Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grocery Basket 10/09

Miss MoneyPenny has been depressed lately.  Grocery prices continue to rise and the sales continue to go down.  Also, good coupons are far and few between.  I really hate to say it, but it looks like we are getting closer to how the rest of the world deals with food.  It seems that we are the rare society who is used to cheap food and believe that we are entitled to it.  As a result of our attitude, we waste between 30 and 60 per cent of the food that we bring home.  We just don't respect the food.

I was shooting off my mouth one evening over a glass of wine with Mr. SuperGenius about the reasons for the increasing cost of food, when he brought up a very good point.  One of the biggest reasons for high grocery prices is the cost of fuel.  Duh - I can't believe that I missed that one when I was doing my research, but he is right on.  All those trucks don't run on love, ya know, and for some reason we can't ship by rail, which is pretty cheap, comparatively.  Must be a political thing, but Miss MoneyPenny doesn't discuss politics or religion.  We want to have fun here, after all.

Another reason for our rising food prices is the ongoing drought in the middle of the country.  Cattlemen are selling their herds because they can't feed their cattle.  Right now they are feeding them the winter hay because there just hasn't been any grazing.  They are getting a high price because the whole world loves our beef, so our beef prices will not be going down.  The long range picture is bleak because young people are not interested in going into the family business of raising cattle.  Plus, Dad sold the good breeding stock.

Then there is corn.  Corn is in everything.  I don't know about you, but I have never met a piece of cornbread that I didn't just love or corn on the cob.  And we all know that corn is the basis for all of our junk food faves, and we can't forget the high fructose stuff.  Don't get me started on that.  The deal with corn is that the farmers make more money growing it for ethanol and using it for animal feed.  They can spray way more pesticides on it, making it a lot easier and cheaper to grow.

The last reason for high food prices is the saddest.  Because of our mean spirited immigration laws, farmers have to actually pay a decent wage to get their harvest in, if they can find anyone to do that back breaking work.  The people from south of the border are thinking twice about coming up here to work the harvest.  Pretty risky business when they think about being separated from their children when they are suddenly deported.  I'm not going to say any more about this, but you get the idea.

Now that I've thoroughly depressed you, too - here's what I'm putting in my grocery basket this week:


Avocados, pears, romas = .88 each or per pound
Broccoli/Cauliflower = .99/lb
Cottage cheese/Sour cream = 4/$5
Coffee Mate = 2/$5
Silk Almond Milk = $2.79
Parmesan = ?
Lemon = ?

I'm hitting Costco after Weight Watchers on Saturday, so will make a list.  I picked my for real last mess of green beans today, so will roast them along with the cherry tomatoes.  I really am going to miss that wonderful feeling that I get when I go outside and pick my dinner, but it is getting close to the time when the garden needs to be put to bed for the winter.  That is a big job.  I'm thinking I need a visit from my grandson.  He is a good helper and very entertaining, but that guy can eat. 

1 comment:

  1. Not political, eh Ms. Money Penny?

    You brought up some really great points that we all need to think about...

    1) Waste - With 3 hungry little kids in the house again, it's very easy to forget what's out of date in the back of the refrigerator. Every couple of days I reach into the back of every shelf and pull out the items and put them on the counter (unless of course, they are unreconizable, green and oozing. Then they go straight to the garbage or compost) and imagine what sort of meal they belong in. I'm not organized like Ms. MoneyPenny and plan all my meals. I'm good at planning on my way home from work :-). I try to keep enough staples in the cupboard to be able concoct any leftover into something edible.

    2) Fuel - We try to eat most everything that is in season and local. (I never buy corn on the cob in January) That helps on not having to pay extra for the items that are freighted in from so far. Plus, we look SO forward to the seasons... I'm already yearning for fresh strawberries....

    3) Corn - hmmmmmm..... Not much to comment on here except it's what it is. If I were a farmer and I could make more money one way than the other, I probably would too.... Don't forget to seal that box of cornmeal in an airight container or pop it in the freezer to make sure it doesn't attract little critters. We don't want to have to throw out our hard earned money.... (Don't even get me started on ants....)

    4)Decent wages = higher produce. If you can't beat them, join them! Ms. MoneyPenney has a small backyard garden that produces oodles of vegies from a few packets of seeds and her own labor. There are big rewards for a little investment of time/money. Just saying...

    This weekend I hit up Costco and stocked on some really good cheeses. Dubliner and Extra Aged Gouda. Oh yummmmm.... I cut them into smaller pieces and froze them. My opinion is that if you buy really quality cheeses, you don't need nearly as much to put on your food, thus saving money, extra calories, etc.

    Notes from my garden.. I bought this beautiful bean/pea tower and wanted it to be a beautiful focal point in the garden so instead of planting yummy Blue Lake pole beans, I planted Scarlet Runner beans. And OH MY was it beautiful! Beautiful red blooms covering the vines! However, I didn't like the beans as well and when the blooms were done, I'm left with beans that I don't like..... I'm thinking next year white blossoms are just fine. I might add a trellis in a flower bed and put the Scarlet Runner beans in there for effect and pick the beans and give them away or to the food bank... Just a packet of seeds, right?