Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grocery Costs Continue to Rise

Each month I try and stay within my $425 budget for two on groceries, which at our house means all over the counter medications, cleaning supplies, toiletries, makeup, and food.  We self-insure for prescriptions so it is likely that we spend more on over the counter medications than other families, plus we have a couple of diseases which won't kill us but that we have to take pills for from time to time.


The last few months have been irritatingly difficult to stay on our grocery budget.  Last month we were almost $100 over.  I have decided that since we have almost stopped eating out, I am going to let myself go over on the grocery budget when absolutely necessary.  It is cheaper to spend money on good food to eat at home versus eating out, plus better for us.  We like a varied diet so we sometimes buy more expensive cuts of meat and fish than others may - but I try and find them on sale.  Everyone has choices - we have made specific choices based on our tastes.

The cost of groceries has increased across the board.  There used to be a time when I refused to pay more than $1 per 100 grams of cheese.  I have not come across a sale price below $1 for some time now so this week I broke that rule and paid just over the limit on a large family pack that I cut up and froze into weekly size portions.

Generally, I won't pay more than 99 cents per lb for fruit of any kind - except cherries when in season.  Those I will go up to $3.99 per lb.  In the summer this limit is reasonable, in the winter not so much.

I was very happy at a bargain find yesterday when I came across some ground beef for 30% off - then an additional 10% off the total grocery price as it was 10% Tuesday.  I bought all of the packs they had on discount.  I stock up when possible, but lately, it doesn't seem to happen that often.

I feel very fortunate that we have a paid off home, no debt, a company that is making money and a part-time job for myself.  I wonder how those on a more fixed income make out when they can't buy much with the money left over after paying their mortgage or rent.  Sometimes I feel guilty that we have so much - but we have worked many years for what we have, and have lived frugally most of that time as well.  They say the economy is doing better, but then why are so many family and friends having difficulty finding decent jobs.  I watched a program about Victoria the other day and they were saying that this is the best tourism year since before the big crash in 2007.  Apparently, the tourists were a combination of Canadian and American travelers.  This is a good sign, and I hope it continues but in the mean time we will still count our pennies and search out bargains, trying to stay on budget.

16 comments:

  1. I sucked it up today and spent $44 at CVS. I got a good deal that amounted to a free box of 36 count tampons. But TBG needs Aleve and the CVS brand was buy one get one 50% off. A bottle of 500 caps is $24.99 so I saved $12.50. So we won't need more for at least a year.

    I got a deal on an 8oz chunk of Parmesan for $2.99, so I'll "splurge" on stuff like that because it's a good deal and we love the stuff. But veggies are surely out of hand!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great deals! We are fortunate that many fruit and veggies get grown on Vancouver Island so in the summer I have lots of options but winter really have to pick and choose what we eat for greenery.

      Delete
  2. My main problem for groceries is that my hubby has celiac disease and must eat gluten free. Today I ran into a deal with gluten free pasta on clearence at 1.50 a packet (it's usually at least 3.99) and gluten free pancake mix at 1.99 a box , even though it was a no name brand I bought it cause it was so much cheaper than the 4.99 boxes of bisquick! We hardly ever eat out because it's so difficult to eat out gluten free as well as the chance of contaimination of gluten products. I do splurge on fish and fruit often!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have noticed that celiac products and gluten free products are so expensive. Hubby has IBS so we are careful too. We try to eat non-farmed fish so it costs more but is better for the environment.

      Delete
  3. I think I wouldn't be buying much fruit at all if I was waiting for it to be 99 cents a pound, bananas are but not much else, it's sad. The prices are even higher in the Maritimes! I am disappointed so many times with the quality of fruit, I don't know how many watermelons i bought this summer - no taste, what a waste!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today there were a few pickings in the less than .99 cent category. I bought some plums, bananas and tomatoes. I have only bought 3 watermelons this summer and two were tasteless as well - I had to force myself to finish them.

      Delete
  4. Funny how we have a limit of what we want to pay for certain items. I never paid more than .99 for a box of pasta back in PA. Here in AL I can't find one under $1.59. Prices are high here but wages are low. People here know they're underpaid but they just accept it as the norm. I don't know how they get by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems the more attractive to tourists the location the higher the food price, that is for sure. Beef is cheaper in Alberta than BC, but the longer I am here it seems I have been to find a few more bargains.

      Delete
  5. Here in PEI 1 in 4 children are food insecure. This is very concerning as we grow so much food here. Our food banks are very busy at any time of the year.
    I was shocked at the price of groceries when we moved here from Southern Ontario. But life on an island comes at a premium when everything must be trucked here.
    Our groceries cost us about 600/month for two of us, including dog food, toiletries, etc. No sense getting upset about it, it's just the cost of life here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BC is like PEI (they call it Bring Cash) :)

      Delete
  6. Oh I hear ya! We are going over all the time on our budget. I have $100 a week for gas and $100 for groceries and I haven't been able to get anywhere close to it. Something is always coming up and everything is so much more costly. I finally had to push it up to $300 a week and just save whatever is left. It can't be done and not eat beans and rice. It's ok to be flexible in our budgets.We have worked hard in other areas of the bills.

    ReplyDelete
  7. At our house, the two of us (in Nova Scotia) spend $475 a month which includes food, cleaning supplies, paper goods, toiletries and cat food/litter for 2 cats. And we are vegetarian! (Although the cats are not.) We eat out maybe twice a month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your house sounds like us. My hamster shavings are more expensive than cat litter but last longer. Brown mouse is pretty inexpensive food-wise though :) He is definitely vegetarian. Things were cheaper in Alberta but our surroundings are much nicer here, as I am sure they are in Nova Scotia.

      Delete
  8. The price of food is a huge concern all over the UK too.

    Food poverty for families and pensioners (which breaks my heart) is becoming more and more common.

    Sft x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I worry most for Mom who is definitely on a very small pension with little savings, I can't wait until she sells and moves closer so I can keep a better eye on her.

      Delete