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AIBU to find food prices bewildering?

210 replies

GuyMontag · 22/09/2022 23:50

Like I think most people I've tended to always keep a weather eye on food prices, buying here and there, near work, near home, maybe a wee top up in b&m/home bargains from time to time, kind of aware of shelf prices, getting things cheap when I can.

But fuck me, not any more. Prices are all over the place now. Massive increases, but really uneven across the shops, so that I don't know what to do or how to buy . All I know is that everything is scary expensive compared to even a few months ago and I can't shop around it.

Anyone else?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Dotjones · 23/09/2022 09:17

A 500g pack of pasta was nearly two quid in Waitrose the other day. Own brand stuff, nothing fancy. For years it had been 60p-80p for the same product. And bread, pushing £2 a loaf now, wtf is going on with that?!

I've noticed too there is an increase in items "accidentally" not having a price on display. Clearly the labels keep "falling off" the shelf or something. It feels like a deliberate con, in the past I knew what my regular items cost so it didn't matter so much.

And another thing about Waitrose, their new(ish) pick-your-own voucher scheme is an utter scam. Great, I can get £3.50 off a 24 pack of Coke, but what's the use of it when they "happen to have run out of it" this week? You have to choose your vouchers in advance because there's no signal in store, then find you can't use them because they've not got it in stock.

They've really gone downhill recently, even the calibre of checkout lady has fallen.

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ifonly4 · 23/09/2022 09:18

Someone on here was saying 15 eggs are £2 in M&S. Don't know if they were free range, but I'd just brought 15 free range eggs in Lidl for £2.15. M&S is totally out of the way for me, so not worth the time and cost, but makes you think.

I have a Tescos and Lidl near me and tend to go to Lidl on a Thursday as better stocked up. If I've got the time or remember, I'm trying to do a price check with Tescos before I go, so I know what'll be cheaper in Lidl than Tesco. Other than that, buying store brands where possible and looking for other options if someone is too much, ie those crossiants at £5 would be changed for a cheap packet of biscuits.

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Isthislife · 23/09/2022 09:23

It's getting ridiculous! I buy a couple of large plain yoghurt pots each week, usually £1, then crept up to £1.25, then £1.45 and now they're £1.65!! If it was the yoghurt alone it would be minor but it's like that on everything. I have switched to a cheaper brand. The yoghurt isn't quite as nice but it's acceptable. Same thing has happened with the cereal we always buy. It's been one price for 4 years, and just these last few weeks has jumped up.

I only have the time and inclination for 1 food shop a week so always just go to Tesco. I try to get the club card deals although I know it's not really a deal but at least I get the vouchers. And I try and get some of the Aldi price match items, but now that Aldi doesn't seem very cheap it doesn't make much difference. This week I actually used my phone calculator to work out which of the sizes of laundry detergent worked out cheapest as 2 of them we're in different 'offers' which makes it really hard to work out the price per unit or weight.

We're not wealthy, but not exactly hard up either and I quietly gasp every time the checkout operator tells me my total as it barely looks like I bought anything!

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Manekinek0 · 23/09/2022 09:23

I can't justify travelling further to get to Lidl anymore. I have been going to Sainsbury's and the prices are similar but they tend to have more stock in.

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warofthemonstertrucks · 23/09/2022 09:27

Toilet roll seems to have gone up astronomically everywhere.

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PlumPudd · 23/09/2022 09:30

Upsetting and worrying yes, surprising no.

1 We had a global pandemic which disrupted every bit of the global food supply chain, and led to big labour shortages, hence crops going unpicked, food factories being less efficient as staff had to work further apart and take more safety precautions, fishing fleets not going to sea etc.

2 Russia invaded Ukraine, meaning minimal Ukrainian wheat and sunflower oil could get out of the country (Ukraine was a huge net contributor to the global food supply) driving up the prices of everything from bread to meat to the alternative grains and oils that will be used to replace wheat and sunflower oil.

3 Sanctions on Russia meaning Russia is no longer exporting fertiliser or as much gas to the rest of the world. Which hugely drives up the cost of all food production and shipping at every point in the supply chain.

4 Britain left the EU meaning bigger tariffs on everything by we import via Europe (including products from other countries that we used to have trade deals with but now don’t). Reduced profits on British food exports because of tariffs again. Big shortage of labour from the EU meaning cost of getting in the British harvest and packaging and processing it hugely increased.

Supermarkets aren’t profiteering, they are just passing on the cost of wildly jumping and fluctuating food, labour and energy prices - because they are businesses and have to stay in business.

It’s terrifying and upsetting, but it’s not surprising.

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Lottie4 · 23/09/2022 09:31

I'll need to do a freezer shop soon. I normally do an order from Iceland for good value items/items that aren't in my usual stores and get a bag or so from Tescos and Lidl the following week, knowing which items are cheaper where.

Going to be a nightmare this time . A whole freezer replenish always has a budget here. I've worked out I could find an extra £20 when it comes to it, but not sure that'll stretch far enough, so I'll be filling up with loaves of bread.

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DarceyG · 23/09/2022 09:32

GuyMontag · 22/09/2022 23:50

Like I think most people I've tended to always keep a weather eye on food prices, buying here and there, near work, near home, maybe a wee top up in b&m/home bargains from time to time, kind of aware of shelf prices, getting things cheap when I can.

But fuck me, not any more. Prices are all over the place now. Massive increases, but really uneven across the shops, so that I don't know what to do or how to buy . All I know is that everything is scary expensive compared to even a few months ago and I can't shop around it.

Anyone else?

Have you seen how much cheese costs? I love my cheese. It really is beyond a joke now.

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DarceyG · 23/09/2022 09:35

MintJulia · 23/09/2022 02:15

Everything is creeping up but I still managed a week's shop for the same price by....

  • buying my cleaning materials in the £ shop
  • shopping seasonal
  • looking carefully at frozen versus fresh


It's getting harder though.

Since its just me and DD I buy the frozen packs of Veg with individual packets inside because I throw so much out when I buy all fresh. I still buy fresh but mix it up. Yep getting harder to think of alternative ways.

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DenholmElliot1 · 23/09/2022 09:36

QueenOfHiraeth · 23/09/2022 00:32

It annoys me that they make the prices incomparable so 3 lots of bananas and one is priced per pack, one is priced per kilo and one is priced per banana. You need a degree in maths to shop efficiently!

@QueenOfHiraeth thats my pet hate too. It's done deliberately, so that you can't compare prices.

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Goldieshock · 23/09/2022 09:36

B & M 9 pack of quilted loo roll that does the job is £2.89

Flabbergasted by the prices people have mentioned!

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fyn · 23/09/2022 09:37

The problem with food prices in the UK is that we have had the second lowest food prices in the world for years, behind only America. Prices are catching up with the rest of the world.

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womaninatightspot · 23/09/2022 09:39

ifonly4 · 23/09/2022 09:18

Someone on here was saying 15 eggs are £2 in M&S. Don't know if they were free range, but I'd just brought 15 free range eggs in Lidl for £2.15. M&S is totally out of the way for me, so not worth the time and cost, but makes you think.

I have a Tescos and Lidl near me and tend to go to Lidl on a Thursday as better stocked up. If I've got the time or remember, I'm trying to do a price check with Tescos before I go, so I know what'll be cheaper in Lidl than Tesco. Other than that, buying store brands where possible and looking for other options if someone is too much, ie those crossiants at £5 would be changed for a cheap packet of biscuits.

Someone was telling me milk is cheap in Markies too will pop in next time I'm going by and check. Maybe I'll get lucky and hit a yellow sticker jackpot!

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Tabbouleh · 23/09/2022 09:40

I didn't realise that Russia and Ukraine had such a big impact on food prices. I suppose I have been lucky until now.

Going to buy more frozen veg thoughI often find it soggy for the kind of food I make. I notice the quality of supermarket veg has been going down. So much of it spoils so easily.

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wonkylegs · 23/09/2022 09:42

I think it's harder to plan a shop in advance
I now spend more time in store working out what we are having this week based on prices and availability

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womaninatightspot · 23/09/2022 09:43

DarceyG · 23/09/2022 09:32

Have you seen how much cheese costs? I love my cheese. It really is beyond a joke now.

I miss nice cheese. You can still get a big block of mature cheddar for 4.93 a K/g at Tesco/ Aldi though I buy a kilo, slice it in four and freeze. Cream cheese is another one it was 39p a pack now it is 85p after a couple of price hikes.

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HarrySmiles · 23/09/2022 09:43

HRFT but in case no one has mentioned it - Danpak in Lidl is lots nicer than Lurpak and considerably cheaper.

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mamabear715 · 23/09/2022 09:44

Choc shreddies, was £2.50, now £3.25.. just ONE product..
(I know we could live without it, my kids are spoiled, lol..)

It's interesting though, finding out how / where others shop. I shop online weekly with Tesco. Big Tesco fan. But things disappear? Why can't I get Muller rice from there any more, for example? I'm having to do an additional online order from Asda just to get those, & am only allowed a maximum of 10 pots.. why?

Actual MEAL ingredients, usually an Iceland order every few weeks to top the freezer up. They seem more imaginitive than other supermarkets. The kids are fans of their many different flavours of chicken products for 'quick' teas.

I'd prefer to get the lot from Tesco, but it is what it is..

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wottabargain · 23/09/2022 09:47

liveforsummer · 23/09/2022 02:08

Same with petrol. It used to be simple - city cheaper, supermarket cheaper, Morrisons cheapest. The other day the shell and bp garages were cheaper than the city Morrisons, who have 2 stations near me, normally the same price but currently 2p different. The 2 Asda ones which are normally the same are a 5p difference. My friend who lives in a rural town and has always paid a premium for fuel has a branded station that is around 8 p cheaper than my city Morrisons price - bizarre!

Geez yes! My local Esso garage petrol is 8p A LITRE cheaper than Sainsburys, and you get nectar points! Sainsburys really are taking the piss!

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Sophieleigh26 · 23/09/2022 09:47

Absolutely tiny bottle of Heinz ketchup 3.20 in my Tesco

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Sophieleigh26 · 23/09/2022 09:48

@mamabear715 have you noticed that although prices of cereal are going up massively, box sizes are now tiny and have about 4 portions in! Used to be massive when I was a child (late 90s/early 00s)

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Handsnotwands · 23/09/2022 09:56

i always by my veg from the Saturday market, not a posh farmers market but the kind where everything is a bit battered.

their cauliflower and broccoli were more expensive than waitrose (the only supermarket we have in town, where i went afterwards

I think there's a bit of "everyone is expecting a price rise, how far can we push it" going on

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mamabear715 · 23/09/2022 10:02

@Sophieleigh26 I don't eat the expensive cereals myself, but yes, the empty boxes seem to build up really quickly to be recycled.. :-(

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MrsFezziwig · 23/09/2022 10:05

liveforsummer · 23/09/2022 02:08

Same with petrol. It used to be simple - city cheaper, supermarket cheaper, Morrisons cheapest. The other day the shell and bp garages were cheaper than the city Morrisons, who have 2 stations near me, normally the same price but currently 2p different. The 2 Asda ones which are normally the same are a 5p difference. My friend who lives in a rural town and has always paid a premium for fuel has a branded station that is around 8 p cheaper than my city Morrisons price - bizarre!

I have the PetrolPrices app. Asda is nearly always cheaper than the pricey Shell garage but luckily I checked it yesterday and it was the other way round.

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sweeneytoddsrazor · 23/09/2022 10:09

The price of everything has gone up, (I work in a busy supermarket and notice it daily) and yet we are getting busier and busier both in store and online. I know it was a bank holiday on Monday but over the weekend and the few hours we were open Monday we took almost 1/2 a million despite having all major supermarkets apart from Waitrose within a 15 minute drive.

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