Aug 30, 2011

"Uh oh! She's on her coupon soap box again"

While shopping for fresh produce the other day, I asked, both out loud and to no one in particular, 
"is it just me or are grocery store prices way higher than this time last year?".

I want to tell you that as soon as I asked that a wise, booming voice answered back that it was all in my head and not to be concerned... BUT I would be telling a lie because prices are on the rise.

CNBC put out an article recently stating that over the past year prices have increased and gave this example:
"Coffee, for instance, is up 40 percent. Celery is 28 percent higher while butter prices rose 26.4 percent. Rounding out the top five are bacon, at 23.5 percent, and cabbage, at 23.3 percent."   
Even more worrisome is this trend seems to be accelerating in 2011, take a look at what CNBC states is happening now:
Just in April—the most recent month for which data is available—grapes went up nearly 30 percent, cabbage jumped about 17 percent and orange juice surged more than 5 percent.

Meat is more expensive as well, since April of 2009, livestock prices have increased 138%.

The point of this post is not to completely stress you out although if I kept going, I would discuss the Federal reserve, world hunger and eventually get to sustainable living but I digress, this is a blog about being frugal and having fun so enough with "the sky is falling" and on to my....

According to most articles that I've read over the last several days, food prices have been on the rise for going on 4 years now while the average American's income has remained stagnant or gone down BUT....
Here I am, unemployed (I had a good paying job 2 1/2 years ago), relying solely on my husband and the few referrals this blog brings in....
LIVING (almost) EXACTLY AS WE DID when I had a job!


I mainly use coupons on non-food items because I do tend to eat more fruits and veggies and there aren't a ton of produce coupons out there (not to say they don't exist, because they absolutely do but they are rare).  
I found an article, about a year ago stating that the average family in Orlando (my area) spends approximately $6,400 per year on groceries and personal care items, add to the bottom line if you've got yourself a teenager or a new born or more than 4 people in your household.  
Then I read that almost HALF of that is spent on non-food items like toilet paper, body wash, toothpaste, etc...
I discovered that through coupons, store deals and a little bit o' research I could regularly find toothpaste, body wash, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant and make up for FREE or close to it! 

Whoa!  That means I was able to get my $6,400 per year down to just about half through coupon use on ONLY non- food items!  

This brings me back to my original question... 
"is it just me or are grocery store prices way higher than this time last year?"

Yes! Yes they are BUT I haven't been affected too much because I discovered coupons.  
I have a passion for coupon use that I love to share with every one I meet!  It drives me bonkers when I hear that couponers are greedy, cheap, hoarders, shelf- clearers, eating unhealthy, etc... because at the end of the day (or year, in this case) I am spending less at the grocery store which allows my family and I the opportunity to enjoy life without worrying about the other stuff (well, too much anyway).

Thanks for reading!

No comments: