Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

The lines grow longer

Once a month I chauffeur my SIL (using my brother’s car) to do her shopping.  For our last trip there was nothing I really needed to purchase so I wandered around the stores looking at prices while waiting for her.  I knew there were some food prices and food mysteries I had mentioned in earlier posts and decided to take another look at those.


In a post earlier this month I had commented on the cost of chicken, beef, and veggie broth being $3 for a quart container.  This is what I was talking about.  Click the photo to enlarge it so you can see the shelf tag says $2.99.  The sale tag is for the Lipton soup next to the broth.  There isn’t any veggie broth there anymore.

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At the Dollar Tree store I saw the cans of broth for $1.  I believe those are about a pint?  So thats about $2  a quart.  They only carry the chicken, not the beef or veggie.

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In my opinion, even if you don’t can then at least make broth yourself. Its easy to make and may be frozen.


In a post in November 2014 I had commented on the mysterious disappearance of dry beans from store shelves.  We can’t buy or eat what is not available.

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In January I wrote a post and commented that the cost of canned beans were about $1 a can.  IF you could find any.  Well, the beans are back and they are costing about $2 a can.  Thats double the price in only 3 months. You may not think $2 a can is high but lets figure this out.

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If you consider there are about 12 commercial cans of beans per pound of dry.  Thats about 1/2 cup or less beans per can.  Don’t go by the weight of the can.  Its mostly water that has re-hydrated the beans. At $2 per can it means the beans cost about $24 per pound.  Even on sale at 10 for $10 it still means the beans are costing about $12 per pound.  Gosh!  That’s more expensive than beef.  Yup, that is very pricey for a frugal standby staple.

Why do I think the cost has gone up so dramatically?  Its a marketing ploy.  The food industry knows beans are a substitution for meat when you can’t afford meat.  They know people will be switching as costs continue to soar.  As I say frequently, “you can’t buy or eat what is not available”. When it is available you must pay their price in the form they dictate or do without. Sooo, if the only beans available are in a can at a high price that’s all you can buy.  Sign, if only I had my garden again.  Anyone want to volunteer to help me fix it?


On the subject of beef, we may soon have to take out a loan just to buy it or any other type of meat. Look at these one pound packages of ground beef at Meijer.  I’m pretty sure you’ve seen these prices too.  Ground beef is the ultimate money saver.  It is so versatile.

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Now look at these one pound packages at Kroger.

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Now look at the cost of these corned beef roasts.  $20 for a small one.

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Ok for the biggest shocker…..  look at the cost of a leg of lamb.  Its over $43 for that small one.  Geeze!

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I don’t have photos of the cost of pork or chicken or turkey.  I simply looked and sighed.  And now the cost of chicken and turkey will be getting even higher because of the bird flu out west and the destruction of millions of birds.  That also means anything made from (or with) chicken or turkey will cost more.  For example turkey bacon or hot dogs or lunch meats.  Those processed foods made from turkey and chicken will most likely contain even more fillers than before too.  Look for frozen meals which contain chicken to contain less actual chicken and more fillers as well as cost more. Chicken restaurants (Popeyes, KFC, etc) are already raising prices and serving smaller pieces.

With food prices going up and up and up, its no wonder the lines grow longer at the food banks.

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This is the line about a half hour after the food started being distributed.  More and more hungry people are showing up in the lines.  This is about twice as many as a couple of months ago.


12 comments on “The lines grow longer

  1. Kathleen
    May 1, 2015

    And here I am complaining about our hamburger in New Mexico on sale 80% being $3.99 this week…last week it was up to $4.49.
    I better start counting my blessings.

    • Na Na
      May 3, 2015

      I think we all should be more aware these days.

  2. sarasinart
    May 1, 2015

    You made some very interesting and scary observations that I hadn’t seen. I’ll pay more attention to things like what’s going on with beans.

    • Na Na
      May 3, 2015

      For some odd reason I just seem to be aware of oddities like that. Aware of changes. Especially in stores. Maybe its my age and remembering ways I saved money in the past that aren’t around anymore. Whats even scarier is …. the prices are going up at the same time programs to help the low income people are being cut.

      • Kathleen
        May 3, 2015

        This might be insignificant,but I love VanCamps pork and beans.I can usually find them at the local store on sale for $1.00 a 15oz can.sometimes at dollar stores for $.50 cents a can…I was stocked up for awhile,when I went to buy more a few weeks ago …I can’t find them at my local store…at all.they have beanie peonies and 27oz? cans.but no 15oz at all…pooof gone.
        So I kept my eyes open for them.found them this week at the dollar store for $.85 cents a piece for 15oz.
        I think they take stuff away so when it does show up again we are too happy to pay whatever price they say.
        I don’t trust their sneakie ways…5lbs is now 4lbs and things like that.for years now they have been pulling that stuff.
        Kathleen….God Bless

        • Kathleen
          May 3, 2015

          Beanie weinies*

          • Na Na
            May 3, 2015

            I knew that. 🙂 My fingers slip on the keys too.

        • Na Na
          May 3, 2015

          Yes, thats exactly what I was talking about. First a disappearance and then a return at a different form and/or a different price. I call it “short sizing” and its been going on for a number of years now.

      • sarasinart
        May 3, 2015

        I know, it sure shows that our government puts older folks low on the priority list and that’s so sad.

        • Na Na
          May 3, 2015

          Especially now that there many more older folks on limited income.

      • Linda S.
        July 3, 2015

        You & I are old enough to remember when you ate hamburger & hot dogs when money was tight; that was poor folk food. Now hamburger is $4.99 lb & hot dogs up to $4.00 a pkg. I bought a pork tenderloin for $1.99 lb had the butcher cut it up & we had 6 meals. Crazy times.

        • Na Na
          July 6, 2015

          Crazy times for sure. Not long ago I bought ground beef in my area for 3.89 a pound and that was 50% off. Yes, I remember the ways we used to manage on hot dogs but also we had pots of beans with cornbread or biscuits. These days beans are almost as expensive as meat.

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