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The Price is Right? Wrong!

Are you seeing higher prices with every trek to your local market, or is it just me who has noticed prices creeping up over the past year on the “staple” items that I purchase on a regular basis?

I was able to justify these price increases last year when the economy was totally in the tank and the cost to fill my car tank made me shudder in disgust, but fuel prices have come down nearly a dollar since last year, so why hasn’t our food pricing followed the same trend?

Even many of the discount chains are trying to squeeze blood out of turnips by incrementally raising retails, thinking that their savvy customers might not notice. I learned from the master long ago that customers are smart and have a long memory. Now multiply that thought by all of us folks who are doing our best to get by and save money any which way we can: We are on the lookout to save a buck and actually remember the price we paid for a certain item was a year ago.

Case in point: A few weeks back I needed more of my natural liquid dishwashing soap, so I bought a bottle. When I got home to put it away, I noticed that the nearly finished bottle under the sink was marked $2.49 for 25 ounces, and this same size new bottle had cost me $2.99 — that’s a whopping retail increase from one shopping excursion to the next!

Being a curious sort, I dug through my reusable shopping bags and pulled out the miscellaneous receipts. Sure enough, after making a tally of the few dozen items I consistently purchase, there was indeed an approximate 20% increase. Now my local

“natural discounter” doesn’t look so bright and discount-y in my eyes. It’s time for a visit to my local traditional market to try my luck at penny pinching and cost savings.

I would like to hear about what you’re experiencing during your weekly shop. Please drop me a line here in the Comments section! What price changes in staple items are you noticing?