Another Sign of Food Inflation

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This past week we picked up a few more canned goods to supplement the hurricane supplies.  I usually store the recent additions further back in the pantry, and try to use the older stock, but today I accidentally opened one of the newer cans of Beefaroni.  Actually, I am now glad I did, because I noticed something was different about the contents.  The taste was the same, but it was a lot more saucy with fewer noodles and meat than the older batches.

You may ask, “How did I know it had less noodles?”  No, I did not sit there and count them, although I was tempted to.  Previously, I had to add 1/4 can of water before heating the contents to add sauce and was able to get a couple of servings per can.  Now, the noodles were swimming in sauce and it was only enough for one serving.  I checked the number of ounces per can and compared it with an old stock, and they both showed 15 ounces.  It must be the same weight overall, but you are getting more sauce and a lot less solid food.  I guess this is part of the overall food inflation that we are seeing.  Along with smaller packages at the same price, we’ll also see more diluted products.  I will still continue to buy Beefaroni, but I will be waiting for more aggressive price cuts before I buy next time.

I also wanted to mention there are lots of activities going on in our household this week, with tight work deadlines, end of school year activities, graduations etc.  I’ll still be around and will continue to post but responses to comments or questions may be a bit delayed.

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  1. It is totally what is happening. I picked up a pkg of blueberries in shock as it was the smallest clamshell package we have ever seen and not cheap. just watch the commodities in the stock market, you’ll see.

  2. Some bits:

    * My missus is insane about coupons. We buy two sunday newspapers, and the junk mail gets a good going-over before ditching the obvious crap. The two papers cost us $4, but the coupons out of it, combined with saved coupons and a bit of planning, allows us to knock off 25-30% off the grocery bill for storable foods (and other goods, like soaps and such).

    * If we don’t have a coupon for it (or if it’s way less expensive than the brand-name minus coupons), we grab the “house brand” foods. I strongly suggest buying a small package for testing first (and compare labels!), but often, the house brands are pretty tasty, and in a lot of cases even taste better than the national brands. For instance, I recently stocked up on a local store’s house-branded bottles of cranberry juice for $1.75/2-quart bottle, where the national brands often cost upwards of $3-4 for the same quantity. House-brand ice cream at another store tastes much better than the national brands, doesn’t harden as easily as the national-branded stuff, and costs 50% less. All the same ingredients. These foods are often made by regional or local companies, which sends money to local/regional companies, not global conglomerates.

    * Farmers’ Markets are awesome places to get your fresh produce and even some meats. The prices are (usually) better, the food is fresher (and almost always free of pest/herbicides), and you know up-front what you’re buying. Meats are dependent on the region… Here in Western Oregon, we get quite a bit of fresh fish and crab (as in, it was swimming the night before). Compare prices though, but while it may cost a touch more, you’re doing something very important – you’re supporting a local food supply chain. Post TEOTWAWKI, this will become a lifeline as long as some form of transportation still exists. Yeah, it violates the coupon thing, but the health benefits outweigh that, and we often still come out ahead. Out here, farmers’ markets run from May to October, and provide things from vegetables, breads, meats, seafoods (well, here they do), eggs, garden starter plants (in the spring), locally-grown spices (no, seriously), fruits (esp. in autumn), and a ton of conversation.

    * I’ve learned to forget about Wal-Mart, Target and anything like them for foodstuffs. I also tend to avoid national-chain stores. Often the expiration date is a lot closer than they could be, due to longer warehousing periods (and sometimes you find some items past expiration date.) Also, most of the produce is imported there (with exceptions, but still…) Smaller and regional chains usually stock smaller inventories, and thus move products faster, giving you longer shelf lives for products once you get them home.

    …and this is just a start. 🙂

  3. In our house we do a lot of shopping at a food service outlet. They have similar prices as club stores like Costco, but not the selection. This is a trade up as they also do not have the membership fee either.

  4. We’ve noticed the same thing, contents changing and prices going up. Fewer crackers in a box, and smaller to boot! Smaller sizes of bags of chips and yet more expensive. Beefaroni and related foods getting more liquid and less substance. Chicken noodle soup in a can getting less chicken and more noodles. All of this is sort of what started us looking at getting a pressure canner later this summer.
    So while both our countries begin to suffer from a food shortage, the big producers are short-changing us even more and hoping we won’t notice while they compromise our food while they charge us even more. And still we as a people allow them to get away with this….

  5. Even the MSM is starting to acknowledge that this is going on. Fox had a story on the evening news last week. The party line is that the food companies are paying more for the basic ingredients, but they are afraid to raise prices so they simply try to package smaller amounts for the same price. I consider this to be intentional deceit. Now I am very careful about checking the weight of a product before buying it. Even dog food is turning up in big bags, less weight for the same money.

    1. We are all getting a lot less for the money, and there is no sign it is going to get better. Thanks for everyone’s comments and tips!

  6. Yup – Even Starbucks is cutting back. Head over there and ask for a Venti or Grande Iced Tea. Smaller cups than a couple months ago. The price remains the same, however.

    I have noticed the same thing about canned goods. There is slightly less in them can but more liquids. Not good…

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