To think food in America is very expensive and worry we're going to face much higher prices soon?

(95 Posts)
AbsentmindedWoman Thu 03-Nov-16 18:11:51

Just back from NYC. I was shocked at the price of groceries - hummus $4, large pot of yogurt $7, fresh salad stuff and other basic veg like potatoes and onions seemed really high too.

Why is it so expensive? It's not that all those basic items were imported? There didn't seem to be any cheap supermarkets, they were all the same as far as I could see. Although apparently there is one Aldi in Harlem!

I thought the price of veg really high, I mean in the UK you could eat a cheap veggie diet very cheaply, probably high in carbs but nutritionally sound.

It occurred to me that with places like Aldi were used to very cheap food here in comparison. With energy prices rising I'm wondering if food prices are going to shoot up over the next few years? Aibu to be kind of worried? How is our food so cheap?

TreehouseTales Thu 03-Nov-16 18:14:22

Wow I remember when I went (years ago now) thinking how cheap it was! Especially eating out - sometimes was as cheap as cooking. It was a long time ago so I can imagine its changed!

I do think we have it particularly cheap in the uk - when I go to Australia food is so much more expensive there.

Ebbenmeowgi Thu 03-Nov-16 18:14:54

Maybe that's just nyc? I never did grocery shopping there but remember eating out seemed really cheap, this was a few years ago. Went to different part of us last year and there were cash and carry type shops with mega cheap food, maybe they're easier to find if you are or know a local?

QueenJuggler Thu 03-Nov-16 18:15:03

There are loads of cheap supermarkets in NY, just not in Manhattan. Where were you looking? If it was stores like Wholefoods, then high prices are par for the course.

But will food prices rise over coming years? Almost definitely - we've become very reliant on cheap imports (including raw materials), and currency slides are bound to have an impact.

LouisvilleLlama Thu 03-Nov-16 18:15:04

Prices change around the country having lived there for a year, id imagine you were still on the tourist area so still a premium, I bought a lot of food and my shopping was about $30-50 on Long Island also remember $=£

LouisvilleLlama Thu 03-Nov-16 18:16:21

Oh and you'll pay more going to a non big shop Target was cheap

SilentBiscuits Thu 03-Nov-16 18:19:30

Food always seems really cheap to me in the UK.

But yes, prices will rise due to lots of things: a weak pound, high energy prices, Brexit and more droughts and storms increasing around the globe - there's been something like twice as many "weather events" in the last few years than there have been in the preceding century or something like that.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 03-Nov-16 18:20:43

Yes, I can't understand why people think it's cheap here. Outskirts of big city, using middle of the road supermarket min $250 a week for family of 4, plus $100/mth for school lunches and another $50/mth for cat food and litter.

stuckinny Thu 03-Nov-16 18:22:48

Food shopping has always been much cheaper in the UK than NY (at least for the 14 years I've been here). I find basic items - bread, milk, cheese etc - very expensive. My parents often comment on it too when they come to visit.

Cheby Thu 03-Nov-16 18:23:23

If you're comparing to the UK, then it's the poor exchange rate, surely?

westcoastnortherneragain Thu 03-Nov-16 18:23:41

Canada is expensive too, when I return to the UK I'm always surprised how cheap groceries are there

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 03-Nov-16 18:26:04

NYC is not indicative of prices in other parts of the US eg. midwest. It is generally cheaper than over here (apart from some odd items). Also exchange rate means we aren't getting the bargains we once got.

AnUtterIdiot Thu 03-Nov-16 18:26:55

If you were in Manhattan, groceries are incredibly expensive. My friend lives in NYC and always orders in - he can cook but it's actually cheaper to order from the deli than it is to make food yourself. Elsewhere in America food is reasonably priced, I think.

TonaldDrump Thu 03-Nov-16 18:30:31

Go out to queens or the Bronx and you'll find normally priced food. Everyone knows you pay a Manhattan premium

GrinchyMcGrincherson Thu 03-Nov-16 18:33:44

Manhatten is expensive in the same way London is. Long Island? Not expensive. It also varies state to state as they all have different levels of tax.

Although it is more expensive than it was a few months ago due to the delightful plummeting of the pound since brexit. Eating out is far cheaper in the US, especially places like Wendy's where you can get a small drink, burger, nuggets and fries for $3...

Food will go up though for all the reasons
Mentioned above

HappyCamel Thu 03-Nov-16 18:35:13

In the US you pay the pure cost of food. In the UK there is a complex system of farming subsidies so effectively you pay for some
of your food with the tax you pay. This is particularly true for dairy products.

Also bear in mind that packets in the US are often larger.

20thCenturyGirl Thu 03-Nov-16 18:38:01

I have lived here for years and have always thought that fresh, decent food is far more expensive than in the UK. It is possible to eat processed, packaged food relatively cheaply. I haven't noticed a price rise recently.

hollyisalovelyname Thu 03-Nov-16 18:42:30

I agree 20thCenturyGirl.
Good, ** healthy food in US is expensive compared with the processed c*ap.

MadisonAvenue Thu 03-Nov-16 18:46:34

We came back from California last weekend and noticed how much more expensive eating out was compared to a few years ago, even breakfast in a suburban McDonalds cost around £20 for four of us. The same would be around £15 here.
And don't get me started on the $10 sandwiches at LAX, nothing special about them and I expect to pay a premium at airports but £8 for a prepackaged cheese and salad sandwich in a newsagents?

Bummymummy77 Thu 03-Nov-16 18:47:54

I live in the states and find even organic food waaaay cheaper than the UK. Yes it's expensive in NYC, same way London is.

Dh and I wince when we do our food shopping back in Britain!

Bruce02 Thu 03-Nov-16 18:48:00

We go to the US every year and find that prices vary from store to store. I genuinely don't think decent food in the supermarket is that expensive. We love supermarket shopping in the US.

AppleMagic Thu 03-Nov-16 18:50:03

I live in the Midwest and groceries here are significantly more expensive than the UK, it's not just a tourist/Wholefoods/NYC thing. They were more expensive before Brexit too so can't be just exchange rate.

AppleMagic Thu 03-Nov-16 18:51:01

Even Aldi here is more expensive.

kesstrel Thu 03-Nov-16 19:02:17

Madison surely that would be down to the recent Brexit-caused change in the exchange rate??? At least in part?

AbsentmindedWoman Thu 03-Nov-16 19:12:10

I was staying in Brooklyn, with a local. The shops we went to were her regular spots. I dragged her into Target as well as was curious, but there was no fresh food in there!

Agree that processed rubbish is pretty cheap.

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