It’s time again for the Grocery Benchmark Report. Actually it was time for the June grocery benchmark about 15 days ago. . . and I recorded the data at that time. Then life exploded with end of year kids stuff and massive garden tasks and the data just sat there.
I actually continue to be astounded by how relatively level the prices on basics remain at my local ALDI. I can’t decide if prices just aren’t rising as fast as it feels like, if ALDI just goes to great lengths to keep the prices on their basics low, or if basics rise in cost more slowly than processed food. I’d love to hear any input you guys have on that!
It is interesting to note that overall since I’ve started keeping track of prices eggs, milk and dairy seem to actually drop in price over the summer months-probably because chickens and cows produce more in the summer. Sugar is creeping up in price overall, as has ground beef and chicken (since I started monitoring, not over last month)
I’m concerned about prices going through the summer and fall. The droughts in the midwest are causing problems with corn growth-(see Reuter’s article on the drought) not only because of lack of the water needed right now for their growth cycle, but also because the extended high temperatures can actually prevent pollination-which means you can have plants but not develop corn. Never forget-corn isn’t just what you buy in a can and what you eat as cornmeal. Corn is what they feed to our beef, pork and chicken! And it’s what makes the corn syrup that is hidden in just about everything prepackaged-so if corn prices go up there is a good chance that everything else will go up.
June Grocery Benchmark
|Item||First recorded price AUG 2011||Jan-12||May-12||Jun-12||Change since Aug-2011||Change YTD||Change since last|
|Sugar (per lb)||0.54||0.48||0.54||0.57||0.03||0.09||0.03|
|Flour (white, 5 lb)||1.69||0.89||1.59||1.75||-0.10||0.86||0.16|
|Milk (2%, Gallon)||2.15||2.15||2.05||1.95||-0.10||-0.20||-0.10|
|Cheddar Cheese (1 lb)||3.49||3.49||2.99||2.99||-0.50||-0.50||0.00|
|Mozzarella Cheese (1 lb)||2.99||3.49||2.99||2.99||0.00||-0.50||0.00|
|Eggs (lrg, 1doz)||1.25||1.39||0.99||0.89||-0.26||-0.50||-0.10|
|Butter (1 lb)||2.39||2.29||1.89||1.79||-0.50||-0.50||-0.10|
|Tuna (chunk light, 5 oz)||0.55||0.59||0.69||0.69||0.14||0.10||0.00|
|Canned Corn (15.25 oz)||0.39||0.49||0.49||0.49||0.10||0.00||0.00|
|Potatoes (per lb)||0.29||0.35||0.38||0.38||0.09||0.03||0.00|
|Gr Beef (80/20 per lb)||2.79||2.59||2.89||2.89||0.10||0.30||0.00|
|Chicken (BS Breast, per lb)||2.49||2.00||1.83||1.83||-0.66||-0.17||0.00|
|Chicken (Whole, per lb)||0.79||0.85||0.85||0.85||0.06||0.00||0.00|
|Pinto Beans (per lb)||0.99||0.99||1.00||1.00||0.01||0.01||0.00|
|Bread (white sandwich)||0.75||0.89||0.89||0.89||0.14||0.00||0.00|
So how does this “benchmark report” work?
Each month I record prices on a set basket of “staple” grocery items. I price all items at my local ALDI store to keep things simple.
The columns show the price when I first started recording (Aug 11), the price at the beginning of this year (Jan 12), the prices last month and the prices this month.
These price columns are followed by a “Change since Aug 11″ “Change, Year to Date” column and a “Change since last month” column.
Note: If a price is shown in green, it’s gotten cheaper. If it’s in red, it’s more expensive.
Remember-prices can vary wildly by region. My desire here is to help us all notice and take action on price TRENDS so we can make decisions about how best to manage our budget for our own households.
Wondering why I’m so concerned about rising food costs? Because the the price of food at home is projected to rise by 4 to 5 percent this year, and another 2 to 3 percent next year, according to the US Agriculture Department.