I had the day off work today, so I took the opportunity to hit the grocery store while it was nice and quiet and uncrowded.
I knew that prices would likely be a bit higher than I was used to, and I also needed to replenish a few things that I buy infrequently, so I figured my bill would be higher. What I wasn’t expecting were all the signs around the grocery store essentially saying “We know prices are higher, but it’s not our fault!”
The first one I saw was by the bananas. Apparently, due to bad weather, the banana crop is not as good as usual, and so prices are up, but don’t worry, the grocery store is dedicated to finding you the best at the best price.
I didn’t see any signs through much of the rest of the store. Potato chips and soda are still priced so that we can buy them and get as fat as possible. Good to know. Then I got to the dairy case. Signs were posted every two feet or so, telling me that due to all sorts of things, milk prices are up. Additionally, egg prices are up, and sorry, no, we don’t expect them to go down any time soon.
It’s sad that it’s the healthy, staple foods that are rising so quickly in price. I suppose one can live without bananas, but milk and eggs are pretty prevalent in a lot of homes, be they consumed alone or in various recipes. I know that I struggle to keep my budget tight, but I could do better, and if I go over my budget, the world will not end. I have the money to cover, I just might not be able to spend it on something else. A lot of people aren’t so lucky.
My plan is to continue with my same grocery budget and to just try to make smart choices in what I buy, watch for price drops, and stay away from convenience foods as much as possible. And shop the farmer’s market near my house when it opens in April.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.