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Food Prices
Old 08-19-2014, 05:12 PM   #1
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Food Prices

While food prices in the US account for a smaller percentage of the the average family's total expense than in most foreign countries, it still represents a substantial part of the budget for lower income groups, and will ultimately affect the entire economy.

This article covers one part of the American diet... Ground beef. Year to year the average price is up 12%, and over the past five years, is up 81%.

Average Price of Ground Beef Hits All-Time High | CNS News

But this is only part of the overall price increase that we have already experienced... and just one of the foods that are projected to increase in the near future.

In the basic foods list, the following are some indicators that project to be substantially higher for specific reasons.

Pork... even though the virus affects just 10% of the pigs, the price of pork is already up 15% over last year.

Fruits, vegetables and nuts ... The California drought has already caused a 6% increase overall. The future prices are unpredictable.

Milk and egg prices are also on the increase, though not so much, and for reasons of overall dietary changes.

In comparing year over year, with the overall CPI more in the 1% to 3% range over the past five years, the projected increases in food will likely disproportionately affect lower income families, but will certainly have an effect on the overall economy.
Quote:
2013 1.5%
2012 2.1%
2011 3.2%
2010 1.5%
2009 -.0.4%

Not all is lost, however as the corn/soybean crops for this fall, look to be in the record books. Good for consumers, not so good for futures...

I'm not an expert on this, so welcome your thoughts and any info that might prove interesting.

We have turned to whole chicken... $.95 lb @ Aldi's.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Increased food prices will obviously affect those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. It would be interesting to see if it affects the way they (and everyone) consume food. More processed foods? or more "real" foods? Less meat? More vegetables? How elastic are prices relative to behavior?

I remember, about 5 yrs ago, when gas prices were going up towards $5-6/gal. It seems like it didn't change behavior until it passed $4.5-$4.75/gal.

Everyone wants to see a decrease in obesity and a trend toward healthy eating. Talking about it doesn't seem to help much. However, it would be a cruel experiment on those who don't need more problems than they already have.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:07 PM   #3
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Personally, I don't pay much attention to food prices. Nobody wants to pay too much or get ripped off or be in a position where they must go hungry. However, the American drive to relentlessly get the lowest food price is part of what drives the factory farm system.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:27 AM   #4
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I find it fascinating that we focus on the prices going up. They are easy to identify and talk about. We almost never talk about ebbing food prices? I guess it's just human nature to focus on the bad.

Who knew beer prices were actually down?

Table 2. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. city average, by detailed expenditure category
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Check Out Aldi
Old 08-20-2014, 02:57 PM   #5
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Check Out Aldi

We lived here in Ohio for about 7-8 years before I darkened the door of that store with its unique blue/orange/red sign. I had wondered what that store was, but continued shopping the weekly sales at local supermarkets.

Until DS started playing football, and I was helping the other moms cook the team meals. That's when I learned where they shopped for good, basic food at unbelievable below-the-local-supermarket prices: Aldi. I've been shopping there ever since. When relatives/friends visit from the West coast and go there with me, they cannot believe the bargains AND the quality.

Then, a few years later, I learned about the Amish salvage stores..........which also now help to fill our pantry. But that's another story for another time.....and such stores may only appear in regions with Amish populations.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:10 PM   #6
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Not all is lost, however as the corn/soybean crops for this fall, look to be in the record books. Good for consumers, not so good for futures...
Glad you mentioned "futures." It's off topic a bit but I don't believe key staples should be on commodity market. But I can be alone on this.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:16 PM   #7
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No matter what the price does, I am still buying bacon.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:34 PM   #8
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How do I get Aldi to open a store near me?
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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When I think about how much meat we used to eat 10 years ago... Meat used to be the focus of our meals. Now we split 1 steak or 1 chicken breast for dinner - when we eat meat at all. Yet we still spend pretty much the same on food every month (although these days we are more likely to go for the grass fed beef and free range chicken).
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:48 PM   #10
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I will have to give Aldi's a second look based on recommendations by multiple discerning forum members. I wonder if they vary by part of the country in terms of what they stock? There are 2 stores about 6 or 8 miles from me (in opposite directions). I visited one location when it opened about 10 years ago as a co-worker was so enthusiastic, and brands did not seem familiar. I was also possibly wrongly influenced by the stacked boxes of goods as opposed to conventional shelving and artful displays. I am retired. I have more time to investigate and compare.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:52 PM   #11
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ALDI has had whole chickens for .95 cents a pound at my area all summer....while the other stores range from 1.19 to 1.59 a pound..they are beautiful, plump oven-stuffer size chickens 5-7 pounds...

I see the people walk by them every week to buy processed crap and 4.00 a pound burger meat in tubes.

I think it's cause people don't know how to cook or prepare a whole chicken anymore, and they don't know what they' re missing....Use some fresh herbs from the garden, stuff with citrus fruit and an onion, and pop in the over for few hours.....SO GOOD and lasts for days for a single person like me!!!! Tastes so much better that the cut up chicken parts, and smells so good when it cooks!

Best buy in the supermarket. I love ALDI. I used to have my nose in the air, but since I've started shopping and TRYING thier goods, I can honestly say there are only a few items I did not care for. Ketchup is ketchup, dressing is dressing, Dark Roast K-cups that make THREE cups per morning cause they're strong enough....Well you get the idea.

One more thing...Sara Lee pound cakes ( that weigh 10 OZ!) are 6.00 each in the other store....ALDI has BUTTER pound cakes for about 2.75 and they are GOOD!!!!

If you haven't tried ALDI, you should.... You may not like everything, But I don't like everything at Walmart or Giant Eagle either.


I went to another store today in town to get skunk ( er, I mean CAT food-they "don't like it" more than not and it goes out to the skunk!)... My mom asked me to pcik up some Campbells Soup...it was 1.99 a can...ARE THEY CRAZY?!?!?!?
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:41 PM   #12
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Does your Aldi carry the canned cat food? Our 19 year old cat loves it. I don't remember the price but I know it was less than the name brands in the regular stores. She also loves the Aldi canned tuna in water. It's from the people dept, not the pet aisle.


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Old 08-21-2014, 10:29 PM   #13
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How do I get Aldi to open a store near me?
I would try writing to the US company headquarters. I believe the co. is actually based in Germany, and was started there (thus, their shelves of European chocolate, plus the pumpernickel and pfefferneusse at the holidays).
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
I will have to give Aldi's a second look based on recommendations by multiple discerning forum members. I wonder if they vary by part of the country in terms of what they stock? There are 2 stores about 6 or 8 miles from me (in opposite directions). I visited one location when it opened about 10 years ago as a co-worker was so enthusiastic, and brands did not seem familiar. I was also possibly wrongly influenced by the stacked boxes of goods as opposed to conventional shelving and artful displays. I am retired. I have more time to investigate and compare.
Yes, I found it really was worth the time spent comparing. Many of their canned and boxed goods taste like they come from the major manufacturers (and are simply given Aldi's private labels). The canned fruits taste like Libbys. The cereals could pass for Kellogg's, etc.

(The few frozen meats I've tried we have not cared for; but the fresh chicken is just fine.) Their tuna in water averages .67/can, and is good stuff.

Most stores seem to have the same organization/layout, so it's easy to get in and out in a short time. The employees are always very courteous.

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Old 08-21-2014, 10:51 PM   #15
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I shop at ALDi for all the produce, fruit, bread and milk. We hardly ever eat meat and don't care for the canned goods or other processed foods. The quality of fruit and produce is good and costs atleast 25% less than at Walmart.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:43 AM   #16
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Also concerned about stealth inflation.
For instance, what was once a half gallon of Breyers Ice Cream is now 1.5 quarts.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:01 PM   #17
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The only thing I don't like about Aldi, is that it's a privately owned company. I'd sure love to buy shares. It's well run and operated, with very state of the art business methods.
Started by the Albrecht Brothers in Germany after WWII. Aldi = ALbrecht DIscount. The brothers split the business to Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud. Between them, worldwide they own and operate more than 8000 stores in 18 countries.
In the US, Aldi's Nord is Known as Trader Joe's and Aldi Sud is Aldi's. In the US, there are about 400+ Trader Joe's and 1300+ Aldi's. They have an aggressive expansion plan.
US main office is outside Chicago in the Town of Batavia.

Did I say "Smart"... $.25 to "rent" a grocery cart... which you get back when you return the cart to the cart corral. Never a loose cart in the parking lot, to take up spaces or get blown into the side of your car, and the carts are always clean and not rusty. We often "trade" carts in the parking lot for $.25 and avoid the trip back to the corral.

A funny story that happens often, when a new customer is going into the store, and doesn't know about the $.25 "deposit. I offer my cart for $.25, and get dirty look. She ain't gonna pay! And so I get back to my car and watch her go into the store... and then come back out, red faced, to pay her $.25 rental... Does my heart good.

Smart... Cookie cutter stores. Same display, same size every store. Shelves stocked with display cartons. Simple signing. Standard locations for goods, so navigating the store is very easy after the first trip.

Instore shelving is on wheels, to allow for quick adjustment of display space.
I'd guess about 90% private brands. Packaging is standardized w/scanning codes on multiple sides, and the checkout scanner "sees" everything... no twisting and turning to get the scan to "take". My guess... Checkout time is about half of the checkout time at Walmart, for the same amounts.

Check out... goods taken out of your cart and put into the empty cart left by the customer in front of you. Strong plastic bags, reusable, are sold for $.10 and will last a year or longer. (We still have some from 3 years ago). You do your own bagging at tables in the front of the store, or as we do... bag the goods at the trunk of the car.

Great hiring practices. Happy, smart, people, paid more than competitors and work harder than I can believe. Every worker knows every job in the store. They "stay" in their jobs. Good management opportunities.

Checkouts. Never more than two or three customers, and those customers know that a $100 cartful will take about 2-3 minutes to check out. The scanners are fast, fast, fast. Haven't had a problem with price or "price check" in ten years. If there are more than two customers waiting, whoever is working in the store will drop what they'e doing and man a checkout.

We're pretty non discriminating in our food choices, and will go for the "Millville" brand honey oat cereal for $1.89, in preference to the Kellog brand..
which costs $2.89, and we buy bananas day in and day out for $.44/lb.

Lowest price for seedless watermelon in HiVEE, Walmart and the other stores is about $3.99 to $4.99. We've been buying bigger melons at Aldi's for $2.99 to $3.49. Grapes $1.39/lb Blueberries $.99 pint. Milk averages about $.70/gal below other stores... and my ultimate favorite... Avacados... from $.59 to the current price of $.89/each. Sometimes, a pint of fresh mushrooms for $.69.

Wine... my kind of wine... Shiraz, Chardonnay, Burgundy... $2.89... and Mexican beer for $4.99

The company is smart... runs a tight ship, and passes the savings on to the customers. Yes prices are going up. But they're going up everywhere. I'm convinced that we save at least 20% over Walmart, and 35% over the local HiVee Supermarket.

Confession... one of the things I REALLY like, is that there is a limited selection of standard items, instead of 12 different brands all selling the same basic item. We can make a $65 Aldi trip in about 15 minutes. In some of the other stores, it takes that long to get to the back of the store.

BTW.. Aldi's is great in cooperating with the local food kitchens... free day old goods, and special (very low) prices for the standards, like milk and eggs.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:06 PM   #18
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I heard lobster is in over supply. Judging by TV commercials ("lobster topped lobster"?) it must be getting cheaper. They're just giving it away.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:57 PM   #19
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A little bump here, that speaks to the downside of good fortune.In US, huge grain crops spell headache for farmers

Quote:
US corn and soybean crops could break records this year, but for farmers the bounty has a dark side: falling prices and a logistics nightmare getting crops to market.

"It is not an exact science but when we look at the fields, it looks like it is going to be a big crop," said John Reifsteck, a corn and soybean farmer in Champaign, Illinois, a Midwest farm belt state.

Reifsteck estimated his corn crop could be as much as 15 percent higher than last year's.

The US Department of Agriculture is forecasting record crops this year for corn and soybeans, the two largest US crops in terms of production. Unless there is a devastating freeze or torrential rains before the harvest ends, corn production is projected at 366 million tonnes and soybeans at 106.5 million tonnes.

Handling all this production will be complicated. According to Arthur Neal, a USDA transportation and marketing official, about 3.5 percent of the crops, equivalent to 762,600 truck loads, cannot be kept in permanent storage structures like silos -- the highest share since 2010.
Quote:
With the prospect of abundant harvests, buyers have pushed prices into a freefall. The corn futures contract recently slid below $3.50 a barrel on the Chicago Board of Trade, well below the $8 level it fetched in 2012, a year when crops were stressed by drought.
more....
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:18 PM   #20
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I've been a beef eater all my life, never ate pork with the exception of bacon and seldom ate chicken or fish. Beef is what was for dinner every night around here.

Until recently, when I decided I was no longer going to pay over $5 a pound for ground chuck or the similarly increased prices for other cuts.

So I started buying boneless skinless chicken breasts, which Walmart, Sam's, and HEB have all the time for $1.99 a pound.

A $10 package is enough for three meals for us one night whole, one night shredded as chicken salad, one night sliced up in a salad.

We also pick up the individual wild-caught frozen salmon fillets at Walmart for 87 cents each (4 oz). A couple of filets, rice, beans, and some fresh broccoli is a cheap but good meal.

Not only has our weekly grocery spend been substantially reduced, we are eating much healthier.
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