Finding the deals when grocery prices go up

There is some buzz in the news about the consistent increase in food prices (see “Shoppers warned bigger bills on way“). I have been predicting the increase of grocery prices for some time now, primarily because of the impact of high gas prices and the increase in minimum wage. Both directly affect our grocery markets because, as any economist will tell you, minimum wage earners are common in the food industry and, of course, it takes fuel to ship the goods. The result of these two economic changes in the country are, inevitably, higher grocery bills.

One of our most popular FAQs is “How do you keep your grocery bill below $600/month?” In 2006 when we appeared on TLC and announced that we did keep within this budget, our website traffic went through the roof. Our online survey tagged “shopping tips” as the most interesting feature of the “Kids by the Dozen” show, even above the Birthday Bash and the story on Alicia, which were more central to the show.

Do we still keep that budget? Yes, we do, but we are definitely feeling the crunch. It is becoming more and more difficult to find the deals. Food is a growing budget concern for families, and, especially with our growing boys, we’re having to get more creative.

Wendy and I are scheduled to speak on this at the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators Conference. I hope our Minnesota friends will be able to make it to our workshop, “Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen” on Friday, April 18, in Duluth. For our friends who aren’t able to make it, Wendy and I will be creating two new products to meet this need. First, we have received permission to resell this audio on a CD ROM immediately after the conference (we may even offer it as a download). Second, we are releasing a cookbook titled Love in the Kitchen due out in April. The cookbook has a ton of ideas for families to serve up a ton of food on a limited budget.

Wendy wants you all to know that it is still possible to find those deals! In fact, when prices go up, they are often more frequent. This is how: when prices go up, people get more picky about their food. They will naturally spend the same, but will buy less. Stock of items still come into the stores, but several items will go bad or be reduced in price to get off the shelf. When prices go up, “deal shelves” are more stuffed.

She experienced this at Sam’s Club on the way home from church this morning. Typically, we’ve found Sam’s Club to seldom have bargains in the back of the store. Not today! Wendy found 1200 restaurant napkins for $8, a two-pack of salsa for $2.50, a case of Wheat Thins for $2.50, five dozen grade B eggs for $1.52/doz., and she figured out that 5# of shredded cheese was actually cheaper than our 5# block of cheese. See, the deals can still be found!

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Marie

    Dear Jeub family,
    I can’t put into words how much I admire you and your family for taking care of each other and loving each other the way you do. You’re quite an inspiration. My husband and I have six children and we know what you mean about feeding growing boys. Our oldest two are 15 and 17. That’s like feeding grown men. You do a great job of stretching your money, food and especially your love for your family. Keep up the great work.
    Marie Griffin in NC

  • Sandy

    Oh I can’t wait!! A new book and a cd!! I’ll be excited when I get it! I have read, reread and reread you book so far!! It’s wonderful how you see something you didn’t before!!

  • Sheri S (from PC)

    Do you have to belong to the Association to attend? I’d love to hear it. We only were blessed with the two boys, but we still feel the pinch at the store.

  • Kendra

    I’m looking forward to buying your new book and listening to the CD. Thanks for inspiring this mom.
    Mom to 6

  • Michelle

    Can’t watit to read and hear the new materials! Whoo-Hoo for Wendy’s finds! I know she came home with a HUGH grin! I always do. And even with the growing food prices, I know we will not go hungry, because God will provide, even thru inflation!

  • Deanna

    Oh, I can hardly wait for the new book!! I noticed this week that our food pantry is running lower a little faster than between our grocery runs. Our children are smaller (seven, all 8 and under), but are a growing breed. My husband and I have recently purchased a home, which did help with our outflow of expenses..I know strange. We are now even more strict with where the money ends up, and have found that by putting old fashion cash, not atm, in an envelope marked “grocery” has helped quite a bit. When paying cash, I now second guess my purchases, and so far have come in even lower than with atm. We do the same for other categories and such. Not perfect, but it helps. I agree Michelle, that God will provide…inflation can’t stop the Almighty!!!! Blessings to you all. p.s…playing the game “how many toppings can we think of to go on a cracker?”..helps too :)

  • Shelby

    Oh, I can’t wait for the cookbook either. I read Love is in the House and loved it. You guys are an inspiration and such a blessing. Maybe is there going to be another Kids by the Dozen episode??

  • Valerie

    I can’t wait for the new book and CD! I think I have read Love in the House at least five times, and I have your TLC show taped and watch it all the time.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

    Hi Sheri and all,
    No you do not have to be a member to attend the conference. You can pay at the door and get in!

    We will be speaking in Pine City on that Sunday too, so you may want to check into that also. We will have our books with us on the trip and so no shipping that way.

    Blessings to you all you are so encouraging to me.
    God Bless,
    Wendy Jeub