Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Nightmare of Shopping for Food

Doing the shopping, faced with ever increasing prices. I am continually frustrated at the rising costs of items that are essential to the household. Come on, who likes to pay $4.09 AUD for 9 rolls of toilet paper, soon we will be all heading out bush and using leaves. I was fortunate to find bread that had been marked down to a dollar per loaf, normally sells for over 3 dollars. In a period of 7 days, the most I have spent would be close to $460 AUD, the least $190 AUD.
Everyday expenses of at least 1 loaf of bread, 3 litres of milk, endless amounts of fruit soon adds up. We can all make our own bread but if you live in suburbia, a cow in the back yard is hardly a good idea. We don't all have fruit trees growing in our back yard either. I get annoyed that the town I live in is the biggest producer of bananas in Queensland and yet we pay the most exorbitant prices for them. Plenty of farms around us but it isn't really fair to run into the paddock and knock off a bunch during the night, the farmers loses , the prices rise.
Once a part of the staple diet, we come to potatoes, almost $10 AUD for a 5kg bag. You can find sellers by the roadside who sell produce for much lower prices but they are not always there and there are the aged and those who have no transport who cannot get to these sellers direct. Does anyone remember when minced meat (ground beef) was considered a poor mans food? Now you would be hard pressed to find it on sale under $8 per kilogram. Granted you can do so much with minced meat but how many times can you eat rissoles, spaghetti, shepherds pie a week?
Processed and pre-packaged food items are becoming cheaper but are not the healthiest. Yes they pass but it would be nice to be able to afford to eat t-bone steak, I clearly remember when it was nothing to have a fillet steak for breakfast. Going back to basics seems to be an answer to the increasing of essential items in the shopping trolley. I can't have a cow or chickens in my back yard , the chickens would only be to collect eggs, I couldn't eat them. A huge vege patch would be the best option, but I am not allowed to dig up any yard to plant one, so the next best thing is planter boxes.
One has to be a smarter shopper, look for bargains, buy items that are marked down. It isn't beneath me to do so and freeze stuff that has been marked down. We do not eat like kings but it is difficult in this day and age to keep costs down and supplying the right mixture of fruit, protein at a reasonable cost.
Becoming self sufficient seems to be an option but we are not all in a position to do so.


Crushed said...

My food bills used to be huge..

They looked low, about £20 a month at the supermarket- but the reality was, that didn't include my lunch, takeways, meals out etc, which accounted for the bulk of my eating.

This month I decided to buy the entire months food and only prepare my own food.
It cost £75.

ga.farmwoman said...

I so agree about the high prices.
We do have cows, chickens, etc but this year the drought was bad and the corn crop non-existent.
The price of feed has tripled making it extremely high priced to raise animals.
I have tried very hard to preserve vegetables and fruit and it will help with food cost.
I could go on and on about the causes of this mess, but I know here in the U.S., the price of this war and the cost of crude oil, then the control of corn grown for ethenol, is on the top of the list of it all.

mutleythedog said...

You are absolutely right its the same here on the other side of the world.. I do make my own bread, cakes and stuff like that as well as jam and pickles just because of the soaring costs.. example 10 months ago a cheap butter back 60 pence now 99pence - inflation = 50% in the UK.

CherryPie said...

Prices are rising quite scarily here too!

Ginro said...

You could always do what I do and eat rice every day, but even that is steadily rising in price now unfortunately. And if toilet paper becomes that expensive, we'll have to use the middle eastern method - use our left hands, lol. Although the Romans coped with a sponge on a stick dipped in a bucket of water but considering how many people used it that can't have been pleasant :s