How Much Does A Dozen Eggs Cost?
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When I was young I always wanted to go grocery shopping with my mom, to spend time with her and so I could get all the delicious things. Back then a dozen of eggs would cost $0.80. I even remember walking to the corner dairy drive thru to purchase dairy essentials for the upcoming week, at a very low affordable cost.
This past week when I purchased a dozen of eggs I had more than a few options:
Organic Free-Range Extra-Large Eggs $5.99
Cage Free Large Grade AA White Eggs $2.79
Organic Large Cage Free Grade A Brown Eggs $3.99
Organic Free Est of the Free Range Large Brown Eggs $5.99
Organic Free-Range Large Eggs $5.79
Source: Instacart for Sprouts in Los Angeles
I mean - that’s a lot of options, right? And, what does it all mean? Well, I’m not going to go into the details of what it means here… I typically choose organic cage free, but that’s my personal choice. You might have a different choice. The average consumer is going to choose the best price, for their own particular health benefits. According to the USDA, “Eggs saw the largest annual average increase of 10.8 percent in 2018.”
In that same study, the USDA extrapolates that there has been a historical annual average of increases in food costs by 2% every year. Carry that forward through time, and the cost of a dozen eggs example in the beginning makes sense, right?
“Since 2009, however, food-at-home and food-away-from-home price growth has diverged. While grocery prices have deflated in recent years, restaurant prices have been rising consistently month-over-month. These differences are due, in part, to variations in the cost structure of restaurants versus supermarkets or grocery stores. Restaurant prices primarily comprise labor and rental costs, with only a small portion going toward the food being served. For this reason, decreasing farm-level and wholesale food prices, which have exerted downward pressure on food-at-home prices, have had less of an impact on restaurant menu prices.”
All the more reason to meal plan properly! If you missed my previous post about meal planning, right now is the perfect time to head over to read it before you continue on. This is the second post in a three part series on meal planning!
1. Take Inventory
First things first, you need to know what you already have in order for all of this to be successful. But, first make sure your family is doing their own thang so you can focus on the task at hand. I would alot about 30 minutes to this process. In fact I do these next few steps over the course of several days because I simply don’t have the time/mental bandwidth to do all of this the same day. But, do what works best for you and your family’s schedule. I typically use a notepad to take an inventory of what I already have in stock, on-hand. I do this part about once a month, and make sure to keep it updated regularly. I also take this time as an opportunity to literally clean the fridge and the freezer to keep things tidy. An important sidebar, I believe that if we take care of the things we spend our hard earned money on it will, and should, last a very long time, and in turn we will have to buy less over time.
Refrigerator - We all know exactly what we like to have in our fridge. However, too many times we end up purchasing a bunch of groceries that we don't have a plan for, and then we end up with all this food waste. I believe this has to do with the fact that we really can't see everything in the fridge clearly because it's either overloaded with other items we won't use, or piles of leftovers gone science experiment. We need to be able to see clearly what we have in the refrigerator, especially if we're in a pinch of time. Keeping the refrigerator tidy (I'm channeling Marie Kondo here!) and knowing exactly what's in there is key in meal prep.
Freezer - The same goes for the freezer. I rely much more on my inventory list when it comes to what I have on hand. This makes it super helpful to visually see on paper what there is in the freezer in order to pull together recipes for the week.
Pantry - I know I'm not the only one who has expired pantry items! Use this same time to eyeball what might be going bad, so you can either use it up for recipes this next week or toss it out. This one definitely seems harder to keep up with, but I feel like I'm getting better over time and I have faith that you will too!
2. Create a Shopping List
I then use my grocery list to itemize what precisely I need from the store, which store to buy it from and what my anticipated total cost would be. Instead of me going into detail on this, take a look at my YouTube video I created specifically for this topic!
I've got to be honest with you. Sometimes I just don't have an extra hour during the week to do the grocery shopping, and it makes more sense for me to have groceries delivered. There are lots of really great options out there for grocery delivery, my personal favorite is Instacart. Not only does this help me save time, but it helps me stick to my grocery budget. Too many times I go to a grocery store for ONE item, and then walk out spending $30. I'm like, what just happened-- because I still shock myself with how much I enjoy shopping. If you do decide to venture to the store make sure you do stick to your list! Trust the list, and have a laser focus on the list. You got this!
4. Cash Back Apps
My last point today is to make sure you're utilizing at least one cash back app! My personal favorite is Ibotta because even if I didn't get something they have a coupon for I'll always get 25 or 10 cents back. And yes, those cents add up over time! If you want to see a tutorial for the Ibotta, check out my Instagram Story Highlights.
YOUR TURN! What is your number one tip for a successful grocery store trip? Let me know in the comments below.