March 2023 Food Champion's Challenge: Food prices on the rise

  • Change buying habits . Shop around
  • Join reward schemes that offer supermarket discounts
  • Try and buy home brand products to effect a saving
  • Set a budget and stick to it
  • Try and cut down or eliminate some staples from your diet
  • Cut down on treats .i.e. chocolates and other confectionaries
  • The rise in prices will not effect me

0 voters

We are all noticing Food prices going up .

For this months Challenge participate in the Poll regarding how price increases effect you.

Thanks to all those who participated in the February Challenge . The following have been awarded a Food Champions Badge . @Pumpy @janarta @Nop

We @Gaby @phb and @vax2000 appreciate you taking part in the Challengers and we hope you continue to support them .

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When I picked this option what I mean is shop Aldi first for fresh and groceries. Almost all home brand in Aldi but seem to be rebadged every day brands and at least as good quality. Keep your eyes open though and don’t buy electrical stuff there unless you’re finding it hard to start a fire in winter …

Also for fruit and veg check out alternatives to supermarkets like bulk fruit/veg barns e.g. we go to Market Europa in Noble Park (Melbourne) Market Europa Noble Park .
This week’s specials include bananas and tomatoes @ $1.49kg, Champagne ham @ $9.99 and Tosca gnocchi @ $2.99.

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I chose ‘buy home brands to save’ but always with an eye on the labels to watch the ingredients and the amount of salt, sugar, and fat.

Veggies: there’s a F&V market in South Melbourne but not that much cheaper or better quality than supermarkets, sometimes not really worth the ‘find a park’ hassle.

I also ticked ‘cut down on treats, chocolates…’ I try not to keep any in the pantry because, like bags of chips, it’s too much of a temptation to have on hand.
Recently I got a very large jar of Nutella on special, it was reduced to the price of a small one, and I can spread it thinly on a plain biscuits and top it with crushed nuts, instead of buying chocolate biscuits or a bar of chocolate.

Good price on special, but potato gnocchi can be made at home for a fraction of the price of ready made ones and not very difficult to do after a little practice :slightly_smiling_face:

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Almost selected the last option “The price rises will not affect me”, but thinking over the past months remembered we’ve changed what we purchase.

For staples we’ve been fortunate to be able to stay with our regular purchases.

Treats like packet chips were a regular buy, but now only purchased occasionally and only if a significant special. It’s a difficult call to know if there is not a little gaming with the now high regular price which has not fallen noticeably since the prices went up dramatically last year.

When it comes to other habits “shopping around” has limited options as where we live is not a suburban shoppers paradise. Simple strategies have included looking for the less expensive alternatives/substitutes. Especially when some everyday veges are scarce and premium priced. Similar for red meat purchasing less and cheaper cuts. The local butcher’s face is more sullen than usual. More demand for cheaper cuts is leaving him with the problem of what to do with all the prime cuts fewer can afford. Meat free meals as well as chicken and tinned tuna are now more the norm than beef and lamb.

P.S.
Not quite on topic a Coles + Bunnings + Chemist Warehouse et al megaplex has recently opened approx 20km distant. More stores to come. Whether that offers savings worth the 40km drive or creates a price/death spiral for the locals it may offer some temporary benefit until.

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Most foods+++ can be made at home and made cheaper than store bought but that isn’t an option to vote for.

Has nobody yet made the connection between convenience and price? Look at the growing trend of made-meals, pre-prepped ingredients, and individually packaged portions as these products take over more and more aisles of the supermarket.

If you take the time to DIY food it will be cheaper and probably tastier and more healthy. How can you pay somebody to grate your carrots and then claim that you cannot afford fresh food?

“Oh but where would I find the time?” the most busy say. A better question is how is it that all those other things you do to fill your day get higher priority than putting good food on the table for the family.


+++ Some foods do require extra skill or processing that could in principle be done at home but are generally not practical for most of us, for example making filo pastry, sausages etc.

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Agree that not everything is suitable or desirable to be made at home, and I would also think of people on high incomes who would earn a lot more by doing extra work than they would save by staying home to bake, cook, etc. if saving money was the only consideration.

The challenge is about price increases and their effect on us. My suggestion to ‘make your own gnocchi’ was in response to another Poster, after I did my Poll selection and gave a brief explanation of how I generally cope.

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It doesn’t affect us much. Where we shop (independent ‘warehouse’ supermarket) is much cheaper than the Big 3 and doesn’t have Loyalty, Fly-Buys, plastic trinkets. They seem to promote healthier options - specials mainly on unprocessed meat, fresh & frozen f&v rather than processed foods. I don’t think they stock tobacco products.

They offer mainly seconds in fruit & veg, which is OK. We grow our own and know that it still tastes and cooks OK, who cares if it is lopsided, lighter where a leaf shaded it. They don’t offer ‘out of season’ or produce that has to be flown from the other side of the world. They do some very good deals on special buys, like 2kg catering packs of frozen lamb in gravy for $7, the tail end of an ice cream flavour that is no longer produced $2/tub. They have some very good specials, where I stock up on things I will use with long use-by dates, making some big savings.

Little that we buy has actually gone up in price. Our bread went up 10c in 5 years, BBQ chicken (which we get occasionally) went up from $5.99 to $8.99 (friends paid $14.90 at Coles?) Milk has gone up, but we are content with that - the price was below production & I’m happy to pay the right price.

I suspect there’s some price gouging - as my brother said “There wasn’t a potato shortage until they told us there was one …” We were buying fresh spud for $1.99 to $3.50/kg, but frozen potato convenience products were selling out quickly (most imported from Belgium) and he noted a steep price rise in them & fresh spud where he shopped. The problem was a temporary one in Australia with growers affected by floods.

I shop fortnightly, use a list, no impulse buying, nothing gets thrown out. I use a large fridge and don’t need a separate freezer. No kids, no junk food, little “prepared” or convenience foods. In that regard little has changed for us, and price hasn’t moved much either. I have dockets for several years and can go a comparison.

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To me i have not changed.Just not buying any chips at the moment.Basically buying specials weekly to me is the way to go.I buy the main brands as well.Pays to shop around.I also do a monthly shop on-line and always grab the specials

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While we do occasionally purchase home brand products, we enjoy having a wide variety of flavours to choose from. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge with home brands, as they tend to offer only one or two flavours within a product line.

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I chose only “set a budget and stick to it”. That immediately eliminates treats for me (but not for the cat). I used to get fruit and veg from the independent grocer a couple of suburbs away, but they no longer sell in the small quantities I prefer (of potatoes and onions) and the rest of their products, whilst fresher than Colesworths, are more expensive, so I shan’t be shopping there again for a while. Aldi is not that much cheaper, these days, for what I buy.

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I picked Try and buy home brand products but truth is this is much more difficult when you live in the bush. Nearest supermarket (Foodworks) is 160k round trip, nearest Aldi 270k round trip and the cost of fuel is making it all much harder. I used to make the shopping a day out every week, now once a fortnight and try to co-ordinate for other appointments because money is now really tight.
I don’t know how people with kids can manage with everything being so expensive.

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I selected the home brands and fewer treats options but we also tend to stock up on specials when they’re ( ooh, I just spelt that as ‘their’, I’m getting old) available. The local foodworks had roasts of pork on special for members last week at $2.99/kg; we’ve eaten one and the other is in the freezer.
perhaps not quite on topic, but the contents of shopping trolleys that one sees at the supermarket indicates that a lot of people just don’t know how to shop economically. And then there are those that line up to buy a carton of cigarettes at well over $200; just had a quick check and what was one of my favourite cigars many years ago is now listed at over $1100/25.

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I must say, our grocery shopping seems to include more treats for the dog than for me! :roll_eyes:

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Despite the fact that the last two years have been lousy growing seasons I have still managed to produce enough spinach, silverbeet, beans of various varieties, cucumbers, zucchinis and bok choi to keep them off the shopping list; snow peas, mandarins and lemons also in their seasons. Another helpful tip is taking an esky with us everytime we go west of the mountains (Sydney) and buying judiciously from country butchers and at roadside fruit stalls on the way home. Buy whatever is seasonal and avoid overbuying fruit and veg in bulk, because our experience is that you end up with too much waste. We now only buy what fruit we will eat in the next three days.

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Can’t imagine anything that only costs $2.99/kg!

@mark_m I’ve used CWH online mainly for supplement purchases (but not scripts because I don’t understand e-scripts yet). They were fast and reliable. Website is straight forward and easy to compare similar products. Same price as instore and no delivery charge if shop is $50 or more.

If you’re interested in the Coles specials I use this link before I vote where to shop with my feet Weekly Specials Catalogue - Shop Online | Coles . If you want to plan ahead the Wednesday catalogue is released 5pm Monday’s here. You may need to nominate your local store to get the correct specials. Don’t know how much delivery is but may be worth knowing before using 40km worth of petrol. Hopefully you’ll have enough stores out there soon to make the trip a worthwhile family outing.

@thewombat I am a very lazy cook. However under coaching from my sister I have discovered stewing excess or ripe stone fruit is an easy and healthy way to take care of something to put on your breakfast cereal or for dessert.

For anyone interested, all you do is rinse it, get out pips and cut off any grotty bits. Cut in half, chuck in a saucepan, put a small amount of water in the bottom (otherwise juice becomes too dilute), put on lid and put on stove very low heat to stew. Don’t let it boil over, when you smell it it’s probably done. We don’t use sugar but you can when it’s done if too sour for your taste.

It keeps very well in a sealed container in the fridge.

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In the last few weeks have noticed lots of price rises. Our food bill has increased significantly over the last 12 months. Just a couple of recent examples: A box of Ched’s from $3.50 to $4.00 and Dutch Liquorice Coins a massive $2.50 to $4.10 (hubby decided not to buy them because of the increase). We shop at Woolworths & have membership to the Extra Rewards program.

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I prefer to not add any sugar. Tart is ok as stewed the fruit makes a great partner for for ice cream, alternately mixed with other fresh fruit and yogurt, or with my morning porridge and half a spoonful of golden syrup optional.

Store brand oats are 2-3 times cheaper than the big name variety. Same fibre content and added benefits.

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