Monday, April 7, 2008

Seven Unconventional Ways to Fight High Grocery Prices

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: , ,

comic 10 - gallon of milk

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I noticed a package of boneless chicken breasts at the grocery store that cost $9 a pound. Nine dollars for one pound of chicken—the slowest, stupidest, least tasty of all grocery-quality animals. I could get some real breasts for less than that. Fortunately there were some chicken nuggets in the next aisle on sale for $2.50 a pound, so those yearning for their chix fix would not have to go home hungry.

Unfortunately this was only the first of outrageous grocery store surprises that would greet us on that trip. Most produce items had increased in price by 20% since last year, milk won the race against gasoline to $4 a gallon, and even ramen noodles had gone up in price to 12 cents a package instead of 10. Even filthy rich people are not immune to these increases; fancy-food retailer Whole Foods recently announced that, in an effort to avoid raising its prices, it will now be known as Three-Quarters Foods.

If you’re feeling the pinch in your pocket book when you purchase your products at the supermarket, you’re certainly not alone. And if buying the necessities of life are keeping you from being able to afford your skyrocketing mortgage or raging alcohol addiction, here are some steps you can take to take back your grocery stores from high prices.

  1. Go on a diet. Statistically speaking, there is a good chance you are a fat tub o’ lard. (My apologies to the skinny bitches out there.) Take a close look at your diet and determine if you really need those 900 calories worth of potato chips you eat every day.
  2. Grow everything yourself. It’s not as hard as you think to be self-sufficient with just a little hard work, some packets of seeds, and 12 acres of rich farmland. And lucky for you, 12 acres of prime farmland in your town can be had for just $3.7 million. Kiss expensive groceries goodbye!
  3. Look at another store. I know a couple of people who haven’t been to more than one grocery store or supermarket in the last decade. In fact, my wife’s aunt has been going to the same corner grocery store for the last 32 years for all of her food and household needs, even after it became a post office in 1997. You might find that another store has the products you typically by for a little less than your usual place.
  4. Consider alternatives. Don’t just limit yourself to substituting fresh and wholesome chicken for processed chicken nuggets. Love milk but can’t afford $4 a gallon? Buy powdered milk by the boxful—enough for gallons and gallons of a milk-like entity—for pennies on the dollar. The possibilities are endless; of course, so are the price increases, so you’ll eventually have to substitute everything you like to eat with whatever you find in the day-old section of the bakery.
  5. Try online grocery shopping. One of the best parts of online grocery shopping is that it opens you up to a whole new world of deals and discounts that aren’t available in store. You’ll also find it can take half the time of in-store shopping without sacrificing quality.
  6. Cut out the middle man. If only you could buy your apples, bread, and dead cow parts directly from the farmer instead of having to pay extra for the supermarket middle man. Well, you can—just swing by your local farmers’ market where you can find some of the best produce and other all-natural food items, often for a good deal less than you’ll pay in a store.
  7. Join the shoplifting revolution! Okay, hear me out. If everyone starts shoplifting cartloads of groceries, supermarkets will have no choice but to drop their prices. Sure, some might call it looting, but I prefer the more modern term democratic price correction.

Yay! Now you can afford to eat again. Sadly, thanks to the high price of fuel, you can’t afford to drive to the grocery store anymore. But it doesn’t matter anyway because truckers can’t afford to deliver inventories to the stores. That $3.7 million for 12 acres doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

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