Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Know Your Prices - Don't Get Fooled

 We are now upon the season in the U.S. that sales are geared to cook-outs and parties.  There are graduations, holidays, and kids are getting out of school.  You truly need to know when a sale is a sale.  Things have changed a lot in the past few years - and stores use a lot of crazy tactics to entice you.
Shrink-flation is a huge thing now.  Many items are the same price (or more) and yet they are smaller.  Look at the weights.  The packages may well be the same size - but it contains less.
Inflation has taken hold as well.

I have just been noticing some things that have been 'sales' lately and it amazes me the things many people buy.  It is not my place to judge - I just don't get it!

I noticed this part of an ad.  The ribs are 3.99/lb.  In the same ad they had 2 lb. packages of 'already cooked' ribs for 10.99.  That is 5.50 a pound!  For a 1.50 a pound I think I would prefer to cook my own and season the way I like.  I guess some people just want convenience.  You would think with the way prices are going up - people would be willing to do a little work and save.
ALSO notice in that picture - the sandwich fixings!!!!!!  4 slices of tomatoes, 4 slices of onion and a couple leaves of lettuce for $3.49!!!!!!!!!  WHAT??????  That is by far the craziest thing I have ever seen.  Kind of like buying a couple hard boiled eggs for 3.49!!!!!
Two weeks ago these were 3.99.  This week for the holiday sale they are 5.99!!!!  Yeah, what a deal!  NOT!!!!   Then there is THIS:

These small packs of cut pieces are $5.00 each!  Same ad as the entire watermelon for 5.99.  Whole pineapples were less than $2 - pack $5.
All in the name of convenience!!!

Last week ad had 12 oz. packs of bacon for 5.99 advertised.  This week 16 oz. packs for 4.97 (unless thick cut).  

I know you gals all know these things.  It just really amazes me, that many don't.  People seem to just throw money away, because they don't want to do the work!  Such has become our society.
They blindly shop - never paying attention to what they are really buying.

Anyway - there are some sales to be had, during these summer months.  That is when you should stock up and fill those pantries and freezers.  Condiments usually go on sale - although I am not seeing the same prices of the past.
Chips and snacks often go on sale.  If that is your thing - get it cheaply.  That is one of those things I have noticed the packaging not changing, but the weight has!
Many ice cream products are reduced in price 
Soda pop - boy have those prices climbed.  Hunt for a deal if you buy it - it is expensive
Charcoal - good to have in case of loss of cooking options at some point
Many cereal products on sale - now that children will be out of school

It is crazy out there, and we need to save when and where we can.  You have to be aware and WATCH those prices and sizes!  Get your deals when you can folks.  Stock those pantries and freezers.  Many meat products go on what they call 'sale' around the holidays.  (meat is so expensive).
KNOW YOUR PRICING!!!!!  It is very important today.
Happy shopping!

What items have you noticed that try trick you on weight and pricing?

40 comments:

  1. Cheryl, i do not understand some people's ideas of food shopping and eating. Many say they cant afford eat so they can feed their children.
    Many, many meals can be made for very little as you know yourself but they dont seem to understand what to do. They buy the stuff you have in your blog. It is terrible.

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    1. I agree 100%! I know some of those people. I hear - how can we afford to eat anymore? - Yet, they still stop and get that expensive coffee, or fast food, or buy lots of pop or bags of chips! Real food - that is what they need to be concentrating on.

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  2. If people only knew that much of the precut produce is to move product that does not look nice or is old they might not buy it as readily. The thing about all those precooked convenience foods is that they do not taste good or they have an odd texture but I guess if that is what you always buy then it tastes fine. I am seeing a lot of good deals in the ads this week so it is time to stock up! It seems that prices may be moderating here and hopefully have hit their high mark for now. Fingers crossed!

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    1. You are so right. Out of sight - out of mind or they just don't care! Homemade tastes so much better!!!!
      I didn't see too much that would make me go out for. Maybe I just feel OK with what I have in stock. Hope you get some deals and I hope prices are leveling a bit.

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  3. I was at WM and Aldi this week and have notice big price jumps on items I buy. With the price of diesel going sky high, it is much more expensive to transport anything to market, and the consumer is paying for it.

    Check unit prices, especially for non-perishables. Things like laundry detergent are much less expensive per ounce in a large bottle versus a small one. For perishables, I can understand buying a smaller package that is more per unit but less overall if you would not be able to use or save all of the contents before they spoil, but at least for me, that doesn't happen very often.

    Many of the items you mentioned are not necessities nor even very nutritious: processed cereal, soda pop, ice cream, chips and processed snacks. Kids can eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich with a glass of milk for breakfast and receive far better nutrition in a more filling meal. Nutrient value for the $ needs to be taken into account, but most people do not know what nutrients they and their children need or how to calculate the best ways to fulfill the requirements for the money. Too bad they don't teach things like that in high school.

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    1. Yes, the gas prices are going to make another difference in prices. I generally always check unit prices.
      I have never had that problem either - if I really like something, odds are I am going to eat or preserve it. No waste.
      YES - this stuff needs to be taught in schools. I don't many young people know anything about nutrition. You are so right, a PB&J sandwich and a glass of milk is much better for the young-ins. An apple or an orange - a handful of grapes. People want ease and convenience.

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  4. Prices all seem to be a blur these days--as are the shrinking sizes. Since the pandemic began, I have trouble remembering what prices "should" be. No sense keeping track, as I doubt they will ever get that low again. Best advice is to buy whole food products and cut up yourself and cook food from scratch. Anything pre-made is a cover up for nearly expired foods, in my opinion. One of our groceries admitted that guacamole is a million-dollar God send. They didn't know what to do with all the over-ripe avacados so they started making guac and it was a runaway success. Same with salsa---overripe tomatoes.

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    1. YES - I agree. OK that just makes you want to cringe to think of near done avocados and tomatoes being made into something else. ICK!
      So many things are done that way and it is really disgusting when you actually think about it.

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  5. Publix had cut up watermelon BOGO. Two pounds was about $7.50 (this was just one container) With the BOGO it was a bit better. I picked up a whole watermelon at Aldi's last week for $5.99 and cut it up for us. Went back to Aldi this week and the price was the same. It will be interesting to see if the price changes after Memorial Day weekend.

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    1. Nuts - isn't it? A little work and the savings and freshness are super measurable. Things are called convenience for a reason. I will cut my own and get fresh and save money. Many, many things are sold under that same ideal - easy is best for you! Well, it isn't. I guess we all need to educate one person at a time!

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  6. The shrinkflation is real and despite the smaller size the prices increase. We all know who is benefiting and it isnt the consumer.
    I've become more conscious of unit pricing. The other day it was a better deal to purchase two smaller containers of margarine than one large tub. I suspect most people would assume otherwise.

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    1. Amen - we all know who is benefiting!!!! Yep, it aint' us!
      I agree - sometimes you can get 2 smaller or sometimes the bigger. You just have to pay very close attention.

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  7. One can no longer shop blindly. Research must be done and we must be diligent about following a list and comparing prices. Only a really good discount will entice me to stray from a shopping list. We both look at items in the grocery, particularly in the produce department and say "we could this ourselves".

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    1. I know longer shop blindly - but I see people do it every time I go out. It drives me crazy. I haven't even told people about this or that being cheaper and they look at me like I have horns. I watch everything! Smarter saves $

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  8. I've started a price list on my phone for frequently purchased items. I find it easy to update/add items and prices. Even better my phone is always with me at the store (lol). I agree with Maebeme, checking the price per ounce/pound can be a real eye-opener for both food and nonfood items.

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    1. Good going. I haven't heard much about people using price lists any more. Yep, got to watch those unit prices.

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  9. It would be interesting to know the age demographic of your readership. I believe that we all probably are baby boomers. The younger generation often does not have the skill set or experience to cook from scratch and will buy ready to heat and eat, ready to serve, enough to meet immediate needs, but they do not want the waste of buying any more (even though they would use it up within the week). I see this with nieces who would rather buy the veggie tray, ready made, for a holiday get-together, rather than make one. Deli pasta salad is "better" than what they would make homemade, because it's what they know and what they can buy 1/2# of, rather than make a large batch from scratch. This is what lack of home ec classes, combined with working mothers, has done to our society. My daughter can cook, using a recipe, and is gaining her confidence in the kitchen. But she does not have the large pantry that I do, in part due to limited space in their home, but she is interested in learning from me and asks me whenever she has questions. For this summer, she's stressed that she wants to come and learn how to can. I just wish there was a way to reach these younger people who do not have the experiences or history that we do.

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    1. First yay for teaching your daughter and yay for her asking questions. I love hearing that! I try to explain things to my nieces and some listen and some roll their eyes.
      I think you are probably right, that it is mostly younger (than me) that buy premade and smaller quantities of store bought. I wish there was still home ec as well. So many people can benefit. I also think there should be a class given to help explain things, when someone goes on public assistance. It would be a big plus in so many ways.

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  10. Took mom to the store last week to grocery shop. There are 3 stores in my area where a good part of the front of the store is prepped-for-cooking or already-cooked foods. I told my mom it made me want to go home and cook after looking at the prices! I noticed a package of cut up summer squash ready for grilling was $4.99!! Yikes. It probably was 2 squash. I had just purchased, a few days before, at another store,8 summer squash for 99 cents! LOL....A couple cuts and they're ready for the grill! But as I told my husband $4.99 for a side dish probably seems a bargain compared to buying from a restaurant and people around here do that a lot!

    I'm still seeing people shop as if all is the same. I do think food will be the last thing people around here will try to save on. I keep thinking the next time I go into my favorite stores that I won't find the clearance items I expect to see but so far not many people seem to have caught onto that. I got 6 Olive Garden dressings for 49 cents each recently. Why only buy one?? Great for salads of course but at that price I can use as a marinade.

    I do buy most of my items on sale or clearance. Except for Aldi's where most everything there is less and often way less than the other stores nearby. Lately though I have bought a few items, especially bulk items, not on sale in anticipation of price increases (which has happened) and shortages (which has happened).

    ~margaret

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    1. I am a clearance or sale gal too! If you get a deal and will use it - I agree why buy one? I notice people in my area still shop the same too. I don't get it. Never in my life would I have thought about buying a couple hard boiled eggs - yet people do and for good money! I can make as many as I want in a few minutes at home.
      Everything is so upside down. I am starting to see more folks at the clearance aisle now. Mainly around my age.
      I think we just all have to modify our thinking going forward.

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  11. Debby in Kansas USAMay 25, 2022 at 1:04 PM

    Cheryl, I'm so glad you pointed out that tray of burger fixings!! I was HORRIFIED when I saw the price! I meant to post about that when I saw it and just forgot. I react the same way to squeezable cake mix, cooked pasta, and boiled eggs for sale. What!? I guess I'm showing my age.

    I noticed something about the peanut butter. 16 oz. store brand. This is what I observed....I bought a case on sale for $1
    ea. Then an ad came out and it was on sale for $1.25. the next time I was in the market, I saw that there was a bright sticker on the shelf tag that said, "NEW PRICE!". The price was a whopping $1.59!! I wonder how many people interpreted that as a LOWER price! Since my husband eats PB by the caseload lol, I'm very observant with it. I'd call it a scam, but they weren't lying. It was new price alright!

    Lana made a great point about the precut produce. They can easily cut off any bad parts and profit well on the part that's left. Another thing I've noticed is that they usually have handy prepacked bags of lunch type fruit around the display. I e seen loads of people grab one and move on. The fruit in there is often older and that's why they make it so convenient, I expect. I discovered this when I sent my husband out when I injured my knee. He grabbed the bag in front, probably like most people do. The apples in the convenient bag were softer, some bruises, and some were mealy. I showed him the difference the next time we were in the store. The free range apples were firm.

    It isn't rocket science and really doesn't take extra time. However, if you're distracted on your phone instead, you get what you get.

    Wanted to thank you again, Cheryl for the tour. I wonder if Hubs and I were the only ones led down a rabbit hole on the Speedway!!! He found it all very interesting!

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    1. Is that not the craziest thing on the sandwich fixings? What are people thing?
      I see that too. New price - yet it is higher. Yep, most will think sale - but if you are aware of what you usually spend, you know better.
      I never grab the front item - ever!!!! Even on shelves. I always reach for the back - as it usually has a further out 'best' date. It is also colder in the refrigerated section.

      You are welcome. The Speedway is a treasure in these parts. Everyone knows all about it and most have been at least once!

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  12. I am amazed at often people say they don't have time to do things for themselves, yet pay a membership to a gym. Granted you maybe don't get the same kind of exercise....but every movement counts. Growing up we did so my more by hand...washing and drying dishes, wringer washer and hang out the clothes and then haul out all that laundry and rinse water, etc. Mowed the grass by hand.Gee, we even got up to change the channel on the tv. If we thought of it more like that, maybe some if the time we'd be more willing to donut ourselves instead of paying someone else for a small bit of convenience.
    I used to have prices memorized as we don't have many different stores to choose from. But with inflation and shrinkflation, I'm thinking I really need to create a pricebook...but it will need to include sizes also and regularly be updated.
    Right now, I'm really trying to just shoot he good deals mostly. But there are something's we use fresh weekly and I need to stay abreast of that. Thank goodness the garden is starting to bear a little and the strawberries are ripe...and yummy!

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    1. It is amazing that we survived having to do all those things ourselves!!! LOL I remember them all and so many more. Like Debby said people are too distracted with their phones today. No one has time to do stuff, because they can't miss who is screwing with who on FB or other social media!!!
      They have time for other stuff - they just don't want to do anything that may be construed as work in my opinion.
      I have my prices in my head as well. OR at least I know what I am WILLING to pay in my head. I have my limits - and I would say 98% of the time I will not stray from them.
      Other than pets I basically get only fresh. I am good on other things. Look forward to walking out back to my 'grocery' soon!!!!!!

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  13. Lori--I'm having the same experience with my daughter---she's always been able to cook but for the first couple years of her marriage they tended to buy the packaged stuff at Trader Joe's or ordered out. Now she's meal planning and buying by what's on sale. She told me when she started this a few months ago that just cooking 2 or 3 meals a week at home was already saving them tons of money. Last week her husband told her that a meal she made was like it came from a restaurant!

    I don't know that home ec nowadays would help. I took it in high school and I didn't really learn anything and that was 40 years ago. No one took it seriously. What I know I taught myself as even in the 70s my mother wasn't interested in teaching me. It was the 70s and all that homemaking was looking to be passé! Mom saw it as a duty and drudgery and I think missed the joy and satisfaction of taking care of self and family in a budget friendly manner.

    I do all sorts of things mom would never consider doing. She grew up on a farm and hated it and couldn't wait to get to the big city. I seemed to have inherited my grandfather's inclination to a simpler life of the farm. I've taught myself stuff my mom should have known how to do being raised on a farm but didn't know.

    One of my favorite things to do is find old old cookbooks--50-100 years old and study them. Granted a lot of it I wouldn't eat but I love the treasure trove of information!
    ~margaret

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    1. Margaret that is so neat that your daughter is now interested. And bless her hubbies heart for speaking up and telling her how good her cooking is.
      I learned the basics in home ec, but learned mainly from mom and from 4-H (which mom always monitored).
      That is a shame your mom never embraced her background. I guess country living isn't for everyone. My mom was raised a city girl and dad was a country boy. I got some of both - but somehow I think I have a lot of my Amish ancestors in me. I did before I even knew about them. Funny how that works.
      I am with you on old cookbooks! So much knowledge!

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    2. Cheryl, I think the farmer thing must be in the blood but it somehow missed my mom. Doing genealogy I discovered a whole family line of farmers. I'm proud of that. That sort of lifestyle/mindset appealed to me even as a kid.


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    3. You should be proud - they are the lifeblood of our nation! We would be in big trouble without farmers

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  14. Buyer Beware when it comes to the 'Buy One Get One." - Usually it's a trick to fool people who can't do math in their heads. Usually I pay less at Aldi or Walmart rather than the BOGO price.

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    1. I hear that. I love that they advertise BOGO - but fail to tell you how much you save!! They can price that ONE at any price. It sure can be deceiving. Like you said BEWARE!

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  15. It definitely pays to know your prices and do the math.

    I am always amazed that the new sale prices are the old regular prices, at least here.

    God bless.

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    1. There sure is a difference from the old days! Yes, know your pricing!!

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  16. I think with summer almost upon us and school being almost out a lot of parents are going to go broke feeding their kids this summer. some of the prices out there are ridiculous. They're going to have to bargain hunt like never before. Also, the day that I pay $3.49 for 4 tomato slices, 4 onion slices and a little bit of lettuce is the day that you need to take me in cause I have lost my mind. It's never gonna happen. I'll buy them whole and slice them myself. LOL

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    1. LOL - me too! We will share a room!!!!!! I just couldn't believe that when I saw it. I had to post the picture from the ad, as I figured no one would believe that!
      Lots of PB&J and homemade snacks - would be my go to. Tuna salad, chicken salad, PBJ, snacks, and NO pop! I feel for them all.

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  17. in the UK we have some different problems , the price of gas and electric have risen so much that people cant affford to cook or heat their homes , this is going to be grim this winter , meat is rapidly becoming a luxury item 10% inflation is no joke and it continues to rise . if your in a city and cant grow some of your own food you are stuffed . We have more foodbanks than we do mcdonalds

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    1. It is an awful situation. I pray everyday that the evil will be put down, and life can get to some normalcy again. What a horrible situation to be in.
      Our gasoline has risen a LOT, but I think overseas is really seeing worse than us. We Americans should be grateful we can still do many of our normal things.
      WOW - but thank God for foodbanks! Prayers for all involved. It just breaks my heart.

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  18. It may depend somewhat on where you live. I'm finding rural areas are seeing steeper increases in pricing, more "shrinkflation", and far fewer folks shopping like before. For example, those pre-sliced burger veggies wouldn't sell at all here. Notta. No one. Then again, I suppose rural folks wouldn't have bought them before, either.
    --Elise

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    1. I think you are right. City folk tend to shop differently. I think our area - is still same as always shopping for the most part. I would hope things would change.

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  19. You hit the nail on the head with this post, Cheryl. I’ve never been one to shop blindly but I have friends who do that. One friend loves to fish a lot and buys a new jar of mayo every time for their lunches because they can’t be bothered to put the latest jar in the fridge when they get home. Crazy! I would save $1.50 on those ribs and cook my own too. They are great in the crockpot.

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    1. Oh my goodness, that is pretty lazy! My mayo lasts me for ages! I know folks who haven't changed a thing wither - it drives me nuts! Ribs are just so easy - and I want them fixed my way!

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