(Thomas Dishaw) Food may be your best investment, seriously. Prices are out of control as grocers struggle to make profit in an industry known for slim margins. At the end of the day grocery stores make about one or two cents on every item that goes thru the register . Crazy right? This is the industry standard after paying benefits, wages, rent, advertising, legal, and inventory costs, profits are slim. With that kind of business model you can expect prices to continue rising no matter what kind of economy we are in.
I continue to be amazed at how high these prices are rising. Loaves of bread at my local Harris Teeter are $2.49 ON SALE. Ground beef is $4.99, and gallons of milk are around $4.00 dollars. At this rate I think I need to start raising cows. The list goes on and on and on. I could not imagine raising a family in these times because you could very easily go broke, or if you’re lucky, barely break even to keep your family feed. And unfortunately its more complicated than that. For those of you who are lucky enough to eat organic, I feel your pain. Prices can be 50-100 % higher than their convention counterpart.
Experts continue to blame drought, disease and inflation for the high prices we’re seeing. For the most part this is true, the only thing they left out was corporate greed. Unfortunately there is a bigger problem, our supply chain, and its at its most vulnerable level ever. We are one cyber attack away from the grocery deliveries stopping. We’re one outbreak away from complete shortages on eggs and chicken, and if rain doesn’t start falling in California farmers are going to be forced into bankruptcy as trucking more water into feed the crops will be cost prohibitive.
According to the USDA’s Consumer price index for 2014 Beef and Veal were up 12.1 %, meat was up 9.2%, pork up 9.1%, eggs up 8.4%, fish and seafood up 5.8% and fresh fruits up 4.8%. When it comes to government numbers I generally don’t have a lot of faith in the findings, usually the statistics are grossly under reported like the unemployment numbers in this country.
Below is a comprehensive list of products and prices taken from my local Harris Teeter.
- Ground Beef 80/20 $4.99 P/LB
- Boneless Skinless Chicken $4.99 P/LB
- Salmon (Farm) $13.99 P/LB
- 24 Packs Of Water $4.99
- Milk (1 Gallon) $3.99
- Bread $2.49
- Bagels (6 Pack) $3.99
- Raisins 15 OZ $5.29
- White Rice (5LB) $4.99
- Apples (5LB) $5.99
- Avocados $2.00
- Tuna $2.49
- Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (10.75 OZ) $1.15
- Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs (8 Pack) $4.99
- Dozen White Eggs $2.39
- Kraft Singles (12OZ) 3.99
- Orange Juice (89OZ) $6.79
- Land O Lakes Butter (16OZ) $5.19
I tried to take in account store reputations by using the Harris Teeter for this report. I could have used my local Safeway but I didn’t think that would be a fair representation since Safeway is known to be very expensive, so I used middle of the road Harris Teeter. Also take into account most companies use ” zone pricing”, another tool of economic warfare. This means that prices will be higher in affluent areas and in economically challenged areas the prices will be lower, therefore punishing the person who works hard by making him pay higher prices than their counterparts in the inner city.
I’m a firm believer that food is still one of your best investments. As you can see prices are going up and up, and once they go up, they never come down. There are still a few ways to battle food inflation though. Getting a years supply of storable food is always a good idea, and if your concern is quality or taste , you can get Organic or non GMO varieties and most taste just as good as the grocery store counterparts. If you’re looking for suppliers I would recommend Steve Quayle who has been a reputable source for over 20 plus years or mypatriotsupply.com, another top name in the industry.
How are prices in your area? Please leave your findings in the comments below and any other money-saving tips or suggestions you can share with readers.