Grocery Shopping is expensive in California.
I can spend $15.00 or organic, cotton candy grapes, share them with only one kid, and they will be gone in just one sitting.
Being extremely frugal and careful, feeding a family of 6 (one of them only eating breast milk) is still at least $400 USD and considerably eats into my pantry. This makes the next month that much more expensive.
I have had months where I spend upwards of $1600 USD
Grocery shopping pre-covid, was an extra money trap. One had to use tricks:
- Create a meal plan, make a specific list, stick to the list
- Eat a full meal before shopping to avoid buying unnecessary treats, and make it easy to avoid the starbucks at the entrance
- shop only the outer aisles, as all the unnecessary stuff is in the middle
- compare store brands to name brands as they are often the same product with different labels.
- Came in for a "killer deal" on chicken? Watch out for the overpriced potatoes
Grocery stores would also use product placement to sell you extra stuff.
- Sandwich bags in the bread isle, or maybe princess shaped sandwich cutters
- funny, kid friendly cups near the juice section
- avocados next to the chip aisle with guacamole recipes attached
- watermelon decorated knives next to the charcoal
Stores in both San Diego and Alameda County have changed their tune.
Shopping without one of these used to be a money death trap, now you must be able to re-arrange your list depending on what may or may not be available
You are now encouraged to buy only what you need
Signs asking you to consider your neighbors are plastered next to paper goods, flours, beans and eggs, along with shopping limits
The fast rotting berries are now next to the apples with signs reminding you that apples last a long time
meats have apologies for the hike in prices next to print outs of recipes reminding you that you can use chicken bones to make extra stock
Reminders to eat everything you buy are in places that used to encourage you to fill your cart.
Store is out of bread? The worker is available to tell you which store close by still has some is stock. Big chains telling customers to go elsewhere? Wow.
Previously, you were encouraged to buy buy buy, and there was more than enough food everywhere.
Now you are encouraged to take what you need, and use all you take.
Food runs out.
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Capitalism has left the grocery stores. The Dollar Stores are not abundantly full with cheap plastic goods. And, although our neighbors still get boxes and boxes delivered from Amazon, you can tell that the landscape of what they are buying is different.
I don't love the change. It is a little scary, but I still welcome it. Something had to change, and it looks like change is finally here.
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Posted Using LeoFinance