Food Prices Are Out Of Control

Submitted by Old Onions

Barbados food bill out of control

What  we can do to help ourselves …

Let’s face it food prices are not coming down anytime soon. Nor will certain promises that were made about “Priorities” some four and a half years ago, will be materializing, given that six months is all that’s left for scope.

So what can we do for ourselves to stave off the Dollar Monster living in the supermarket who seems hell bent on gobbling up the remainder of our savings, or sending us away with nothing much in hand? Times are not easy internationally this we know only too well.

With food prices rising, many of us (especially women) have already become well versed in the art of trimming our food budgets. In some instances, we have simply sacrificed on the quality and/or quantity of food eaten. In the face of inflation, many families may have no other recourse.

However, there are ways of getting around the price squeeze at the supermarket. One obvious way to soften the blow of family food prices is to buy in bulk, in larger size packages. A smart shopper who stocks up on economy sizes will save more than just food money. He or she may eliminate some of those time-and gas-consuming trips to the local grocery store.

Significant savings can also be achieved by avoiding prepackaged meals or gourmet items. Much of their price represents the cost of somebody else’s labor. Potatoes, for instance, offer an excellent example of the savings a nonprocessed diet brings. In their natural state, potatoes sell for a few cents a pound. Yet they may cost many times that as potato chips or crisps.

Natural grains often quadruple in cost when transformed into boxed cereals. And block cheese is another prominent food item that sells much more cheaply than its sliced counterpart. And nonprocessed food — vegetables, fruits, meats, milk and grains — are not only usually cheaper, but provide a healthier diet as well. In this regard, you might consider starting a backyard garden. For the price of a few seeds, and a little effort, you can enjoy the pleasures and financial rewards of homegrown produce.

Perhaps the biggest food savings families can achieve will come through home cooking. Restaurant dining, even in more modest establishments, is an expensive proposition. When families dine out, they in effect are paying a heavy premium to have somebody else prepare their meals.

Efficient meal planning can also be a boon to the family food budget. Leftovers can be tastefully used in casseroles, soups or stews. And on weekends, you might try serving two meals a day instead of three. This might be especially convenient for the family that rises late on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Though most of this surely you have heard umpty times already….for those who the time is right..implementation may save you a berry, that you may need for that near empty gasoline tank.

0 thoughts on “Food Prices Are Out Of Control

  1. No only are food prices out of control but you have to be careful with the prices on the shelf and the price at the cash register. I went into a particular supermarket to purchase an item which indicated on the shelf to cost under $ 20.00, when I got to the cashier she told me the price registered was just short of $ 25.00. Obviously, I protested and she called a supervisor who claimed he was busy but if I’m right the company will refund me next time I came in to shop. Again I protested and he did check the price and i was right, the price was then adjusted for me but whoever came after me would pay the higher price. This was not the first time that happened to me at a supermarket. Persons doing large shopping can easily be robbed because of the amount of items in the trolly, you can’t remember all the prices shown on the shelves.

  2. i honest feel Barbados could be run by less politicians and government offices workers. that would help with the prices in Barbados.[IE less Mercedes-Benz]
    if they would get off the phones to their outside man or woman that
    Barbados done!long time now.
    surely we will reap what we have sown.
    but the innocent ones will pay for the scoundrels we have in Barbados
    very sad.

  3. Has anyone paid a good listen to Red Plastic Bags’ recent release..Common Wealth ?Why his lyrics were robust and true to form….inviting the Monarchy to come visit this Common Poverty…..done only the masterful way Bag does do it…..My point…higher food prices weekly….less money by austerity measures….savings almost depleted…unemployment ever rising….all spells one thing…..IF THERE IS NO RELIEF and soon…. TROUBLE on the horizon…watch out !Some recently qualified our economic woes as “STABLE in the mist of economic difficulties”…whatever that means…I still am unable to understand why at the LEAST..the ex-Vat basket of goods was NOT expanded…..could people’s sensitivity again be that remote ?

  4. A tin of corn beef $4.65….a tin of sardine $2.00…..a 5lb bag of flour $7.64….a bar of soap $2.75….a sandwich loaf $4.25…..8 sodabix .$1.70..a 4lb chicken $ 20..water 60% increase…. light bill aver $300…..a deodorant $5.87….man fa real… tight tight tight BIM.

  5. I want to buy some of de cents a pound potatoes. Where de france people on meagre wages gine find money to buy in bulk or block. Wunnuh talking crap too.

  6. Because I can’t drive, I have to do shopping on the bus so it’s mainly Speightstown for me. i keep my receipts, cross check them when I get home. i really do walk back and forth from one supermarket to the other to get a cheaper can of beans and have now changed to dried beans. Taste much better anyway when soaked. There again, price difference in the dried product at the till. Cans of tomatoes are cheaper than fresh ones if you want to make a tomato sauce. How mad is that? Imagine my surprise when a can of tuna and a can of tomatoes at our major supermarket, imported from the UK was cheaper than one in a Speightstown supermarket! And cheaper than that same can in the UK by the very same provider! Yes, i mean Waitrose. If you want to get the cheapest can of tomatoes, one which has passed all the tests, go to Supercenter you will find it there, cheapest on the whole island,. As for the discount supermarkets, what a joke. A whole chicken is cheaper in Speightstown AND Holetown, let alone other places which, unfortunately I cannot reach on the bus. IF you can afford the time, it is worth it to travel around the island on the bus to shop cheaply, bus-fare knocking dollars off prices of food. This is mad! The huge supermarket can afford to sell basic products cheaply because they buy in bulk and products like cans of tuna are a loss-leader to entice people into the store.
    But you can scrimp and save all you like and shop around until you drop; the problem lies in the fact that so much food is imported. We need to grow more fruit and vegetables. People focus on livestock because it’s a profit, as long as animals can graze freely without any expenditure and you can give the leftovers to the chickens (if there are any leftovers, these days!) but what costs so much in Barbados is vegetables. Peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbages, broccolli,whatever, corn etc. may not profit you as much as a chicken coop in the back yard but they continue to yield, it’s not just a one-off slaughter although I accept the egg argument. You can see from what I am saying that I have been embroiled in this discussion for quite a long time!
    My argument is that not everyone has grazing land or even enough space to raise poultry safely and cleanly but many people could rais
    e a crop of potatoes in a black bin liner in a garbage bin which would yield a continuing good crop, grow some green beans up the corrugated if they have that and grow tomatoes out of a bag hanging out the window.
    What about people who have no land at all and hardly a breathing space between themselves and their next-door neighbour, living in town? Not even a corrugated?
    As usual, the poorest have to pay the most for their food; they can’t grow anything because of the way they are sequestered, so have to buy from shops in town at ridiculous prices, it is pitiful, shaming. How must they feel when they see all the rich people wandering by when they can’t afford the prices at the market? Oh well, let’s hope they have relatives in the countryside…IF THERE IS ANY LEFT which hasn’t been sequesteed and sold off….!
    Something has to be done for those people I just described above and only the Government can do it. It is despicable that in this “posh” Caribbean destination, calling itself “second world” (I don’t subscribe to the categorisation, by the way) there are people like the old ladies we keep hearing about, living in absolute poverty and starvation.
    As you can see, I am furious about the whole thing. Barbados is going to hell in a handbasket as they say and I will be very sad about that. It’s all just getting about “us and them”.

  7. Folks I have some big ass Rammay birds in a duppy palm tree (eff I cud ketch dem), that cud be substituted for chicken when tings get rough. Ah gots some bahji dat grows wild all bout de place to add to muh rice. Ah trying out sum weeds tah see eff dem gine kill muh an will let wunna know eff dem good tah eat.

  8. If you haven’t already, join a credit union buying club…..they buy in bulk and at year end past on a share of profits from the commerce in the form of a dividend.Is time too we learn to do like the indian families in BIM….buying livestock as a family unit and one man doing the butchering….alive animals are a lot cheaper that packaged in the supermarket.
    Another thing …we soon seeing fowl and ducks running bout in the back yard in many neighborhoods…mark my words…..Already I am made aware of families raising chickens from chick in boxes..inside some middle class homes….a bird takes 6 weeks to raise…..and will not be seen by the nosey neighbors…to report the breech to MOH.
    To who like raising fish..Talapahia is a worthy livestock to keep…..excellent taste too. I prefer to hook grunts and nin nins when I go fishing at nights, but even they hard to come by nowadays as no flying fish ofal is being carried out to attract fish to come in to the outter reefs.
    Better believe wood doves are also on the menu for some…(not black birds yet like Dr.Dennis Lowe choice )…..flysticks are now a common place in rural districts and there are not there to harvest guyanese long tail lizards..though I am told they are also eatable.
    People… better believe…..hard food times here again in BIM…It was done before we must show all those price gouging we can access substitutes.Then they will have to eat their stock…

  9. When we regain this Govt from the DLP in the next few months we will revolutionize the landscape with those 15 John Deer tractors Dr.Estwick about to place on order…imagine waiting til this 12 th hour to be telling us of plans to revamp agriculture….man who they think we are FOOLBERTS?
    ……..the mother of election ploys dr.Estwick..a lil bit tooo late…….
    The cost of farming will also have to reduced thru more efficient methods…let’s face it yams, potatoes and eddoes will be our staple consumption food crops……boost the black belly sheep stock Mr. Layne…there is a livestock we plan to revamp and aloe plantations another.

  10. Are we aware of the potential forex by planting Aloe vera…..for cosmetic products ? in Puerto Rico…it is a billion dollar earner…why aloe sells in NY for $25 US a leaf……what is going on Mr. Estwick…..aloe is one of the easiest crop to grow…doesn’t need much water, not any labor time..min fertilizer….it grow wild any where you transplant a stick.

  11. Just to show how good aloe vera is…..if you suffer from dry skin esp. on the feet..cut a leaf…and tonight rub a little of the jel on the spot…see the results tomorrow…you will be surprised with the results

  12. @ old onion bags | July 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM |

    Barbados has the best aloe vera in the World. Aloe “barbadensis” in the hallmark of good aloes.

    Barbados was once a top producer and exporter of this plant that has medicinal, therapeutic and skin beauty properties.
    But where there is no vision the people suffer. But there is also a saying “what goes around comes around”. Maybe with the fall from grace of tourism and international business Bim might just to have to reinvent the wheel and find other sources of income to survive.

  13. @ Miller
    Aloe is such an easy crop to grow….and grow well it does here…why not even one response from all those Agronomist….yet we hear almost everyday ..they looking for solutions. listening to the video 1st one..the President of Aloe Vera of America…speaks of possibility of short falls in supply. We could sell the pulp..then later extend the plant….Local entrepreneurs are at present making soaps in Pelican Center…there are also the juices possibilities… PHD could bottle

  14. @ old onion bags | July 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM |
    .”Local entrepreneurs are at present making soaps in Pelican Center…there are also the juices possibilities… PHD could bottle”

    Onion, a 1000 ml bottle of aloe vera juice sells in the UK at the Holland & Barrett chain of health food stores at an approx. retail price of £ 12.00. You do the local conversion while the local entrepreneurs pick sense from that. Oh, I forget the local entrepreneurs aka shopkeepers would rather prefer to import the finished stuff laced with artificial preservatives and bottled in China or India the same way the PHD would rather dump the locally produced excess milk than to turn it into Probiotic yogurt which we currently import from North American or European sources.

  15. Aloe vera is used in many cosmetics as a base……so is coconut oil..why are we not working with these opportunities ?

  16. the medicinal value is well known…..we sitting on a mint…. a new wonder .ALOE VERA….a Billion dollar industry

  17. @ old onion bags | July 12, 2012 at 4:30 PM |

    We are waiting on the Chinese to do it for us the same way they are supplying the solar panels for our RE business. If we are so keen to buy Chinese cabbage (pak choi) grown on Chinese occupied building site using “nature’s” fertilizers it is most likely we will buy aloe vera based products from China made from Bajan aloe vera as the raw material.

    Maybe this is the kind of FDI the goodly Professor Frank Alleyne is expecting to boost our falling forex reserves along with more sales to T&&T investors from the upcoming divestment of state owned assets. Even our GoCBB has given us fair warning as to what to expect if local investors don’t position themselves further up the fire sale queue.

  18. @ Miller
    …….voices crying in the wilderness…

    seems like anything to do wid agriculture is taboo….except horses.

  19. @ David | July 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM |

    To be fair to Onions, both parties have the same “services” agenda.
    The present administration has just carried on from where the BLP administration left off-Tourism, Int’l business, FDI (sale of land). Look what has been promised as far as restructuring agriculture and manufacturing are concerned and look at the state of the sugar industry on its dying bed.
    What would replace it: Lashley planting stone and wood?

    Manufacturing does not stand a chance as long as its cost drivers remain high and out of our control and with a T&T ownership and control of our local supply and distribution network T&T goods and other imports would keep out the higher cost local products.

  20. I truly have very little more to say on the matter of food and Barbados…have stressed and ranted for too long…when the going was good no one listened and now….the going bad and we are unprepared…and even in some cases almost foolishly determined not to allow our “standard of purchasing” to be lowered in the eyes of the our fellowman so we continue to fill the baskets with crap to be seen as rich and happy!

    But…(and I promise to say no more on a subject that is almost angrily boring to me now) food costs can be lowered if the importers/supermarkets cared. To lower food costs ourselves. Change lifestyle. Shop direct from farmers. Shop at SoLo (Black Rock), Cheapside market, at fish markets or straight from fishermen. Plant a few things in backyard (you do not even need to have ground soil (check out the internet on all the amazing ways to grow food – some even outta normal rubbish (plastics, wooden crates, even wall bricks). Much is possible. With proper management of one’s kitchen…costs can be kept relatively low. And you can eat well.

    Still does not take away the fact that agriculture has been grossly mismanaged on this island…had we cared we would have insisted those we voted in did their jobs but we did not care. By the way and just by the way…had we banned Monsanto and its murdering pesticides long ago…encouraged clean agriculture…we would have saved money not only on pesticides but on health. Dah fuh lick we.

  21. Ishaka’s song..”Jokers Take Over”
    Laugh of the Century

    I remember Sen. Benn telling the we can look for an expansion of goods (to be incld.) in the ex-vat “Basket of Goods”…surely we all remembered this….Then came the No Ball Budget….”.he beak get brek”… these jokers duz do things doa ? Benn musse feel like a wood lizard….Ouch !

  22. I laugh to think that most of the develope world understands the importance of agriculture to their GDP’s and food needs. Barbados looks at Agriculture like its synonomous with something slavey and backward and so every single government that has been in power ignores it.We seem to think that it is all pechie and savvy to import the fancy foods we have grown to love so much. no problem there after it is only costing us millions of dollars. Now there is a economic and risng food cost crisis and all of a sudden we got to plant more food. LOLOL Crisis oriented and crisis driven are we not. No vision because we let tourism blind us. How stupid are we?

  23. Rosemary Parkinson | July 13, 2012 at 6:58 AM |

    Good post. The thing is, food prices worldwide are shortly going to rise more. By 30%, due to corn issues etc.


  24. I am a tourist for many years to Barbados and I am not going back due to the outrageous food costs. At first I ate at restaurants, but prices were getting crazy…so I went to Tri-mart…Super Center IGA etc. Still price are just way over what product is worth. I try to buy fresh fish an prices are outrageous. Oistins and all the usual places tourists go are priced to hell. There is no damn relief! You can tell even Bajans are angry at prices.

    There are islands with nice beaches that don’t have this issue and are closer, so sadly that was my last time to Barbados. My biggest expense wasn’t the flight or hotel…it was the food. Fix the damn problem if you want tourists to go and spend money!

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