A student’s rant about grocery prices

 I spent $51 for six small grocery items and I’m less than thrilled about it.

Last week, I bought my usual basics at Costco, which usually amount to less than $20 and last me a month. But this time, I added tortillas, a dill pickle salad kit, and Cascade pods (on sale) and bam! Somehow, my bill got bumped up to $51. 

It’s safe to say I wasn’t a happy camper, especially when I had another impending bill with two grocery items I was going to split with my boyfriend: $32 for eight pieces of chicken breast and seven dollars for two bags of gnocchi. 

My own groceries combined with what I was splitting totalled around $80. Seven and a half items for $80—I was floored. 

Being a student and managing your own food expenses is stressful, and I personally have a low stream of income. A little pit in my stomach opens up every time I see the total for basic necessities, which is what groceries are. Why charge so much for something that everyone needs to remain alive? 

This year, prices have really gone up. I understand that we are in a recession, but along with grocery prices going up, discounts are disappearing, which is asinine. If one Metro offers a discount on cheese, why can’t all the other Metro locations (some of which are closer to home) offer the same discount? So, not only are groceries expensive, it’s also time-consuming to go buy them. At this point, I might as well buy a chicken so I can get eggs for free; it can live on my patio for now. 

The Concordian recently wrote about how Provigo got rid of, then reinstated, its 50 per cent discount section…It is definitely a valid assumption that most students shop in that section.  Many supermarkets don’t even offer student discounts and I’m more than certain they can afford it.

I found that shopping at local supermarkets really cuts some of my grocery costs; at some local producers’ stands, you can get strawberries for two dollars and fifty cents, compared to IGA’s six dollars. Though I’m currently less than thrilled with my last Costco bill, I’d recommend finding a friend whose membership you can piggyback on, and split some of Costco’s bigger-ticket items. T&T can also be super reasonable sometimes—it’s definitely a trek, but so worth it. 

Due to the spike in grocery prices, I’m now of the mind that if I can make it at home, I am not going to buy it. I cannot justify spending seven dollars on mayonnaise when I can make my own at home for under two dollars. Pickles became a luxury for me, and I am a pickle girl, so I learned how to make my own. I became a bit of a “do it yourself” girl.

Being alive is so expensive. The best I can say is to take a day to scope out what markets near you can be counted on for cheaper prices, figure out what you can make at home and what big-ticket items you can split with people.

And for pity’s sake, please let me know if any big grocery corporations ever offer discounts… I am not interested in paying six dollars for yoghurt or two dollars for a can of kidney beans. 

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