Saturday, July 30, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Signs of the inflationary times?

I rarely go to a grocery store on Monday mornings since they are not usually well stocked from the weekend crowds.  However, we were almost out of cream for coffee.  I am fine with substituting Cremora but the thought makes my husband ill.  So, it was off to Aldi soon after they opened. 

Although not restocked on everything, they had plenty of cream and a few other items I decided to buy while there since I won't shop there again until the Aldi stock up day.  I usually buy a package of their fresh tilapia if it is there when I shop and I cook it that night for dinner.  This time, I made fish sandwiches and they made for a perfect warm weather "main dish".

I was surprised to see a red 50% off clearance sticker on their family packs of organic grass fed ground beef.  I have never seen a 50% off sticker on any of their meat before.  I bought two packages for the deep freeze at that price.  It is my preferred ground beef except for when making burgers (need more fat) and meatloaf (too expensive to use for meatloaf).

I told my husband about it when I arrived home since I always explain "out of cycle" expenses.  We both decided the family packs... which consist of three one pound packages linked together... are probably not selling because of the increase in price.  They were around $19.00 or $20.00. 

Few people are going to pay that much for three pounds of ground beef, I know I couldn't buy the family packs these days.  I am always happy to find meat on sale that I can put in the freezer, much less on clearance. 

It is true that canned salmon has become more expensive.  Especially if you prefer the wild caught Alaska salmon.  I only have one can left and I'm wondering if I need to make that a priority to purchase a couple on stock up day?  They will not get any cheaper anytime soon and they are a good source of important nutrients.

I have read that anchovies are packed with important nutrients.  Many Italian cooking shows talk about putting a few of them in olive oil warming up when making a pasta sauce.  Apparently they melt so no one would notice they are there???  Has anyone tried this?

Something else I'm wondering, I was listening to a favorite YouTube vlogger talk about some of the changes going on by various companies because of shortages.  He had found out that the makers of Cheerios have had to tweak the recipe because they were unable to get enough of an ingredient. The reason he thinks this is true is that it seemed the taste of Cheerios had changed recently. 

I hadn't thought of that kind of a change but it is entirely possible.   We have noticed shrinkflation a lot more lately.  Last week, my husband asked me to buy the three pack of his favorite toothpaste but it is only now sold in a two-pack and the price did not reflect the change.

My next stock up shopping at Meijer and Aldi is next week (already!).  A priority this month will be over the counter medicines that we use.  I already purchased two boxes of needles for the insulin pens last week and three small boxes of the store brand of Benedryl. 

I used a birthday Amazon gift card to purchase a book (of course) as well as two boxes of the Quaker Old Fashioned oats that I used to be able to get at Sam's Club.  Now Sam's Club only sells quick oats, at least at our local store.  I save so much getting them in the "kind of" bulk buy.

I also used the Amazon gift card to buy Bob's Red Mill instant potato flakes.  They have nothing but the dried potato flakes in them, which makes them healthier and they last much longer than the instant potato flakes that have other ingredients added.

I know... who uses an Amazon birthday gift card to buy oats and potatoes?  Me!

Honestly friends, every time I go to the grocery store, I either am glad I stocked up on something or wish I had due to price increases.  For instance, I use a finely ground Himalayan pink salt in my salt shaker.  I used to buy it all the time for $1.99 and the same container is now $2.99.  That is a huge increase in so short of a time!  

I'm glad I stocked up last Fall.  It is one of those items that the initial investment to purchase extra wasn't very much.  Last year, I tried to purchase one spice (or something similar like salt) each month.  

Spices last a long time in spite of the companies telling us we need to throw them away after six months. Whole spices last longer but I've had ground spice last for years.  I may have to use a little more.  They also perk up a lot when carefully heated during cooking (they burn easily, though).  Herbs do not last as long but usually you just need to use more dried herbs before having to throw the bottle away.

I always have to remind myself what I have been reminding you here... it is far better to do a little than to do nothing because we cannot do more.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Quaker Old Fashioned oats... here.

Bob's Red Mill Instant Potato Flakes... here.

DisclaimerMost links to are Associate links.

Image:  The red shelves in my kitchen (from Instagram)


Vee said...

Your kitchen shelves are so pleasing to the eye. I wait for Tuesday mornings at my local grocery. I have the added benefit of my grandson's working there so he can give me a heads up on a special sale. Seems there was a frozen graduation cake that was slashed in price. Not sure that it is the best nutrition, but it does feed the soul.

Rain said...

Thanks as always for sharing! I just wanted to let you know that I purchase a very nice fine pink himalayan sea salt in a 1 lb. pkg. at dollar tree. It is the exact one that wal mart sells for close to $5.

Annabel said...

All the way down here in Australia I am seeing stage sights in the meat department. Suddenly the packages are small. Tiny. Like tiny little roasts for one or two people. I felt it was like food on Honey I shrunk the kids or kids play food size. No doubt because this is all people can afford and big packages are not selling. I saw a lamb leg roast so tiny it was dreadful. I wonder who do families feeding a few teenagers manage! It is very concerning. Things are changing and changing fast. Our best efforts are needed now! xxx

cindy said...

Good morning from sunny Florida. I am reading your blog after having finished my monthly grocery shopping. I am single and will be retiring next year. I have challenged myself to begin cooking and love looking through my cookbooks and cooking new dishes, with new ingredients. This is my second month and I learned a great deal from last month. I realized what dishes I wanted to cook after working all day and those that should be left for the weekend! My goal is to avoid food waste and only go back to the grocery store mid month for fresh items and have set aside $20 to buy those items. Today I went to buy nutmeg (not sure which recipe had that spice) but I could not bring myself to pay almost $5 for it. I was also surprised at the price of vegetable oil and Crisco. I had not purchased them in awhile but now that I am also back to baking I needed them. I have read your blog for years and have shared it with other family members. You have inspired me and I pray blessings over you and your family.

Lori said...

I grew up in an Italian family and my mom always had a tube of anchovy paste on hand. She used in dressings and various dishes. She liked it better than canned anchovies as you could use as little or as much needed and then refrigerate the tube, which lasts quite awhile. I have followed suit in my home! Thank you for your insightful articles!

Karen S Picoult said...

I'm curious, because I sometimes see you purchase Talipia. How do you cook your tilapia? Do you have a special recipe you would be willing to share? Thanks.

Carla said...

Yes, groceries are going up, gasoline and electricity. Yesterday I got to thinking about how our expenses had changed from 2021 and 2020 so I got out my Budget binder with over 20 years of monthly budgets and looked up July in each year. Then I listed each year at the top and recorded the same expenses across the page in the 3 columns. Our electric bill in '20 was around $200; in '21 it was $298; this year it was $388. I'm trying to get everyone to use less electricity, but it's hard to do. Especially in Texas in the summer.

We're eating less meat, partly because my husband's cardiologist recommended it after his heart attack last year. But even so, at those prices, I'd be cutting back anyway. I grew up in a blue collar family and money was tight in the winter, so my mother made 2 or 3 meals a week with no meat (baked beans, macaroni and cheese, beans and cornbread) so I'm quite contented with less. However, my husband really misses it, as do our grandsons.