Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Used to Buy Bananas

...along with a few other things that are no longer on my shopping list.

While the economy has had many ups and downs in the last 2 years or so, the price of food has climbed and climbed. Have you noticed the impact on your budget? I doubt many of us have missed it. I hear rumblings that food (even chocolate) will continue to increase in cost, and I look at my shopping cart and wonder what else will not go in it in the coming year.

Bananas used to be a staple on my table. We ate them fresh, and when they started turning brown I used them to make banana bread or banana cake. Sometimes I would find a large bag, maybe ten pounds or more, marked $1.00. I would have a baking frenzy then, making loaf after loaf of banana bread for the freezer. Now, with the price at 55 cents a pound, bananas have joined the luxury list at my house. When you consider that you throw away almost a third of the weight with the peel, the price per pound becomes even more out of reach.

I suppose I should not fret over bananas; after all, they are one fruit that actually contains fat and I can do without that. And I suppose I can get the potassium bananas are so rich in from some other source. There is nothing that will replace those golden circles on top of my cereal, however, or the creamy smoothness of the first bite into a banana at perfect ripeness.

Being on a diet means not only are we losing weight, we're gaining money. The grocery list is shorter--no cheese, no bread, no pasta, a lot less butter and sugar and other things. Still I am appalled at the cost of even the small amount of food I buy, and I wonder how a family with small children manages the hit to their wallet each time they enter the store. Are they cutting back, not buying the little treats children love, going for the generic instead of the brand names? Or are people just sucking it up and closing their eyes as they swipe their debit card?

It will soon be garden time and some of the pressure of food prices will relax as we start eating our own produce. Last year more Americans than ever planted gardens, and some even ventured into backyard poultry. I wonder if this trend will continue, or if, tired of trying to do it themselves, Americans will lapse back into the convenience of ready-made and pre-packaged.

What's going on at your house? Are you still buying bananas or have they ended up on your do-not-buy list too? Have you cut back in other areas, and are you planning to grow a bigger garden this year, or maybe even your first garden? How is the increase at the grocery store affecting your life?

10 comments:

Farmchick said...

I still buy bananas and other produce items during the winter months. Yes, they are really expensive. I have a teenage son who, somedays, seems to eat non-stop and a little girl who is a grazer. Our food expenses are a lot lately. I will be glad for some garden items this summer. It does help quite a bit, as does processing the venison my son kills.

warren said...

We haven't changes much yet though we have always been bargain hunters. We rarely buy brandnames or a bunch of junk. Still, we have noticed the prices go up. My becoming a vegetarian has probably offset some of the pain though. Garden can't come soon enough though!

Janet, said...

I used to only buy bananas when they were on sale. It seems, though, that lately they never go on sale any more.

Pam said...

While I don't like buying bananas, mostly due to the fact that they travel so far to get to me, I still must having a child who is both a picky eater and an athlete who requires 5,000 calories a day.

I just ordered my chickens! I finally got excited YESTERDAY about planning my garden (and blogged about it).

But... getting off the convenience (and costly!) foods carousel saves money, but it costs me a LOT of time, which I don't have a lot of w/ 2 kids still at home. While I don't want them to leave, I DO look forward to the years when dinner can be simplicity from the garden rather than the protein & carb-laden platefuls I must prepare for them several times a day.

Emily said...

I still buy them, only 19 cents a pound at Trader Joe's...but lately I've been thinking about how we should only buy local foods that are in season... in that case, it makes me wonder why did I ever START buying bananas?

Carolyn H said...

I hadn't bought bananas for months, but then last week I got them at $.39 a pound! I've given up buying organic foods, unfortunately. They are just too far out of reach of my budget. Now that non-organic has gone up so much in price, too, my food budget isn't any smaller. i've given up cereal altogehter. A box of oatmeal lasts a lot longer.

I'm thinking fish is going next. I do still buy day-old bread and butter.

It's awful how I can buy just 10 things and my bill is the same as a year ago when that same money gave me twice as many items.

The Gingerbread House7 said...

We still buy them but not pass $.59 pound any more than that and their not worth the price, I take potassium pills every day anyway...

Steve Ferendo said...

When paw-paws are ripe try them as a delicious substitute for bananas. And they are free for the gathering.

Granny Sue said...

Not having children at home does help with the food preparation and costs, Farmchick and Pam--you're right about that. And if I had a picky eater who loved bananas, the bananas would still be on my shopping list. I can't believe they are 19 cents a pound anywhere, Emily! But there is no Trader Joe's anywhere near here, as far as I know--and there is that whole eat-local thing too. No banana farms here either.

Carolyn, I'm with you--I would like to buy organic but I can't justify the price difference, although occasionally I can do it if they're on sale. I always look just in case.

Steve I wish I liked pawpaws but that slimy texture just gets to me :( They are one of the few wild foods I don't like.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Granny Sue, I buy many foodstuffs in bulk which lowers the price. I do not buy any processed food. Still, I feel the climbing food prices. -- barbara

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