FOOD Report food & grocery shortages / price increases here: 2022 Edition

SurvivalRing

Rich Fleetwood - Founder - author/coder/podcaster
We’ve been running on the monthly SSD shopping trip on the third of every month for three years now. When I was working for the state of Wyoming, I was getting a monthly paycheck then as well, and we settled in to that lifestyle fairly painlessly.

However, back then we were only having a recession…not historically high inflation, nor free fall into a greater depression. Because of the recession hitting, and the fact that Wyoming's income from energy royalties, which came from coal, coal bed methane, oil, and natural gas, and 0bama killed all that, our state's abilities were hit harder than most, and in the succeeding years of my state employment I didn't get a raise or promotion, nor did anyone else.... which is why I quit and moved to Nashville, for better job opportunities.

My personal measurements of our grocery hell right now are bread, milk, eggs, and meat.

We had been getting great value Honey Wheat bread for most of the last 15 years. It has always been under $1. Then, four months ago, it jumped to $0.98, and than within a month, up to $1.48 (and last visit $1.58 this past Wednesday).

At $1.48 a loaf, we switched to GV white bread @$1.00 a loaf…which it’s been for a while, until IT jumped 10% to $1.10 this week.

It may not seem to all of you like it’s much, but we depend on bread daily.

A gallon of GV 2% milk six months ago had dropped to $1.98 a gallon, which was the lowest it had been for a couple of years here, before it rose to a high of $3.39 this spring. Right now it’s sitting at $2.93 a gallon. We’ve got more than a dozen large sealed bag containers of powdered milk, but I’ve never liked the taste of it.

Because of the culling of tens of millions of chickens and turkeys the last year due to the resurgence of bird flu, the price of eggs soared, with my jaw dropping when I saw a 60 ct package of large grade A eggs hit $19.62 a month ago. A single 18 count package was $5.29 this week.

Because of Annie’s stage three kidney disease, she only eats chicken now. 15 years ago, you could find boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk packaging for $1.99 a pound. Now, it’s $3.24 a pound at both Walmart and City Market (Kroger’s). Walmart went up first, and then CM. The next closest grocery stores are 100 miles or more in EVERY direction...360 degrees of too far.

It’s been three months since I’ve bought beef, and that was only when it was marked down.

10 years ago I was buying whole cows, or sides. A whole cow with the roasts, steaks, ribs, and hamburger, totaled $2.91 a pound for EVERY POUND, after the cost of the cow and it’s processing. Can’t even believe I’ll ever be able to buy another cow, or whatever portion we’d want…

Across the board, our groceries…JUST groceries…is up between 30 to 40%. For the first time in my life, we can’t afford to get normal groceries we’ve historically depended on. And, we’ve ALWAYS shopped with coupons, case lot sales, or clearance or markdown prices.

When I was growing up, my mom shopped fairly regularly at bread outlets, with markdown prices. The last bread store that we used to shop at was in south Casper. I don’t remember the last time we shopped there (it’s been 6 to 8 years ago…), but I’ve been looking for it the last two years when I was in town for doctor appointments. It’s not there anymore…nor can I find any other discount bread store…anywhere.

I’m well aware that inflation is only going to continue rising, and I fear that we’ll be seeing hyperinflation in the coming year or two.

This really sucks.
 
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anna43

Veteran Member
You can substitute powdered milk for most anything except drinking to save $$s. Even on cereal it's not too noticeable. Mix it up a day ahead and chill and add that tiny bit of vanilla and it will be more palatable. In puddings, cocoa, baking etc. I don't notice much difference. Even drinking isn't too bad if you make chocolate milk.

I've started trying to get back into the habit of baking bread and rolls. I don't know what the cost breakdown would be since I'm using flour, sugar, yeast etc. that I purchased before inflation hit. I give thanks daily for my pantry.
 

psychgirl

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We’ve been running on the monthly SSD shopping trip on the third of every month for three years now. When I was working for the state of Wyoming, I was getting a monthly paycheck then as well, and we settled in to that lifestyle fairly painlessly.

However, back then we were only having a recession…not historically high inflation, nor free fall into a greater depression. Because of the recession hitting, and the fact that Wyoming's income from energy royalties, which came from coal, coal bed methane, oil, and natural gas, and 0bama killed all that, our state's abilities were hit harder than most, and in the succeeding years of my state employment I didn't get a raise or promotion, nor did anyone else.... which is why I quit and moved to Nashville, for better job opportunities.

My personal measurements of our grocery hell right now are bread, milk, eggs, and meat.

We had been getting great value Honey Wheat bread for most of the last 15 years. It has always been under $1. Then, four months ago, it jumped to $0.98, and than within a month, up to $1.48 (and last visit $1.58 this past Wednesday).

At $1.48 a loaf, we switched to GV white bread @$1.00 a loaf…which it’s been for a while, until IT jumped 10% to $1.10 this week.

It may not seem to all of you like it’s much, but we depend on bread daily.

A gallon of GV 2% milk six months ago had dropped to $1.98 a gallon, which was the lowest it had been for a couple of years here, before it rose to a high of $3.39 this spring. Right now it’s sitting at $2.93 a gallon. We’ve got more than a dozen large sealed bag containers of powdered milk, but I’ve never liked the taste of it.

Because of the culling of tens of millions of chickens and turkeys the last year due to the resurgence of bird flu, the price of eggs soared, with my jaw dropping when I saw a 60 ct package of large grade A eggs hit $19.62 a month ago. A single 18 count package was $5.29 this week.

Because of Annie’s stage three kidney disease, she only eats chicken now. 15 years ago, you could find boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk packaging for $1.99 a pound. Now, it’s $3.24 a pound at both Walmart and City Market (Kroger’s). Walmart went up first, and then CM. The next closest grocery stores are 100 miles or more in EVERY direction...360 degrees of too far.

It’s been three months since I’ve bought beef, and that was only when it was marked down.

10 years ago I was buying whole cows, or sides. A whole cow with the roasts, steaks, ribs, and hamburger, totaled $2.91 a pound for EVERY POUND, after the cost of the cow and it’s processing. Can’t even believe I’ll ever be able to buy another cow, or whatever portion we’d want…

Across the board, our groceries…JUST groceries…is up between 30 to 40%. For the first time in my life, we can’t afford to get normal groceries we’ve historically depended on. And, we’ve ALWAYS shopped with coupons, case lot sales, or clearance or markdown prices.

When I was growing up, my mom shopped fairly regularly at bread outlets, with markdown prices. The last bread store that we used to shop at was in south Casper. I don’t remember the last time we shopped there (it’s been 6 to 8 years ago…), but I’ve been looking for it the last two years when I was in town for doctor appointments. It’s not there anymore…nor can I find any other discount bread store…anywhere.

I’m well aware that inflation is only going to continue rising, and I fear that we’ll be seeing hyperinflation in the coming year or two.

This really sucks.
It really does.
And pretty darned scary too.
 

TidesofTruth

Veteran Member
I really found some very good pricing this Weekend. The things I needed were more unusual than the normal week. I found Canned tomatoes to be much more reasonably priced than even prior to covid which surprised me. I found Nuts to be much better pricing than years past. Spices seemed to be very good value of all kinds. I think I spent considerably less than I planned. I am coming to the conclusion that it is just much more difficult to get good prices but it seems to me that the deals are out there to be had. AND Cooking from scratch is so much more economical.
 

ainitfunny

Saved, to glorify God.
Check out the cornmeal prices, they have gone up dramatically in the last two weeks, especially on amazon.

When the pantry "staples" cornmeal, rice, potatoes, grits, flour, cream of wheat, dried
beans, dried and canned milk($2 a can now) oatmeal, sugar, and salt prices go astronomic I REALLY get nervous because THATS WHERE I LIVE, THE STAPLES. I DON'T CARE If conveniece and gourmet food prices balloon but lay off the staples!

ONE 2.5lb box of box of Albers corn meal is on Amazon (2 sites) for $20 and $23 respectively. Thats a product that sold for $3.50-$4.00 recently.

II should have stocked up on staples more. Thats at least a 500% rise in price!

Whew! It's still $3.62 for the same size box at walmart. i better stock up.
$3.29 at Fred Meyer(KROGER), and
$5.49 at SAFEWAY( they must have got the memo to RAISE THE PRICE)
 
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phloydius

Veteran Member
ONE 2.5lb box of box of Albers corn meal is on Amazon (2 sites) for $20 and $23 respectively. Thats a product that sold for $3.50-$4.00 recently.

FYI... I looked up Albers corn meal on Amazon. Amazon is not currently selling any Albers corn meal, it is out of stock. As mentioned before those big jumps in price are other sellers that are selling the product on Amazon, not Amazon, that you only see when Amazon is out of stock. But if it is out of stock, you probably should get some more locally at the good price, because it probably will continue to go up, just not 500% (yet).
 

bracketquant

Veteran Member
I really found some very good pricing this Weekend. The things I needed were more unusual than the normal week. I found Canned tomatoes to be much more reasonably priced than even prior to covid which surprised me. I found Nuts to be much better pricing than years past. Spices seemed to be very good value of all kinds. I think I spent considerably less than I planned. I am coming to the conclusion that it is just much more difficult to get good prices but it seems to me that the deals are out there to be had. AND Cooking from scratch is so much more economical.
And, that sums it up in a nutshell.

Many more people are just starting to cook from scratch. The stores are still learning what to stock and how much to stock of basic ingredients. And, if many more people try a few items (the stores will order much more), and find out they don't want to cook that again, the stores will then have a surplus of some items, and will have to sell at bargain prices.
 

rafter

Since 1999
Back from Aldi's. They did have lettuce for $1.25 a head, but it was small and looked a little sad, so I didn't get any. Rest of produce looked great. I bought 5 pounds of sweet potatoes @49 cents a pound, so they were less than half the price of regular potatoes and look wonderful. Celery 99 cents. I bought 3 because this is normally as cheap as it gets and I chop it all up and freeze it to use in soup through out the whole year.

Store was basically full and they had everything I wanted. I stocked up on their canned soup because it was on sale for 49 cents a can. Got more other canned stuff and more spaghetti sauces. Also grabbed 3 more bottles of their ketchup since there is supposed to be a shortage and I love theirs. $1.69 for big bottle.

Eggs $2.19 a dozen.

I always have bought super heavy at Thanksgiving because normally that is the cheapest deals you will find on some stuff for the whole year.


oops...editing to say [redacted - Dennis :p] :dvl1:
 
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anna43

Veteran Member
Update on mobile food pantry. Food received for November: 5# potatoes, 16 oz. box thin spaghetti, 32 oz. Velveeta with best use date of November 17, 2022, 5# chicken legs, 24 oz. can spaghetti sauce, 2 cans tuna, 2 cans fruit cocktail, 1 can peaches, 1 can carrots, 2 cans green beans, 18 oz. made in Mexico peanut butter, can Spaghetti O's, 1 bottle grape jelly, 2 small containers of sour cream.

The potatoes look the same as what we received in September. They were eatable, but I had to peel away half of each potato literally 5# became 2.5#. I will be donating the Spaghetti O's (do not consider food), green beans (have home canned), peanut butter made with soy oil in Mexico (need to avoid soy & Mexico). The Velveeta probably is okay. We get fruit cocktail each and every time and I don't care for it but will add it to the pantry for SHTF usage.

After the holidays I will thaw. cook and can the chicken from September and this month. I also have a 3# chub of venison that I will cook and can at the same time.

I'm not ungrateful for what we're given, but my heart aches for those without pantries who are dependent on this food to avoid hunger. The "meals" I could figure out from this collection would be spaghetti with sauce, can of veggies and a can of fruit. Or maybe creamed tuna over potatoes or Velveeta over potatoes or chicken with potatoes, veggie and fruit. The potatoes are not nice enough to bake, but there are many ways of cooking potatoes to make interesting sides. There many people do not know how to cook so will discard items that need cooking. A friend reported seeing people literally throwing items out of their cars as they drive along. Bags of beans, lentils or split peas are always tossed.

How sad and wasteful. What I can't use I share. I can no longer eat broccoli, so I took three bags of frozen broccoli to the senior housing, and it was snapped up. The items I'm not keeping will be offered to my dd first and any left taken to senior housing. My dd is a big fan of open borders so it seems appropriate that she get the peanut butter!!
 

bracketquant

Veteran Member
The local WalMart (western MA) has produce prices continuing to tumble. Celery .98/bunch, lettuce 1.88/head, russet potatoes $3/10 lbs, onions $2.36/3 lbs.

I've stopped scanning my eyes for the large yellow clearance stickers, as every item on clearance now has an empty space on the shelve.

The saddest thing in the store is the location of the french fried onion rings, and the looks on shoppers faces when they see where they are. They are on the 2nd highest shelf, out of reach to virtually all shoppers. I was in the store for about an hour and a half, with some time to kill, so three times I pulled down a box of the onion ring packages for happy shoppers. And, after pulling down the 3 boxes, there were no more.

There were still many people buying frozen turkeys, and about 100 more in the frozen food bins when my shopping was done.

This was my first time ever going to a WalMart the day before Thanksgiving. The workers looked exhausted.They were continually wheeling in pallets and stocking shelves in the food area, along with filling in every aisle with pallets for Black Friday sales. I heard some workers saying that they had 3 hours of sleep in the last two days.
 

von Koehler

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Walmart online sales has changed it's substitution policy for anything out of stock.

Before a shopper would choose a substitute for anything out of stock, even if was more expensive. You paid the same price. Kind of winning at Lotto. In the past I got some great deals this way.

No more. If you allow substitutes for an out of stock item, you now pay the actual higher price.

Or just decline getting any substitutes.
 

Marseydoats

Veteran Member
Walmart online sales has changed it's substitution policy for anything out of stock.

Before a shopper would choose a substitute for anything out of stock, even if was more expensive. You paid the same price. Kind of winning at Lotto. In the past I got some great deals this way.

No more. If you allow substitutes for an out of stock item, you now pay the actual higher price.

Or just decline getting any substitutes.

They took the "decline any substitutes" choice off of our local stores last spring. Therefore, I can't use the service anymore, because I have severe food allergies and dh has diet restrictions. Trying to return something the shopper picked that you didn't want is a logistical nightmare.
 

Bps1691

Veteran Member
Cornmeal and Lowry's seasoned salt works pretty good.
A little flour, some Panko, some seasoning (oregano, little basal, some white pepper, powdered garlic, with a little shredded parmigiana, works great for Italian chicken).

Mix the dry ingredients. use milk and dip the chicken pieces in it then roll in the seasoning mix.

For Mexican style I use a little chili powder, ground cumin and some type of pepper, then do the same as above.

Want it more plain, then use what ever spices to your taste.

Bake until done.

Quit using shake & bake years ago when I figured I could do better, cheaper and taster.
 

phloydius

Veteran Member
They took the "decline any substitutes" choice off of our local stores last spring. Therefore, I can't use the service anymore, because I have severe food allergies and dh has diet restrictions. Trying to return something the shopper picked that you didn't want is a logistical nightmare.

You should be able (during the check out process) selected "no substitutes" for each individual item -- at least that option is still there for me. Not nearly as convenient as "decline any substitutes", but it may make it workable for you.
 

Bps1691

Veteran Member
You should be able (during the check out process) selected "no substitutes" for each individual item -- at least that option is still there for me. Not nearly as convenient as "decline any substitutes", but it may make it workable for you.
It’s been the same in my AO since sometime in summer. It adds extra effort to go thru and check each, but it beats driving 45 minutes to Walmart and getting some of the cr*p you don’t want or can’t eat.
 

TxGal

Day by day
They took the "decline any substitutes" choice off of our local stores last spring. Therefore, I can't use the service anymore, because I have severe food allergies and dh has diet restrictions. Trying to return something the shopper picked that you didn't want is a logistical nightmare.

Marseydoats, I don't know if you've heard of Vitacost or if you've already looked at them, but they carry a large variety of products that are organic, gluten-free, other allergen free, etc. Their shipping is free when $49 or more worth of items is ordered, and here they use Fed-Ex...shipping is incredibly fast to our place in the country. We also get most of our vitamin and mineral supplements there, their prices consistently have beaten all local sources. One day our Fed-Ex driver asked me what they sell, because they're making a lot of deliveries from Vitacost on his route.

None of us are technically allergic to gluten, but in our family eliminating gluten products has made a huge difference in our digestive health post-gall bladder removal. Others in the family are sensitive to MSG, artificial colors, preservatives, some fruit flavors, etc. We now get most of our dry goods from Vitacost, rather than hit and miss shopping for these items in local stores. We've found their prices to be very good, and they have extremely frequent sales that really help the budget.

Might be worth a look see for you and others dealing with food sensitivities/allergies. Link is below:

 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
Green beans: $4/lb at H‑E‑B. Literally “concierge service.” The beans are already trimmed to the exact same size and placed sideways in a plastic bag. They’re placed so perfectly that they look like green pencils. No curved ones, short ones, or long ones. All EXACTLY the same length. Two pounds for $7.98.

You can’t make this stuff up.
 

ainitfunny

Saved, to glorify God.
I mistakenly thought you were the one concerned about MSG. I am not. Goya ham seasoning has it in it too.

I might call your attention to one thing though. You paId $43 dollars for 10.5 oz of Ham seasoning. I paid $43 ($69 including shipping) for almost 1,000 oz of Goya Ham seasoning (360 3+oz packs) from Webstaurant.

Is it really THAT much better?
WHAT I DON'T USE I CAN TRADE!
For eggs or fresh garden vegetables.

As they say "Ya could'da had a V-8!"
UPDATE: I ONLY GOT 18 (DOUBLE SIZE- 3 oz) PACKETS OF GOYA HAM SEASONING
I called them and they are sending me the case of 360! I Haven't got them yet.
 

hd5574

Veteran Member
Marseydoats, I don't know if you've heard of Vitacost or if you've already looked at them, but they carry a large variety of products that are organic, gluten-free, other allergen free, etc. Their shipping is free when $49 or more worth of items is ordered, and here they use Fed-Ex...shipping is incredibly fast to our place in the country. We also get most of our vitamin and mineral supplements there, their prices consistently have beaten all local sources. One day our Fed-Ex driver asked me what they sell, because they're making a lot of deliveries from Vitacost on his route.

None of us are technically allergic to gluten, but in our family eliminating gluten products has made a huge difference in our digestive health post-gall bladder removal. Others in the family are sensitive to MSG, artificial colors, preservatives, some fruit flavors, etc. We now get most of our dry goods from Vitacost, rather than hit and miss shopping for these items in local stores. We've found their prices to be very good, and they have extremely frequent sales that really help the budget.

Might be worth a look see for you and others dealing with food sensitivities/allergies. Link is below:

We use Vitacost for lots of stuff....they also carry Bob's Red Mill brand...King Arthur flours....shipping is free if you purchase...enough...they are often less expensive than Amazon... sometimes I even get codes for even more off and free shipping
 

mzkitty

I give up.
Yesterday my son was visiting for Thanksgiving. It's been almost 3 weeks since he was here last (has to borrow housemate's car). Anyway, we went to Wegmans since I was out of a lot of things. Amazingly, the store and parking lot were not crammed for a change. LOL. You'd have to live here to know what that really means. It's the only Wegmans left in the city proper (they moved to the burbs mostly) and it's the yuppie neighborhood. The store is also a little smaller than the rest of them (shopper's choice at the time they were rebuilding), so they don't have the variety the other stores have.

That being said -- It was a pleasant stroll through the aisles for a change. I spent a total of $157.64 for food items. Figuring it out, that's an average of $79.00 for about two weeks' worth of food, and includes things I would normally be stocked up on, like Vanilla (on sale this week, I got 1 for me and 1 for my son, he wants to make his own cookies). I had wanted a pumpkin pie, and they were $10 (wow), which I had one slice of and told son to take back to share the rest with his housemates. Will probably not buy that again. I also got 2 steaks my son noticed (don't normally ever buy) -- an Angus sirloin steak (over half #) for $5.85 (normally $13.49#) and an almost half pound Tenderloin for $5.74 (normally $27.99#). So they're in the freezer for treats sometime.

So, this actually comes out to less than what I've been *normally* paying lately ($70/wk range) and I got most of the stuff I'll need to survive until the next time he can take me. We do get the food link truck here at my bldg once a week but since it's a holiday they didn't come today. That's OK, I figured they wouldn't and got that stuff at Wegs.

Edited for correct original prices on those steaks; I had misread the label. OMG :shkr:
 
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TxGal

Day by day
We use Vitacost for lots of stuff....they also carry Bob's Red Mill brand...King Arthur flours....shipping is free if you purchase...enough...they are often less expensive than Amazon... sometimes I even get codes for even more off and free shipping
Yep! I'm eating a piece of cornbread from Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free cornbread mix...it's really, really good. Bob's also has great instant mashed potatoes 'Potato Flakes'; the ingredients list: Dehydrated potatoes. DD loves their granola.
 

mzkitty

I give up.
When I was in Wegs, I did not look at iceberg lettuce. I had son go over and get me two bags of Wegmans French Blend salads in bags. Contains green leaf lettuce, curly endive, radicchio, shredded carrots -- already washed and bagged, with use by date of 12/03 (you can still open them after that a couple of days and they'll be fresh), The bags are 7 oz., which is actually a lot of salad for one person. After I open them and use some, I press the air out and twist tie it and it's good for 2-3 days after that. You don't get that long of a life with their regular Romaine mix, for some reason, so I don't buy it anymore. The cost for the 2 bags was $5.38. If iceberg is selling for $5/head, you can see why it's nuts to buy it, plus you have to wash it and chop it up yourself. Blah. Not gonna buy it.

Hmmm, price today for iceberg:

1669403624954.png
 
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SouthernBreeze

Has No Life - Lives on TB
When I was in Wegs, I did not look at iceberg lettuce. I had son go over and get me two bags of Wegmans French Blend salads in bags. Contains green leaf lettuce, curly endive, radicchio, shredded carrots -- already washed and bagged, with use by date of 12/03 (you can still open them after that a couple of days and they'll be fresh), The bags are 7 oz., which is actually a lot of salad for one person. After I open them and use some, I press the air out and twist tie it and it's good for 2-3 after that. You don't get that long of a life with their regular Romaine mix, for some reason, so I don't buy it anymore. The cost for the 2 bags was $5.38. If iceberg is selling for $5/head, you can see why it's nuts to buy it, plus you have to wash it and chop it up yourself. Blah. Not gonna buy it.

I always buy bagged Romaine lettuce salad mix, because it's so much cheaper, and ready on the spot. I do rinse it before use, though.
 
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Momof5

Senior Member
When I was in Wegs, I did not look at iceberg lettuce. I had son go over and get me two bags of Wegmans French Blend salads in bags. Contains green leaf lettuce, curly endive, radicchio, shredded carrots -- already washed and bagged, with use by date of 12/03 (you can still open them after that a couple of days and they'll be fresh), The bags are 7 oz., which is actually a lot of salad for one person. After I open them and use some, I press the air out and twist tie it and it's good for 2-3 days after that. You don't get that long of a life with their regular Romaine mix, for some reason, so I don't buy it anymore. The cost for the 2 bags was $5.38. If iceberg is selling for $5/head, you can see why it's nuts to buy it, plus you have to wash it and chop it up yourself. Blah. Not gonna buy it.

Hmmm, price today for iceberg:

View attachment 380752
Was wondering if perhaps they were trying to stretch out the supply before Thanksgiving.
 

mzkitty

I give up.
Was wondering if perhaps they were trying to stretch out the supply before Thanksgiving.

Probably not Wegs. They have contracts all over the country and world. I have rarely seen produce absences or shortages there. One time a couple of years ago, there was the Romaine scare (e-coli?, I don't remember now), but that only lasted maybe a month until things got straightened out. And I believe that one was country-wide.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
UPDATE: I ONLY GOT 18 (DOUBLE SIZE- 3 oz) PACKETS OF GOYA HAM SEASONING
I called them and they are sending me the case of 360! I Haven't got them yet.
Chances are you never will. I went through the same routine. That’s how I discovered the different types of ham boullion.
 
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