have come to know. We live on one income and find it hard each month, but we do it. We don’t have doctor visits, so we save money on co-pays there. No more meds means no more pharmacy trips. My medicine cabinet doesn’t have a single cough syrup in it, we use “really-raw” honey and hot tea. No tylenol, we use cool wet rags and warm baths to trigger our bodies’ natural healing responses. Big savings there…

    Bio-Kleen is a favorite product. I use their concentrate and make my own mixes which do way better than vinegar and water. 1 T makes a quart. $4 for a 16 oz. bottle ($6 for a 32 oz. bottle of the sauce) of the concentrate. It lasted me 8 months. That was for cleaning 2 bathrooms, floors, rugs, toilets, upholstry, kitchen, and glass for a family of 6. Wow! How much do you spend each month on cleaning products?

    It is possible to relearn what has been lost. Making your own stock with soup bones is not hard, especially if you have a crock-pot. Culture your own milk to make cream cheese, sour milk, kefir and yogurt. Soak your grains and flours 24 hours in yogurt or kefir before using them. Buy your flour in 25# bags and keep in the freezer so they don’t go rancid, or better yet if you have the space and means, grind your own. Buying organic foods in bulk oftentimes preserves our health so we may be more effective servants to those around us. Healthy kids means they do better in school and have a better chance to become successful and smart in adulthood.

    It angers me that moms are made to decide wholesome food vs. cheap processed “white” food. Why has it gotten this bad? We should all have the right to chemical free food grown with respect for God’s land. Let’s work together to demand those victory gardens of the past, keep a few chickens in our backyard and start a co-op for trips to the local farmers. If you know one friend who has a plot of land to be used for a garden, chickens, a goat for milk, a sheep for meat etc., offer to help get them started and in return you’ll be able to reap a portion of the harvest.

    Have you heard of Zebu’s? They are the “miniature-Brahma” sacred cow of India and are a great source of meat for the small farmer here. They are growing in popularity in Texas and allow you to get that all-coveted ag exemption! Pick one thing and go for it. It’s less difficult that way and much more rewarding.

    Constantly looking for better things is what drives us as moms. Do I settle? Only when it comes to something insignificant. I drive a 7 year old car. Could I go out and buy a brand new one? Sure. Buy why when I would have a $800 car payment? I’m alright with it. It’s just the outside appearance. What I want is a healthy interior. For me and my family.

    Finally, do what you can. Start small and build. Learning is good. Just because our parents did it one way doesn’t mean we have to as well. “Gettin” above your raisin’ isn’t a bad thing, that’s what we want for our kids. Pick one thing you can change and go for it. And always remember, for better or for worse, YES our God is there. But He helps those who help themselves. He has and will continue to provide and we thank Him everyday.

    (BTW:I LOVE your emergency food plan! Very good to have just in case. I wouldn’t feed that to my family for an extended period of time but it’s good to have that in my back pocket.)

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