Food & Drink

Cost of groceries

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  • Aug 27th, 2021 1:31 pm
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9200 posts
5050 upvotes

Cost of groceries

Is it just me or is anyone else noticing the price of groceries starting to skyrocket? It seems that almost each and every item at the grocery store has been increased.
55 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9779 posts
2034 upvotes
Toronto
It's all in the News.
Covid, lockdowns, droughts ....
Deal Expert
Feb 9, 2012
19661 posts
6594 upvotes
Toronto
The every day price is increasing, yes, but fortunately, the flyer sales have not yet caught up.
In some cases, a grocery store might even deliberately lose money (or break even) on something (they call it a loss leader) just to get you in the store.

(ie I doubt Sobey's is making any money on name brand pop @ 95 cents per 2 Litre bottle)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22877 posts
21724 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
gh05t wrote: It's all in the News.
Covid, lockdowns, droughts ....
This (the WHY )

And this …
playnicee1 wrote: The every day price is increasing, yes, but fortunately, the flyer sales have not yet caught up.
In some cases, a grocery store might even deliberately lose money (or break even) on something (they call it a loss leader) just to get you in the store.

(ie I doubt Sobey's is making any money on name brand pop @ 95 cents per 2 Litre bottle)
The way to work the system.

Anyone like myself who is a strategic shopper has found the increase to be minimal

Anyone who throws stuff Willy Nilly into their shopping cart … will no doubt be floored by the time they get to the cash register

Grocery Stores are literally maximizing their earning off of the backs of those that don’t have a conscious grocery budget and shop strategically … it’s how they’ve always made the bulk of their money (people who THINK … I will shop at store X cuz I perceive it to be cheaper overall ) vs the people who actually analyze the cost of things they buy … and only buy when the price is right

Every item has a LOW - MIDDLE - and HIGH price range

It’s up to the consumer to figure that out

Those who buy between LOW & MIDDLE … see their money go the furthest

I learned this a long time ago watching my parents shop for groceries … if you are smart with your grocery budget (the easiest one to manipulate in your favour) you then have more money to pay for things that don’t have flexibility (housing, utilities, etc) … and more importantly more money for SAVINGS or LUXURIES (like vacations etc )
Member
Jul 4, 2021
376 posts
197 upvotes
GTA
choclover wrote: Is it just me or is anyone else noticing the price of groceries starting to skyrocket? It seems that almost each and every item at the grocery store has been increased.
Not surprising, first of all, inflation needs to happen, if it's deflation, it either means demand is too soft (not good, economy is shrinking - eg population or people buying less) or there's too much competition (which, in the longer run will also end bec not all companies survive)...

Second, if you're saying "skyrocket" = higher than normal expected inflation -- then it's the supply issue factoring in -- covid has disrupted supply chains, increased costs of production (just think how much more disruption the pandemic did to people who have to go work etc etc etc)...

Net, expect this to continue at least till things become more normal -- which is not happening anytime soon if you're expecting pre-pandemic conditions.

So, in short, expect to see a bit more coupon clipping and bargain hunting as well to offset this. (Of course investing in the stock market for the longer term is another hedge for this, but I digress)
Deal Expert
Feb 9, 2012
19661 posts
6594 upvotes
Toronto
PointsHubby wrote: Anyone like myself who is a strategic shopper has found the increase to be minimal
THANK-YOU!!! That's EXACTLY what I've been saying all along.
Your points are bang on.
Oh, but some TOTAL COMPLETE IDIOT in another thread (to remain nameless) accused me of being delusional for not thinking that prices have gone up.
I never said prices are not going up. I said flyer specials are still pretty good right now.
& Some people don't know how to shop.
If a can of cat food is on sale for 50 cents...WHY are people reaching for the case @ $8.79 for a case of 12??
So, it's not always what you shop for. Sometimes it's how you choose to shop.

Read the flyer(s) first before heading to the store. Keep an eye on the sale price of things...don't always trust a case of something to be cheaper.

*can of cat food has increased to 60 cents on sale, but that's still $7.20 for 12 cans vs the case priced at $8.79.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11941 posts
4541 upvotes
Saskatoon
Costco was fairly consistent with their pricing but I've noticed the last few times they've increased their prices of a lot of things by 50 cents. The three pack of cold cuts went up twice in the past month! Might be time to stock up on pantry staples if they are still a good price or on sale.
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
12217 posts
7298 upvotes
golferbowl wrote: So, in short, expect to see a bit more coupon clipping and bargain hunting as well to offset this. (Of course investing in the stock market for the longer term is another hedge for this, but I digress)
I have found coupons have dried up. A lot of places would not take paper coupons on account of covid precautions & the SmartSource printables are gone - they are planning to do away with the Coupon Zone paper coupons and go to digital I understand. I do not use smartphone apps so I am not very happy with this. My Walmart is no longer taking paper printables of any kind, too. New policy.
Newbie
User avatar
Apr 7, 2012
53 posts
75 upvotes
Grocery Stores are literally maximizing their earning off of the backs of those that don’t have a conscious grocery budget and shop strategically … it’s how they’ve always made the bulk of their money (people who THINK … I will shop at store X cuz I perceive it to be cheaper overall ) vs the people who actually analyze the cost of things they buy … and only buy when the price is right

Every item has a LOW - MIDDLE - and HIGH price range

It’s up to the consumer to figure that out

Those who buy between LOW & MIDDLE … see their money go the furthest
Bravo! Exactly this!

The cost of groceries is going up, but it's on the consumer whether or not to buy them.

You know, for a forum dedicated to Canadians saving money, I've often wondered why there are no tutorials or instructions provided for getting the most for one's dollar, particularly with regards to groceries. Or perhaps there are such things and I simply have not stumbled across them... It would be a wonderful feature for those just starting out - or even for those of us who have been doing this for awhile, but want to do better.

In any case, I would love to see someone savvy and articulate (looking at you, dear PointsHubby! Smiling Face With Sunglasses) put together a step-by-step on how to navigate the weekly maze of grocery shopping while following a budget and meal planning. I think you'd be a wealth of knowledge on this and I would really like an opportunity to learn!

Personally, I read the grocery fliers and note what's on sale, then I take stock of what I have in my freezers/pantry, and plan my meals around that. Sometimes, if we're really craving something, I'm willing to spend more on that meal in particular, but for the most part, we stick with the program. As far as having a set budget, I'm afraid I've not done that for many years when money was very tight, and that's what I think I should work on.
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
12217 posts
7298 upvotes
MissGidget wrote: You know, for a forum dedicated to Canadians saving money, I've often wondered why there are no tutorials or instructions provided for getting the most for one's dollar, particularly with regards to groceries.
It is too complicated. Some people rely on restaurants and "save" by buying prepared foods at the grocery stores. That is too expensive for others, and they cook from scratch, including produce. That is too expensive or time-consuming for others, who reply on heat & heat frozen foods & jarred sauces & shun fresh produce. Some people care about overall nutrition more than others. Some require that their foods are organic, non-GMO, antibiotic free and the like and are willing to pay for it. Some are willing to pay for quality meat whereas others get their protein from chicken nuggets and the like. Everyone has a different vision of how low they can go.

Most people on rfd can afford a restaurant & a good quantity of quality meat in their diet, and are skilled at cooking (or at least have high standards for food). For some others here, that is mad excess. So who do you write for? Where is the tolerable bottom?
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Apr 7, 2012
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lecale wrote: It is too complicated. Some people rely on restaurants and "save" by buying prepared foods at the grocery stores. That is too expensive for others, and they cook from scratch, including produce. That is too expensive or time-consuming for others, who reply on heat & heat frozen foods & jarred sauces & shun fresh produce. Some people care about overall nutrition more than others. Some require that their foods are organic, non-GMO, antibiotic free and the like and are willing to pay for it. Some are willing to pay for quality meat whereas others get their protein from chicken nuggets and the like. Everyone has a different vision of how low they can go.

Most people on rfd can afford a restaurant & a good quantity of quality meat in their diet, and are skilled at cooking (or at least have high standards for food). For some others here, that is mad excess. So who do you write for? Where is the tolerable bottom?
Thank you for explaining this so succinctly. Looking at all the factors you've listed, I can now understand the complexity of such an undertaking and why it has not been done, however, surely there are some basic guidelines that everyone can benefit from.

It seems to me the folks who rely on restaurants and frozen foods for food, as well as the ones who are willing to pay more for organic/ non-GMO/antibiotic free foods are not the ones who would actively be searching for cost-cutting tips. If, as you say, most people here can afford the occasional restaurant and a good amount of meat, and are adept at cooking , well I would think that these people would be the ones you'd be writing for.

That being said, I appreciate your opinion on this. I do apologize if I have spoken out of turn - I enjoy participating in these forums - but I am nowhere near understanding the lay of the land, so to speak, and I am not familiar with the demographics. I was under the impression that everyone here on RFD is interested in saving money, and I just felt that a tutorial or two might be beneficial to that end.
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
12217 posts
7298 upvotes
MissGidget wrote: Thank you for explaining this so succinctly. Looking at all the factors you've listed, I can now understand the complexity of such an undertaking and why it has not been done, however, surely there are some basic guidelines that everyone can benefit from.

It seems to me the folks who rely on restaurants and frozen foods for food, as well as the ones who are willing to pay more for organic/ non-GMO/antibiotic free foods are not the ones who would actively be searching for cost-cutting tips. If, as you say, most people here can afford the occasional restaurant and a good amount of meat, and are adept at cooking , well I would think that these people would be the ones you'd be writing for.

That being said, I appreciate your opinion on this. I do apologize if I have spoken out of turn - I enjoy participating in these forums - but I am nowhere near understanding the lay of the land, so to speak, and I am not familiar with the demographics. I was under the impression that everyone here on RFD is interested in saving money, and I just felt that a tutorial or two might be beneficial to that end.
For Pete's sake do not worry about speaking "out of turn" here because everyone has their own opinion & there is no one in charge of the majority opinion. The more opinions, the better.

Everyone here is looking for a deal on their own terms.

There is a real mix of people here from those who are living below the poverty line to the majority who can afford to be conspicuous consumers. There is a huge Costco fan club that can afford to buy most of their groceries there, whereas that's too dear for a lot of people because not only is the quality, and so prices, somewhat higher but you have to buy in bulk formats so having a heavily-stocked house costs more too. You invest more in what is in your pantry & freezer.

I try to stick to a < $4/lb meat/poultry rule and that means I am buying some grotty parts like liver, skin-on bone-in chicken legs, or other things a lot of people find unpalatable or too much work. On the other hand, I buy pre-portioned 5 oz steaks that work out to $8/lb because going by portion size and not weight, they are a cheap meal. Loblaws has beef brisket on for $3.99/lb this week but that is too high for me for the cut - the last time I bought one it was $2.88/lb. Then I corned it racking up costs for Prague powder and spices not everyone wants to invest in. Not sure if you can call that cheap in the end after all.

The most beneficial thing is probably meal planning to reduce food waste. That means if you buy some tomatoes you make a chain of meals over a number of days that all feature tomatoes so you are not throwing away any. People throw out enormous quantities of spoiled produce and leftovers & if there is 1 way for anyone to cut down their costs regardless of their eating pattern, it is to make meals in a way that accounts for everything you have on hand that is about to spoil. One of the trickiest things to keep is fresh herbs & if you use them regularly, it saves you a bundle if you grow them in your garden so they are always fresh at hand. I get a greater payback on herbs than anything else in the garden because by the time my vegetables are in full production, they are dirt cheap in the grocery store.

Pantry items are pretty easy to buy on the cheap & store until needed. Eggs and many dairy items like yogurt, cheese and sour cream can last 6 weeks or longer in the fridge. Most of the challenge around costs are in meat, poultry, fish & seafood & fresh produce. If you eat frozen vegetables & entrees though, you do not have those issues.
Member
Feb 27, 2011
221 posts
219 upvotes
Sometimes its the little things. What really made my jaw drop was when I noticed my local grocer had changed the (longstanding) regular price of cilantro from $0.99 per bunch to $1.29 per bunch. That's a 30% increase...

I'm also anticipating/guessing that some of the out-of-season price increases (for things like apples) may stick around this year, even into the growing season. And I've noticed fewer and fewer sales, at least for "real" food items like produce, meat, and dairy. The abovementioned "low" price for certain fruits & vegetables now only comes around once or twice a year, whereas pre-Covid the same sale was available almost every other week.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 26, 2003
2241 posts
711 upvotes
Canada
Having a freezer is one way to take advantage of sales and to help manage some costs related to rising meat prices. Usually, every few weeks chicken and pork are on sale so that’s the best time to stock up and to have some on hand for the weeks when there are no sales. Beef deals haven’t been that great or frequent this year, but occasionally there are some okay deals that offer an opportunity to buy a few extra packs for the freezer. Short story is , yes prices have increased but smart shopping and planning can help with managing escalating prices.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
8402 posts
4083 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
costaguana wrote: Sometimes its the little things. What really made my jaw drop was when I noticed my local grocer had changed the (longstanding) regular price of cilantro from $0.99 per bunch to $1.29 per bunch. That's a 30% increase...
Maybe it was because the grocer held it down for too long. Used to be able to buy green onion and radish bunches 3/$1 until the cheap 'n cheerless green grocer couldn't hold that price anymore (over 10 years ago) and it went up to 2/$1.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
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User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
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ONTARIO
lecale wrote: It is too complicated. Some people rely on restaurants and "save" by buying prepared foods at the grocery stores. That is too expensive for others, and they cook from scratch, including produce. That is too expensive or time-consuming for others, who reply on heat & heat frozen foods & jarred sauces & shun fresh produce. Some people care about overall nutrition more than others. Some require that their foods are organic, non-GMO, antibiotic free and the like and are willing to pay for it. Some are willing to pay for quality meat whereas others get their protein from chicken nuggets and the like. Everyone has a different vision of how low they can go.

Most people on rfd can afford a restaurant & a good quantity of quality meat in their diet, and are skilled at cooking (or at least have high standards for food). For some others here, that is mad excess. So who do you write for? Where is the tolerable bottom?
Wouldn’t be a bad idea to make it like a video series… with different topics.

Title :!Omg. I got a THICK 16 oz prime rib eye steak for the same price as chicken!

Answer… buy prime rib on sale for $5.49/LB during Christmas and easter… cut it up yourself…

Lol.

I think even just hunting out meats on sale and buying and bulk will help save a lot.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
8402 posts
4083 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
UrbanPoet wrote: I think even just hunting out meats on sale and buying and bulk will help save a lot.
Or my favorite: markdowns.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
12217 posts
7298 upvotes
Having a simple diet helps too. Every cuisine uses a different set of ingredients & if you stock your kitchen for European, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc. cooking you are going to have a lot more ingredients on hand than if you just stuck to 1 cuisine. Being willing to go to the store more often also helps because you catch more sales at different stores & you do not have to stock ahead so much/keep as much on hand as compared to doing a bigger shop every couple of weeks.
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
12217 posts
7298 upvotes
thriftshopper wrote: Or my favorite: markdowns.
Walmart is my favourite place for markdowns because when their new shipments come in before Thursday they mark down everything they have, aged or not. I got some killer deals on deli meat the past week & my freezer is packed. They are good for marked down fresh produce, too.
Deal Expert
Dec 4, 2010
19529 posts
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Quarantine Bubble
Don’t take this the wrong way and it isn’t directed at op but I’m genuinely surprised at the amount of food people buy. I’m not sure if it’s our culture where it’s more sedentary but I see people shop carts filled to the brim every week at no frills. Granted it’s probably not the same folks every week but it’s amazing how much food the typical shopper buys. Lots of mouths and stomachs to feed I guess.

I also don’t have a kids so there’s that. Saw a market place episode where the typical grocery haul of cereal, pop, chips, juice et al are the usual suspect filling people’s carts. It was an episode on nutrition and wouldn’t you know it, the parents and the kids were all overweight approaching obesity. Compared to a more discerning and undoubtedly more educated i couple who brings their own bags, shop for fresh ingredients and yea, they are more fit, healthier and more than likely make more money. One shops at no frills, the others shopped at Sobeys, Loblaws, et al.

I’ve shopped at both brands and you usually never ever see people fill their carts to the brim at fhe premium stores. Costs too much? More astute shoppers? Either stores carry junk food but you just don’t see the amount of gluttony at the more premium stores.

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