Shopping Saturday meant my parents had checked out every newspaper ad and choose the most cost effective meals, stopping at lots of supermarkets on any given Saturday in East Hartford, most defunct and unknown to youngsters in 2008: First National, Stop&Shop, Top Notch, Popular and Meatown. Luckily, the family vehicle was a VW Microbus with room for nine and many groceries.
Their strategy might include an Easter ham. An expensive bone-in ham was a value (irregardless of the price of that ham) because you got over the course of a week: a nice dinner, 6-8 sandwiches, ham and potato ccasserole (two days) and ham and navy bean soup (two days). So the cost per meal when calculated was modest. And the soup was the payoff for me. Value v. Price allowed for that ham (figuring in today’s pricing of maybe $50-$60 for such a ham).
Forward to 2008. The current income and oil and food inflation says one has to be creative about food. Today it’s chicken and pasta. The chicken was boneless chicken breasts, purchased BOGO (no, the second one costs less per unit…it is Not Free!). So two packages at $9.65 make at least four meals for this price. The meat for four meals is $2.65 per meal. Not too bad.
The pasta and tomatoes were sale priced at $1.00 each, the bell pepper was $.050 and we had chicken broth, onion and garlic on hand. The whole pot cost about $5.50, and there should be a main meal for four and at least two lunches. Excellent food although not haute cuisine. So each portion’s food costs are around $1. Okay in 2008. Of course, there are only four of us, so larger families may have a tougher go of it.I’m not really anal about these things, just with food prices and regular gasoline at $4.39 around here; it becomes more of a challenge to keep overall costs in line. Ralph and Eileen would have approved.