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Maybe its me but I am noticing every time I go to the grocery store I am spending 150.00 and I mean every week. I go to COSTCO and buy in bulk and food saver food and have the freezer full of main dish staples for future meals, so when I go to the grocery store it is the break, milk, juice, fresh veggies and etc. items I am picking up. Its not like I am buying steak or prepared frozen foods.

So when you retire it doesn't appear that the prices are ever going to go down and in planning I am starting to think I need to figure in a much higher cost for food. Are others finding that as well?

My sister says that Social Security for a couple of times in the past 5 years has not given a COLA as they claim there is no inflation. So if there is no inflation what is happening at the local grocery store?

Besides not buying stupid stuff and "easy" expensive food how do other retired folks deal with the cost of food?
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The main reason "there's no inflation" is because the cost of gasoline has gone down so much. Alas, most retirees use less gas than they did while commuting, so we see inflation.

Spending on food has a lot of variables.

WHAT YOU BUY
Do you/can you drink dairy milk or do you need more expensive nut milk?
Ditto wheat bread/gluten-free bread?
Do you eat low carb? Protein & fat cost more than cheap carbs like rice & beans.
Are you vegan? Produce & grains generally cheaper than meat/poultry/fish.
Do you only buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, or are you willing to buy leg quarters or whole chickens?
Do you buy only chopmeat and chuck or also rib-eyes?
Only pork butt or also pork tenderloin?
Interesting cheeses or cheaper jack, provolone, (the horror-) American?
Baby greens or just iceberg/romaine?
How about wine, beer, booze?
Got junk food/empty calories?
Prepared food or cook at home (I note that some prepared foods are cheaper than homemade, though perhaps not made of as nutritious/high quality ingredients)?

WHERE YOU SHOP
Discount store or full price?

HOW MUCH YOU BUY
After age 60/65, most people eat less, and less again after 75/80.
Do you entertain often? Costs more to feed 4 or 8 than 1 or 2(!).

HOW OFTEN AND WHERE DO YOU EAT OUT/GET TAKEOUT

In my case, I seldom eat out or get takeout these days. I buy pastured meat/eggs, healthier-raised poultry/pork, and wild fish (and Norwegian healthier-farmed salmon). I buy nut milk, not dairy milk. Eat whole fruit, not drink fruit juice. Seldom eat carby vegetables (carrots, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn), even eat less onion & tomatoes than I used to due to carbs. Buy a little bread for the hubster (expensive Ezekial sprouted grain bread) and some low-carb tortillas for me. I feed my mother and brother once a week and houseguest for average 2-2 1/2 weeks a year.

But, being retired, I have more time to seek out discounts/sales. I shop at Publix on senior discount day for 5% off. I got a Target card--5% off. I'm more careful about what I buy at Whole Foods (gnerally things I can;t get elsewhere or are lower quality elsewhere). I buy less organic produce than I used to--mostly the Dirty Dozen:

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php

I never bother buying the Clean Fifteen organic:

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

My mother is 90 years old and lives on her own in a SFH. She eats pretty little. For diner, mostly frozen Lean Cuisine on sale. For lunch, presliced cheese & salami on crackers, salad bar or soup bar takeout. For breakfast, egg & toast, oatmeal packet, or an Atkins dark chocolate protein shake. Fruit, cookies, candy for snacks. Mostly drinks tea.
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I would have rec'd Astro's post twice if I could have. Those are all excellent points.

COSTCO I use for certain things only: buying replacement checks, tires, certain things in bulk but it's SO EASY to rack up huge bills on things that seem wonderful (I'm talking about YOU, chocolate covered mangos!) but really break the budget.

A few things that can help, beyond the previous post, are to have a small garden---even a pot or two---for the things that you use a lot, like herbs or lettuce. Many cities now allow a chicken or three; eggs are cheap protein, and if you feed your hens leftovers, veggie peelings, etc, the cost of feed is minimal. Plus, fresh eggs from hens that eat bugs and grass are wonderful!

Learning to have a leftover sequence is helpful: whole roast chicken becomes chicken salad, enchiladas, pot pie, etc. Same for a pork roast or roast beef. The most expensive food is food that is wasted. We do eat meat, usually the first meal features that prominently, but the next ones are meat as seasoning: diced pork in fried rice; shredded chicken in a quiche, etc. That way a little bit of leftovers can still feed a family. If you don't know how to cook, there are lots of resources online; there is even a cooking board here at the fool.

I buy mostly generic, although over time I have found a few things that are worth the brand name. Most chefs apparently buy generic. I buy loss leaders and create my menu based on what's on sale. I do the quick online survey weekly which takes no time and adds fuel points; by the end of the month, I often save .60 a gallon at the pump. I use my military discount where I can, like Lowe's, etc. although we are now diverting from grocery spending.

I track my expenses and know that I could easily knock several hundred off a monthly bill if I were willing to forgo ice cream, booze, and chocolate.
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<<Maybe its me but I am noticing every time I go to the grocery store I am spending 150.00 and I mean every week. I go to COSTCO and buy in bulk and food saver food and have the freezer full of main dish staples for future meals, so when I go to the grocery store it is the break, milk, juice, fresh veggies and etc. items I am picking up. Its not like I am buying steak or prepared frozen foods.
>>


I'd start by staying away from Costco and eating your way to an empty freezer.



Seattle Pioneer
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" So if there is no inflation what is happening at the local grocery store?"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Try not to confuse prices with inflation.
Prices are what the market charges for things youowant to purchase.
Inflation is a government statistic.

Howie52

Your individual budget does not really compare to the basis of inflation
statistics.
Sometimes there is a bit in your favor.
Sometimes there is a notch against.
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Maybe its me but I am noticing every time I go to the grocery store I am spending 150.00 and I mean every week. I go to COSTCO and buy in bulk and food saver food and have the freezer full of main dish staples for future meals, so when I go to the grocery store it is the break, milk, juice, fresh veggies and etc. items I am picking up. Its not like I am buying steak or prepared frozen foods.

How many people are you feeding? I feed 3 people, although DD generally only has breakfast home, so she doesn't eat that much, and I spend between $50 and $75 per week. I typically am just buying fresh produce to make my lunch salads for the week, fresh vegetables, milk and such. For meat, I tend to buy that when it is on sale and freeze it.

We eat very well, so I am at a loss as to what you are buying that could possibly be costing that much.

Do you cook everything from scratch? Are you buying the pricier organic items or all name-brands vs. generic? Do you shop at the more expensive chain rather than the less expensive store? In my area, I can save at least 30% off my grocery bill just by shopping at Market Basket vs. Stop and Shop, and I'm buying exactly the same things.
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that the government doesn't count food & fuel when giving their inflation statistic, which is completely absurd.

I just read an article that stated, the prices of things (food, fuel and medical) Americans really need are skyrocketing while the cost of plasma televisions, computers, stereos, etc are free-falling. From my monthly grocery costs, I'd say that it is a safe assumption.
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that the government doesn't count food & fuel when giving their inflation statistic, which is completely absurd.

I see people say that quite often, but it is wrong.

http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_7
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The cost of food has gone up *for us* because I now follow a low carb/high fat diet, eating foods like wild salmon and pastured beef & lamb instead of pasta and rice & beans and fast food; avocados, baby spinach, arugula and cauliflower instead of fries, peas & carrots, and corn; berries instead of orange juice; pancakes made of eggs, organic cream cheese, coconut flour, and flaxseed--and cooked in coconut oil--and topped with cooked berries rather than cheap grains, cheap oil, and cheap sugared-down syrup.
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Well, that cleared that up.

Thank you!
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Reading the list of items that makeup the CPI it seems to me many of those items are going up and going up significantly.

Medicine...WHOA!!!! Education... OMG! and etc. Granted a few of the items listed are not going up but then it is hard to understand why the government won't admit to inflation and give the retired folks living on that monthly check a bit of a boost.

Nick
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I think seniors deserve their own particular basket of goods for determining SS COLAs. It would include more services than younger adults use--more dental care, medical care, vision care, podiatry/orthotics, other adaptive devices/scooters/walkers/canes, therapies of all kinds, maid service, yard service, hair salon, legal--wills & trusts, investment expenses, prepared foods, food delivery services...

I don't know any seniors paying for school other than things like Elderhostel or academic-oriented cruises/group travel. State colleges usually offer free attendance to seniors, although it might just be auditing lectures, not getting papers and tests graded.
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I think seniors deserve their own particular basket of goods for determining SS COLAs.


This is why it is so important to also have investment assets to draw income after retirement. You can look at your own personal rate of inflation and configure your asset allocation accordingly
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Medicine...WHOA!!!! Education... OMG! and etc. Granted a few of the items listed are not going up but then it is hard to understand why the government won't admit to inflation and give the retired folks living on that monthly check a bit of a boost.

Actually, since funds used to pay SS go up mostly based on wage inflation, and Congress keeps saying they want to balance the budget, it might be more appropriate to base SS increases on that. In which case, the raises seniors get would be even lower, on average.

Look - the rules providing for automatic COLA raises have been in place for over 40 years (since 1975). (Prior to that, raises were only given at the whim of Congress.) At this point, anyone one eligible to start drawing from SS (ages 62 - 70) would have had most, if not all, of their working career to plan for the way that the raises are provided. Complaining about it now seems like crying over spilled milk.

If you don't like the way the raises are provided - complain to your Representative and Senators, since Congress sets the rules.

AJ
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We old geezers already get HUGELY disproportionate subsidies from the Federal government and usually from state and local governments as well.

Personally, I'd be glad to have those subsidies CUT so that the tax burden of supporting the geezer generation wouldn't fall as heavily on the working age population.

I'd call most of the comments here greedy and selfish.


Seattle Pioneer
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We retired 3 1/2 years ago. We used to love going to Costco but stopped that about two years ago when we got a puppy. Costco took at least 3 hours out of our day and sometimes $300.
The bottom line was that we used to waste alot by going to Costco. We are only two people so no longer needed all that stuff.
I cut coupons on Sundays and we found a supermarket that is fantastic.
It's called Market Basket and they have lots of them here in Massachusetts. Overall some of the prices are 50$ cheaper than when we lived in Brooklyn, close to Manhattan.
If an item is on sale, buy a couple of them.
Meat is expensive. Hubby grew up on meat and potatoes as did I.
Cut down on the meat portions and supplement with rice, white or brown, or potatoes or faux potatoes such as cauliflower if you are going low carb.
We stock up on paper towels and tp when on sale. Our local supermarket sells 6 rolls of their own paper towels for $3.33. I've never seen it that cheap anywhere.
Go to the dollar store for wrapping paper, tape, and lots of other stuff.
I bought Christmas wrap three years ago for 50 cents a roll. I still have it.
I purchased a huge bag of dry kibble for my dog. It averaged about $2 a pound for a very high quality kibble, but you had to buy the big bag. I immediately stored it in containers so it will last for awhile.
I started using powdered milk again. Haven't used that since the kids were little and we were always broke. Now 45 years later I have no problem using it to make high protein shakes or sugar free puddings.
There are so many ways to save money on groceries but it requires time and effort. I have both!
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