Author Topic: Groceries -- a vent  (Read 3297 times)

Goldielocks

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Groceries -- a vent
« on: September 12, 2017, 04:09:43 PM »
Hmmfphhh.

I just returned from the grocery store run, where I bought:

2 gallons of milk
1 dozen eggs (cheapest of the cheap ones)
1 650ml container of bulk, unsweetened plain yogurt, to eat and then use as yogurt starter.
2 onions
Apples (on sale, 40% off)
Bananas
Bota Box of Wine (3L)
London Dry Gin (750ml.. 24 oz)

Total price?  $92 flippin dollars...

ack.  I do know the alcohol is not a requirement but a want ....  what I purchased was at the same price or better than lowest superstore best price.  Really.  I even avoided buying bread because I can make it at home...no meat, no cheese, nothing packaged other than the wine/gin and I still spent nearly $100!   I am so envious right now of you families of 4 that eat on $450/month or less.

Okay, just a vent....  I have returned to grocery budgeting for the Fall and was shocked at how little I got, and thought I would vent with you all...  I think I have to pull out my list  of "cheap foods to eat often"... e.g., oatmeal, rice, cabbage, carrots, bananas, apples, onions, pork loin, lentils, potatoes, masa, homemade bread, diced tomatoes, etc... and repeat ad nauseum.     

fattest_foot

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 04:22:50 PM »
What was the bill minus the alcohol?

I feel like your issue isn't grocery spending, but rather alcohol spending.

dycker1978

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 04:26:26 PM »
I don't think you would get the alcohol here for $92.



nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 04:33:55 PM »
wow that's high.

I'm estimating the food portion would have cost ~$25 here in WC, and ~$20 would be just for for the milk + yogurt.
That still leaves ~$67 for the alcohol...  for some box wine and some gin.  hopefully it's really good gin?
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Milizard

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 04:43:26 PM »
Ouch.  Just a rough guesstimate, as I don't know the quantities of some items, I would probably spend $10 on everything minus the alcohol and yogurt. (Well, since you got 2 gallons of milk, you probably bought more apples and bananas than I usually get.) I don't usually buy those big yogurts any more, so I have no idea on the price.  Bota Box pinot noir is almost always on sale for $16-17.

Goldielocks

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 04:55:03 PM »
wow that's high.

I'm estimating the food portion would have cost ~$25 here in WC, and ~$20 would be just for for the milk + yogurt.
That still leaves ~$67 for the alcohol...  for some box wine and some gin.  hopefully it's really good gin?

Bing! Bing!  We have a winner...  Where is WC? 

Milk $5x2, Eggs $3, Yogurt (on sale, no name plain, nothing fancy) $3.  Onions, bananas, apples (from the super sale bin) $10.. enough to last 4 people for about 4 days.

All bought from a huge suburbs supermarket with an eye to knowing low prices, as there are 5 large stores to choose from within a few miles.

And no,  that is not nice gin.  A "nice" gin like Hendricks is about $17 more for this size..  It was on sale, on the bottom shelf variety, the medium size bottle (wine bottle size).   The wine is the "Bota box" that MMM posted about in a prior (long ago) thread about saving money by buying good, not premium wines in a bulk box...it was still $34.. on sale..  boo.

I think I will be enjoying this alcohol, then stopping until Thanksgiving, where I will cook and others can supply the wine.

nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 05:30:05 PM »
oops.  typo (adjacent keys).  WC was supposed to be QC. 
... or maybe I live in a Water Closet.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 06:09:49 PM »
oops.  typo (adjacent keys).  WC was supposed to be QC. 
... or maybe I live in a Water Closet.
LOL!  I just wrote a rental agreement for a not-for profit space, and I think I had to use the term WC at least 20 times today alone!

fluffmuffin

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 06:16:08 PM »
It's amazing how much alcohol adds up. I was curious how much I was spending on beer/wine vs actual groceries and started splitting it out in my budget....yeahhhh that has been eye opening. Usually it added $25-50 to the grocery budget every single week. And I never buy the hard stuff, just the occasional Bota and craft beer. fortunately I wanted to cut back on booze anyway after a pretty ahem, indulgent summer, so that's extra motivation.

nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 06:31:55 PM »
It's amazing how much alcohol adds up. I was curious how much I was spending on beer/wine vs actual groceries and started splitting it out in my budget....yeahhhh that has been eye opening. Usually it added $25-50 to the grocery budget every single week. And I never buy the hard stuff, just the occasional Bota and craft beer. fortunately I wanted to cut back on booze anyway after a pretty ahem, indulgent summer, so that's extra motivation.
Fun fact!  At least in Virginia and other locations where taxes on spirits aren't bat s&!t insane...
Drinking mid-tier spirits ("hard alcohol") is cheaper per serving than drinking even cheap beer*
This includes Virginia!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/alcohol-buzz-per-buck/index.html

*yeah yeah yeah, someone's going to bring up the cost of mixers and the time etc.  My point is drink your spirits neat and you'll save over even Budweiser, even if you buy your own keg.  Yes, home-brew cuts the cost in half, but so could (I guess) home distilling. 
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Goldielocks

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 06:38:49 PM »
It's amazing how much alcohol adds up. I was curious how much I was spending on beer/wine vs actual groceries and started splitting it out in my budget....yeahhhh that has been eye opening. Usually it added $25-50 to the grocery budget every single week. And I never buy the hard stuff, just the occasional Bota and craft beer. fortunately I wanted to cut back on booze anyway after a pretty ahem, indulgent summer, so that's extra motivation.
Fun fact!  At least in Virginia and other locations where taxes on spirits aren't bat s&!t insane...
Drinking mid-tier spirits ("hard alcohol") is cheaper per serving than drinking even cheap beer*
This includes Virginia!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/alcohol-buzz-per-buck/index.html

*yeah yeah yeah, someone's going to bring up the cost of mixers and the time etc.  My point is drink your spirits neat and you'll save over even Budweiser, even if you buy your own keg.  Yes, home-brew cuts the cost in half, but so could (I guess) home distilling.

Hmm.. never broke it out by drink before.  ok.  hard spriits, bottom shelf, just under $2 per drink.  Bota Box wine, 6 oz glass, $2.18 per glass.  Nope,  i think they (gov't controlled prices) fix the price of bottom shelf to close to the alcohol content, here.  Darn it! 

libertarian4321

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 06:49:08 PM »
It's amazing how much alcohol adds up. I was curious how much I was spending on beer/wine vs actual groceries and started splitting it out in my budget....yeahhhh that has been eye opening. Usually it added $25-50 to the grocery budget every single week. And I never buy the hard stuff, just the occasional Bota and craft beer. fortunately I wanted to cut back on booze anyway after a pretty ahem, indulgent summer, so that's extra motivation.
Fun fact!  At least in Virginia and other locations where taxes on spirits aren't bat s&!t insane...
Drinking mid-tier spirits ("hard alcohol") is cheaper per serving than drinking even cheap beer*
This includes Virginia!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/alcohol-buzz-per-buck/index.html

*yeah yeah yeah, someone's going to bring up the cost of mixers and the time etc.  My point is drink your spirits neat and you'll save over even Budweiser, even if you buy your own keg.  Yes, home-brew cuts the cost in half, but so could (I guess) home distilling.

Hmm.. never broke it out by drink before.  ok.  hard spriits, bottom shelf, just under $2 per drink.  Bota Box wine, 6 oz glass, $2.18 per glass.  Nope,  i think they (gov't controlled prices) fix the price of bottom shelf to close to the alcohol content, here.  Darn it!

You aren't going low enough on the shelf. 

Get the rot gut vodka that's $11 for a 1.75 liter plastic bottle and you get your per drink cost down to about 33 cents!  A bit more for whisky ($16). 

I highly recommend the "Old Crow" Bourbon.  Mix a couple ounces of that delicious nectar with about 16 ounces of Coke, and you'll barely be able to tell just how vile it is.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 06:55:06 PM »
Well the LCBO charges $26.25 for Gilbey's, $28.00 for Beefeater, and $65.20 for the good stuff (all 750 ml).  The cheapest Bota box is $42.65.  So yeah.

Onions?  Big fat sweet ones?  Because I buy onions by the bag, not individually, ordinary yellow or red ones.
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nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2017, 07:02:24 PM »
Well the LCBO charges $26.25 for Gilbey's, $28.00 for Beefeater, and $65.20 for the good stuff (all 750 ml).  The cheapest Bota box is $42.65.  So yeah.

Onions?  Big fat sweet ones?  Because I buy onions by the bag, not individually, ordinary yellow or red ones.
Yikes!  Well if I ever make it over to Ontario to visit I know what I can bring as a gift.
I thank my lucky stars my PIL live in new Hampshire, giving us a constant supply of cheap, HQ booze.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2017, 07:32:53 PM »
It's amazing how much alcohol adds up. I was curious how much I was spending on beer/wine vs actual groceries and started splitting it out in my budget....yeahhhh that has been eye opening. Usually it added $25-50 to the grocery budget every single week. And I never buy the hard stuff, just the occasional Bota and craft beer. fortunately I wanted to cut back on booze anyway after a pretty ahem, indulgent summer, so that's extra motivation.
Fun fact!  At least in Virginia and other locations where taxes on spirits aren't bat s&!t insane...
Drinking mid-tier spirits ("hard alcohol") is cheaper per serving than drinking even cheap beer*
This includes Virginia!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/alcohol-buzz-per-buck/index.html

*yeah yeah yeah, someone's going to bring up the cost of mixers and the time etc.  My point is drink your spirits neat and you'll save over even Budweiser, even if you buy your own keg.  Yes, home-brew cuts the cost in half, but so could (I guess) home distilling.

Hmm.. never broke it out by drink before.  ok.  hard spriits, bottom shelf, just under $2 per drink.  Bota Box wine, 6 oz glass, $2.18 per glass.  Nope,  i think they (gov't controlled prices) fix the price of bottom shelf to close to the alcohol content, here.  Darn it!

You aren't going low enough on the shelf. 

Get the rot gut vodka that's $11 for a 1.75 liter plastic bottle and you get your per drink cost down to about 33 cents!  A bit more for whisky ($16). 

I highly recommend the "Old Crow" Bourbon.  Mix a couple ounces of that delicious nectar with about 16 ounces of Coke, and you'll barely be able to tell just how vile it is.
hah!  doesn't exist here at those prices!  Neato, I can look prices up on line..

The cheapest vodka (clearance) on the shelf is $22 for 750ml.. Polar Ice / Banff Ice / Alberta Pure/ New Amsterdaam (US).  hmm  1.75L plastic is $33.50 for same brands...  Cheapest burbon is JB at $23 per 750ml...   At least it is less expensive, by up to $5 per bottle, than Ontario, $2 more in SK...

Nero -- I only bought 2 onions today because I did not like my choices:

1)  50LB bag of beautiful onions (yellow, but large, fresh, well dried, not green) for $24.
2)  3 lb bag of small disgruntled onions for $3
3)  Bulk beautiful onions for $1.29 per lb. (I got two)

I usually buy yellows in 10 lb bags, for about 79 cents per pound, but I have learned to look and wait for very nice quality ones. In the winter there were quite a few moldy ones in the bag.   I once bought a huge (25lb) bag for only 30 cents per pound, but they were so small it took forever to chop them up and lots of waste, (and tears, they were not great onions).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 07:39:29 PM by Goldielocks »

Capt j-rod

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2017, 07:47:25 PM »
pour your clear liquor (gin or vodka) through a brita filter... It changes it quite a bit. Mean while in Ohio... Milk $3.50/gallon, eggs $1 per dozen, Bananas $.50/lb, Apples (in season) $1.50/lb, Gin $14/ fifth, onions $1 each, yogurt $1 per individual tub. Probably $20 in food.
I made a chuck roast, potatoes, carrots, celery, biscuits, and gravy for dinner for $12 tonight. I fed my family of four and I will have lunch for 2 days. Fruit and veggies are in season and it is coming to an end. Everything is dirt cheap. Froze a bushel of peaches, tons of blue berries, and strawberries, a bunch of creamed corn, canned green beans and tomato soup, dug my potatoes, carrots, beets and onions. I've got plenty of walleye and perch ahead as well as three cases of canned salmon. Deer season is right around the corner. Apple sauce and home made apple butter is next! Back when I worked full time and over time none of this was possible LOL!

Goldielocks

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2017, 07:56:52 PM »
mmm   chuck roast -- $5.99 per pound. (less on a loss leader)   I bet your beef is more affordable, too if you managed to get a whole meal's worth for $12.   

yeah,  I am on a kick.  I focused this past year on other costs, relying on habit to keep groceries down, and just now I am realizing how much groceries have gone up (and I now have a 15 yo boy and hungry husband in the house).      There's a lot of $$ opportunity for savings on our groceries because of it.

Soon, the potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions will come on their once per year super sale, (so I will freeze a storm when that happens).  Peaches are canned and in the pantry, and blueberries and blackberries are in the freezer. No apples on our tree this year, and so far no takers on my offers to pick other peoples' trees.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 08:22:34 PM by Goldielocks »

human

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 08:16:56 PM »
I missed the post where you list the alcohol total. 30 bucks for wine and exactly how much were the spirits? Those are not groceries by the way, even though they were bought in a grocery store they are alcohol. Even stats canada has a different line item for them when reporting household expenditures. You wanna booze it up you gots to pay.

nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 08:45:36 PM »
I see alcohol prices in some places (and most Canadian provinces) and wonder "how do people ever afford to get drunk?"

Goldielocks - if you want to make yourself a little sad, check out where we buy most of our booze. 
Typically we wait for a good 'doorbuster' deal on whatever spirit we're running low on.
http://www.liquorandwineoutlets.com

Hmm... Jim Bean (1.75L) is running $23 right now.  That;s about 60/serving. Bacardi Rum's $17 (again 1.75L).  Ok, I'll stop now...
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okits

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017, 09:01:36 PM »
I see alcohol prices in some places (and most Canadian provinces) and wonder "how do people ever afford to get drunk?"

Because the cost of not getting drunk is just so much higher.  😬

Americans, read those prices with the understanding that they're in Canadian dollars (so the retailer might have bought the stock when $1 CAD = $0.75 USD), we have supply management for our dairy industry which makes prices higher, and the taxes on Canadian alcohol are HIGH.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 12:55:43 AM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2017, 05:27:10 AM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Right on!  I'm mustachian but we spend the extra dollar to get the free range eggs and chickens.   We generally don't eat much red meat but when we do we try to make ethical choices with that too.  I'd rather eat less meat but not support animal abuse.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017, 06:54:18 AM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Right on!  I'm mustachian but we spend the extra dollar to get the free range eggs and chickens.   We generally don't eat much red meat but when we do we try to make ethical choices with that too.  I'd rather eat less meat but not support animal abuse.

Yeah, this is where I'm at too. I could save money here, but it's not in line with my values so I'd rather make cuts in other places. We get organic chicken at Costco, which is not ideal for me: I'd rather go vegetarian for those meals, but my carnivorous SO would revolt without a meat-based dinner twice a week...he's a good sport about veggies/fish the rest of the time so I don't like to push it. Any other products from a land-dwelling creature, come from humane, sustainable, local farms, and are purchased very rarely (other than eggs). We did carnitas once this summer and steaks for my SO's birthday. Other than that, chicken and fish only. Factory farming is also horrible for the environment. So it's not just the chickens that are paying for our convenience--it's the planet. (And all of the low-wage workers in the packing plants, the family farms being driven out of business, etc.)

Ditto for buying the nice organic produce at the farmers market. I could get a $3 bag of organic salad mix at Kroger, or I could spend $4.50 supporting a family farm 30 minutes away from my house. I'm happy to pay the $1.50 for a better product that keeps money in my own community.

And yall! You are blowing my mind with the wine/beer vs. spirits stats for VA. Unfortunately I don't like liquor much, unless it's dressed up in really fancy cocktail. I'll have a sip or two of nice bourbon or whiskey occasionally, but for the most part I'd rather not drink than drink liquor. Whomp whompppp

nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 07:45:13 AM »

And yall! You are blowing my mind with the wine/beer vs. spirits stats for VA. Unfortunately I don't like liquor much, unless it's dressed up in really fancy cocktail. I'll have a sip or two of nice bourbon or whiskey occasionally, but for the most part I'd rather not drink than drink liquor. Whomp whompppp

To each his/her own.  I'd rather not drink than drink mass produced beer, but I love whisky and bourbon. l And at most of the prices here in Canada I'd just rather not drink at all.
Having lived in California wine country during my teens and twenties my brain still associates wine as the least expensive of the alcoholic beverages, particularly lower and mid-tier - just not here in QC.
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 09:36:33 AM »
Good reason to separate out your alcohol purchases from your food purchases, so you can track more easily. Same thing if you're the kind of person that's picking up TP/paper towels/toiletries on your grocery runs.

mm1970

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017, 01:16:45 PM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Right on!  I'm mustachian but we spend the extra dollar to get the free range eggs and chickens.   We generally don't eat much red meat but when we do we try to make ethical choices with that too.  I'd rather eat less meat but not support animal abuse.
We've been eating a lot of eggs.  I'm thinking of making the switch - we get a produce box delivery every week, and eggs are an option.  So I could get 2 doz  a week, delivered.  One reason for this is to reduce waste also - reusing the egg cartons (the delivery service will give the egg boxes back to the farmer).  Right now I'm having sticker shock from grocery store cage free (which, you don't really know what that MEANS) at $3.50-4/doz and the $8 / doz for local free range.  My  neighbors have chickens.  Maybe I need to start baking bread again and swapping.

okits

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2017, 10:31:18 PM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Our eggs are $1.97/dozen.  I agree that, at best, they're a loss-leader and the chickens aren't treated any worse than usual (but that's still not great). 

I'm going to investigate cage free (I think "free range" just means they have access to outdoors; they may very well still spend all their time in a cage) and see what the cost is (I seem to remember $9/dozen or $13/dozen, so a significant difference, but gathering the information is the first step.  We might not replace 100%, but maybe partially.)

horsepoor

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2017, 11:21:59 PM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Our eggs are $1.97/dozen.  I agree that, at best, they're a loss-leader and the chickens aren't treated any worse than usual (but that's still not great). 

I'm going to investigate cage free (I think "free range" just means they have access to outdoors; they may very well still spend all their time in a cage) and see what the cost is (I seem to remember $9/dozen or $13/dozen, so a significant difference, but gathering the information is the first step.  We might not replace 100%, but maybe partially.)

Cheapest eggs:  battery hens that have their beaks cut off so they can't peck their cage mate to death in their 1' square cage
Next cheapest:  Cage free/free range/organic/vegetarian combos.  I think they are about equivalent, but perhaps the free range get a few sq feet of outside space, while cage free are many hens in an enclosure, but both can at least move around and flap their wings. "cage free" means "not a battery hen. Chickens are happy to eat bugs, so the vegetarian diet thing is kind of weird, but I guess it's an assurance that they aren't being fed the remains of their dead friends.
Expensive:  Pastured eggs - chickens have many square feet of outdoor space, usually with access to greenery and bugs/worms.  The egg quality is noticeably better with creamy whites and dark orange, pert yolks.

sparkytheop

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2017, 11:22:23 PM »
Wow.  I was mentally adding it up until I got to the alcohol (I have no clue what that would cost since I very rarely buy any).  Total without alcohol was around $10.  I'm in the PNW.

Milk $2 x 2 = $4 (it goes on sale every other week.  Not on sale price would be about $7)
1 dozen eggs (cheapest of the cheap ones) = $1.29 (not on sale)
1 650ml container unsweetened plain yogurt = $2.79 ($4 for the expensive stuff)
2 onions = $0.59/lb = $0.30
Apples (on sale, 40% off) = $1 (in season they are a better price, but you put that they were 40% off, so that's about what they would be here for a pound)
Bananas = $0.69/lb
 
= $10.07

Damn.


Indexer

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 11:26:27 PM »
I'm going to agree with a few others here. While I'm frugal on most things, liquor, beer, and quality food get an exception. Wine doesn't, you can get good wine for $4-5/bottle. I don't want to drink liquor referred to as "Rot Gut." I rather like my liver. :) For food I'll pay extra to get something fresh and healthy. Investing in your health can save you money in the long term.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2017, 12:22:32 AM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Right on!  I'm mustachian but we spend the extra dollar to get the free range eggs and chickens.   We generally don't eat much red meat but when we do we try to make ethical choices with that too.  I'd rather eat less meat but not support animal abuse.

Agreed. Mustachian to me doesn't mean buying the cheapest. It means buying quality, which includes ethical products that align with your morals. I would rather eat less eggs than pay for something from a poor bloody battery hen.  The way they're treated is disgusting. Anyway, in the end I got my own hens. It's not the cheapest way to get eggs, and they do take some work, but at least I know the little feathery bastards are well cared for. And homegrown eggs are a great thing to barter with. Actually, so is chicken compost!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2017, 12:30:08 AM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Our eggs are $1.97/dozen.  I agree that, at best, they're a loss-leader and the chickens aren't treated any worse than usual (but that's still not great). 

I'm going to investigate cage free (I think "free range" just means they have access to outdoors; they may very well still spend all their time in a cage) and see what the cost is (I seem to remember $9/dozen or $13/dozen, so a significant difference, but gathering the information is the first step.  We might not replace 100%, but maybe partially.)

Cheapest eggs:  battery hens that have their beaks cut off so they can't peck their cage mate to death in their 1' square cage
Next cheapest:  Cage free/free range/organic/vegetarian combos.  I think they are about equivalent, but perhaps the free range get a few sq feet of outside space, while cage free are many hens in an enclosure, but both can at least move around and flap their wings. "cage free" means "not a battery hen. Chickens are happy to eat bugs, so the vegetarian diet thing is kind of weird, but I guess it's an assurance that they aren't being fed the remains of their dead friends.
Expensive:  Pastured eggs - chickens have many square feet of outdoor space, usually with access to greenery and bugs/worms.  The egg quality is noticeably better with creamy whites and dark orange, pert yolks.

MOST expensive: backyard chickens on laying pellets and lots of leftover goodies, fat birds that can peck and scratch and hop around in the sun, and roll around dustbathing like feathery fools. The kind of chickens that turn up tapping on the back door if you're 10 minutes late with their breakfast and bully the cat. These are great big fresh eggs daily, so fresh they're still warm from chicken butts. Best eggs in the world.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2017, 06:10:36 AM »
I can't wait until we can have hens :) I grew up with chickens on the farm, and there's nothing like an omelette made with eggs from your own hens.

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 07:55:30 AM »
MOST expensive: backyard chickens on laying pellets and lots of leftover goodies, fat birds that can peck and scratch and hop around in the sun, and roll around dustbathing like feathery fools. The kind of chickens that turn up tapping on the back door if you're 10 minutes late with their breakfast and bully the cat. These are great big fresh eggs daily, so fresh they're still warm from chicken butts. Best eggs in the world.
Yep, having backyard chickens is how we got spoiled for the pastured eggs.  Now when my hens aren't laying, we spend $6/dozen.  Even if I pro-rate my up front investment in a rather fancy coop, it's still cheaper than buying 1-2 dozen at $6 every week.  I feed them the cheaper pellets ($13.99/50#) and whatever scraps and garden leftovers.  Now I have seven layers and will probably start to cover their feed costs by selling a few eggs at work.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 08:18:25 AM by horsepoor »

simonsez

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2017, 08:00:03 AM »
If this comes off as annoying, I apologize in advance.  Even if you disagree with the theory, it's just an idea to save a few bucks off your grocery bill.

Eliminate buying milk and reduce the dairy.

I used to be a huge milk (and juice) drinker.  Long story short - I read a little too much and agree with the basic premise that humans aren't meant to drink milk (human, cow, goat, whatever) after you get weaned off of mom's chest (or formula equivalent).  I mean you certainly can but we're not setup that way so might as well save money and not buy it.  Our bodies are remarkable resilient things and if you have no problem with lactose or certain enzymes, that's great but you can eliminate/reduce purchasing it without too much of a penalty (or without too much trouble finding nutritional replacements elsewhere).  I'm not a coffee drinker myself but my household basically just drinks water, tea, coffee, beer, and wine.  The last four are obviously luxuries.

Worried about calcium if you cut out milk?  Eat seeds, sardines/mackerel/salmon, leafy greens, beans/lentils, or nuts (especially almonds).
Vitamin D? Eggs, tuna, mushrooms or just go outside for a walk every now and then (or take a 5 cent pill if you're really worried about it).

As for the booze, that sucks.  Bota boxes are $13.29 at the Total Wine & More near me (a lazy search, it could be cheaper elsewhere).  How much can you take back legally if you make occasional booze runs to the U.S. tied in with a fun hike/weekend trip?

mizzourah2006

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2017, 08:49:37 AM »
Wow.  I was mentally adding it up until I got to the alcohol (I have no clue what that would cost since I very rarely buy any).  Total without alcohol was around $10.  I'm in the PNW.

Milk $2 x 2 = $4 (it goes on sale every other week.  Not on sale price would be about $7)
1 dozen eggs (cheapest of the cheap ones) = $1.29 (not on sale)
1 650ml container unsweetened plain yogurt = $2.79 ($4 for the expensive stuff)
2 onions = $0.59/lb = $0.30
Apples (on sale, 40% off) = $1 (in season they are a better price, but you put that they were 40% off, so that's about what they would be here for a pound)
Bananas = $0.69/lb
 
= $10.07

Damn.

Yup this is right in line with what ours are, but our Bananas are $0.49/lb and lately our eggs have been 29 cents a dozen and milk is $1.04/gallon. So

ours would be about $7 for the food and I know Bota Box near us is $19.99, I'd assume a bottle of moderately priced gin would be about the same, so my total bill for that would be about $48 before tax.

nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2017, 08:57:53 AM »

As for the booze, that sucks.  Bota boxes are $13.29 at the Total Wine & More near me (a lazy search, it could be cheaper elsewhere).  How much can you take back legally if you make occasional booze runs to the U.S. tied in with a fun hike/weekend trip?
Each Canadian resident is allowed 1.5L of wine provided they were out of the country for at 48 hours. 
Ironically, you cannot legally bring a 3L box of wine back from the states under your exemption, even if you have two people, since a box counts as a single item and you can't 'share' single items under your individual deduction.  You can declare it and pay taxes (heck, you can bring in 200 bottles and pay taxes on each as long as its for 'personal consumption').
Most of the time the boarder agents don't really care if you buy a larger format size and won't want to do the paperwork for something so minor.  They will if you try to bring multiple large formats though.

Also frustrating - Canadians can bring back up to 1.14L of hard alcohol per person, so there is no legal way of bringing back a single handle (1.75L bottle) of booze without paying duties&taxes on it. Again, every single time I've crossed I've told the agent "I bought one large bottle of ___" and they don't seem to care.  Occasionally they inform me that, "technically the limit is 1.14L" but they've yet to make me pay extra.

What really irritates me though is that the limits for wine/beer/booze are even remotely equivalent.  You can bring either 10-12 servings of wine (2x750ml bottles) OR 24 servings (24x12oz/355mL) of beer OR 25 servings (45mL x 25 = 1.125L) of booze.  The wine allowance is considerably less, even though Canada produces lots of beer & spirits but very little wine.

more info here: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/atl-lat-eng.html

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paddedhat

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2017, 09:17:29 AM »
I see alcohol prices in some places (and most Canadian provinces) and wonder "how do people ever afford to get drunk?"

I once met a group of fairly rough young Canadian lads who were on a "drinking trip".  We camped next to them in the extreme northeastern corner of Maine. These guys were downing a serious quantity of canned beer. They explained that, thanks to provincial sin taxes, they simply couldn't afford to drink at home, with the exception of the large volume of wine they made themselves. They would occasionally leave wives and girlfriends behind, cross the border, and spend a weekend drowning themselves in $20 a case, American beer.  Not something that would float my boat, but it worked very well for them.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2017, 10:00:27 AM »
I'll splurge on beef(which I eat rarely), but I'm not sold on fresh veggies/fruit outside of stuff directly from the farmer's market. Not a huge difference between the stuff on your supermarket shelves and the stuff in your supermarket produce aisle.

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/are-frozen-fruits-and-vegetables-as-nutritious-as-fresh/
https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/really-the-claim-fresh-produce-has-more-nutrients-than-canned/


okits

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2017, 10:45:47 PM »
When you buy cheap stuff, someone or something pays. When you buy cheap eggs, the chickens are paying for your convenience. Battery farming is an abomination. Spend that extra buck and buy eggs that don't support the misery and torture of animals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a meat eater and not much of a "townie" when it comes to know what's going on behind the scenes with farming, but it doesn't take much time or money to find a source of meat and eggs that doesn't involve treating animals like disposable garbage.

Our eggs are $1.97/dozen.  I agree that, at best, they're a loss-leader and the chickens aren't treated any worse than usual (but that's still not great). 

I'm going to investigate cage free (I think "free range" just means they have access to outdoors; they may very well still spend all their time in a cage) and see what the cost is (I seem to remember $9/dozen or $13/dozen, so a significant difference, but gathering the information is the first step.  We might not replace 100%, but maybe partially.)

Cheapest eggs:  battery hens that have their beaks cut off so they can't peck their cage mate to death in their 1' square cage
Next cheapest:  Cage free/free range/organic/vegetarian combos.  I think they are about equivalent, but perhaps the free range get a few sq feet of outside space, while cage free are many hens in an enclosure, but both can at least move around and flap their wings. "cage free" means "not a battery hen. Chickens are happy to eat bugs, so the vegetarian diet thing is kind of weird, but I guess it's an assurance that they aren't being fed the remains of their dead friends.
Expensive:  Pastured eggs - chickens have many square feet of outdoor space, usually with access to greenery and bugs/worms.  The egg quality is noticeably better with creamy whites and dark orange, pert yolks.

MOST expensive: backyard chickens on laying pellets and lots of leftover goodies, fat birds that can peck and scratch and hop around in the sun, and roll around dustbathing like feathery fools. The kind of chickens that turn up tapping on the back door if you're 10 minutes late with their breakfast and bully the cat. These are great big fresh eggs daily, so fresh they're still warm from chicken butts. Best eggs in the world.

The free range eggs at my supermarket are $4.59/doz, so not crazy at all.  I'm going to start buying those, instead.

Goldielocks, I saw a Bota Box at the liquor store today: $42.65 (CAD).  😱  My coupon app had $3-off Apothic Red, which other forumites have mentioned, so $13.95 after rebate (still more than I'd usually pay but I was curious).

farfromfire

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #40 on: Today at 02:47:52 AM »
If this comes off as annoying, I apologize in advance.  Even if you disagree with the theory, it's just an idea to save a few bucks off your grocery bill.

Eliminate buying milk and reduce the dairy.

I used to be a huge milk (and juice) drinker.  Long story short - I read a little too much and agree with the basic premise that humans aren't meant to drink milk (human, cow, goat, whatever) after you get weaned off of mom's chest (or formula equivalent).  I mean you certainly can but we're not setup that way so might as well save money and not buy it.  Our bodies are remarkable resilient things and if you have no problem with lactose or certain enzymes, that's great but you can eliminate/reduce purchasing it without too much of a penalty (or without too much trouble finding nutritional replacements elsewhere).  I'm not a coffee drinker myself but my household basically just drinks water, tea, coffee, beer, and wine.  The last four are obviously luxuries.

Worried about calcium if you cut out milk?  Eat seeds, sardines/mackerel/salmon, leafy greens, beans/lentils, or nuts (especially almonds).
Vitamin D? Eggs, tuna, mushrooms or just go outside for a walk every now and then (or take a 5 cent pill if you're really worried about it).

As for the booze, that sucks.  Bota boxes are $13.29 at the Total Wine & More near me (a lazy search, it could be cheaper elsewhere).  How much can you take back legally if you make occasional booze runs to the U.S. tied in with a fun hike/weekend trip?
That statement is pretty meaningless - humans aren't meant to do a lot of stuff we do. FWIW, humans have probably started drinking milk centuries before beer. The genetic mutation that allows us to process milk beyond childhood is thought to be extremely important to human development and has spread very rapidly, especially considering it only allows humans to do something we aren't "meant" to do.

Dicey

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #41 on: Today at 03:55:08 AM »
Oh, I hear you, golden sister! I shop primarily at three off-price stores, with an occasional trip to Winco for bulk goods. I generally do an every-other-week loop. I start at the 99 Cents Only Store, then Grocery Outlet across the street, then Costco around the corner to fill in whatever I couldn't get at the first two places. When I occasionally wander through a "regular" grocery store, I am gobsmacked by the prices. I find it wildly entertaining to see what they charge for stuff I regularly buy for a fraction of the price at my cheapo places.

FWIW, I don't buy much soda, juice or booze, but life without cheese, yogurt and milk is not to be contemplated, IMO.


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MustachianAccountant

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #42 on: Today at 05:32:51 AM »
Oh man, there's the difference between Europe and the good ol' US of A.

Decent table wine = $3/bottle

Nice wine = $9/bottle

Beer = $0.80/pint (that's 16 oz., not the tiny 12 ouncers Americans are used to)

This, I think, is mostly because alcohol consumption isn't viewed as a "vice" but rather a normal part of life, and is therefore not taxed as such.
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nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #43 on: Today at 06:01:28 AM »
Oh man, there's the difference between Europe and the good ol' US of A.
...

I think you've misread most of this thread.  Much of the discussion has been around prices in provinces of Canada, which tend to be higher but adding to the confusion the two currencies are not equal despite both being called the "dollar".  I'll note that prices in "Europe" differ considerably from country to country.

In both the US and Canada alcohol regulations are set by the individual state/province, so there can be big differences in prices between adjacent states/provinces.  Still, the prices you quoted are about the same, particularly for wine.  In both the US and Canada the tendency is for bars/restaurants to sell beer in pints (particularly on draft) but for the cans & bottles you buy at the store to be 12oz/355mL. 

Indeed we have some funny laws and puritan hotspots, but I think its too simplistic to say alcohol consumption is considered a 'vice' here but not a normal part of life. US/Canada is a huge region - 2x the footprint of Europe - with lots of regional differences.
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Kashmani

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #44 on: Today at 06:01:50 AM »
If you read personal finance blogs long enough, you eventually realize that the grocery budgets presented by Americans have no relevance to Canadians. Groceries simply cost quite a bit more in Canada than they do in the U.S.

For a family of four that home-cooks virtually all meals and drinks hardly any alcohol, our average grocery bill is around $250 per week, now trending towards $275 per week. And this is Superstore and Costco, not some fancy organic chain. Granted, we usually have one "nice cheese" on the go in addition to No-Name cheddar, but generally we have a fairly plebeian diet.

Let's just accept that the U.S. grocery budgets being presented are unrealistic. But as Canadians, what we lose on the swing, we make up on the merry-go-round. I.e., what we spend on groceries, we make up on healthcare savings.

boarder42

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #45 on: Today at 06:12:03 AM »
Total in the midwest shopping at aldi for everything minus the gin/bota box

2 gallons of milk  $5
1 dozen eggs (cheapest of the cheap ones) .50
1 650ml container of bulk, unsweetened plain yogurt, to eat and then use as yogurt starter.  3.50
2 onions 1
Apples (on sale, 40% off) 2
Bananas .69
Bota Box of Wine (3L)  -  aldi box of wine - 10
London Dry Gin (750ml.. 24 oz) - 20

12.69 plus 30 in booze
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MustachianAccountant

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #46 on: Today at 07:31:02 AM »
Oh man, there's the difference between Europe and the good ol' US of A.
...

I think you've misread most of this thread.  Much of the discussion has been around prices in provinces of Canada, which tend to be higher but adding to the confusion the two currencies are not equal despite both being called the "dollar".  I'll note that prices in "Europe" differ considerably from country to country.

In both the US and Canada alcohol regulations are set by the individual state/province, so there can be big differences in prices between adjacent states/provinces.  Still, the prices you quoted are about the same, particularly for wine.  In both the US and Canada the tendency is for bars/restaurants to sell beer in pints (particularly on draft) but for the cans & bottles you buy at the store to be 12oz/355mL. 

Indeed we have some funny laws and puritan hotspots, but I think its too simplistic to say alcohol consumption is considered a 'vice' here but not a normal part of life. US/Canada is a huge region - 2x the footprint of Europe - with lots of regional differences.

Nope, not misread. I'm American, lived most of my life there, and am currently residing in Europe for a short period of time. Alcohol is, no question, cheaper here. And better. A bottle of wine that would cost $13 in America costs 3 here. A pint of high quality beer that would cost $2+by the case is only 0.80 here (comparing to Sam Adams here). And it gets cheaper the farther east in Europe you go. (Polish vodka, anyone?)

I know that prices vary by state because of taxes, but I've been to more than a few states, and have never seen alcohol prices as low as they are in Europe.
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nereo

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #47 on: Today at 08:36:41 AM »
Nope, not misread. I'm American, lived most of my life there, and am currently residing in Europe for a short period of time. Alcohol is, no question, cheaper here. And better. A bottle of wine that would cost $13 in America costs 3 here. A pint of high quality beer that would cost $2+by the case is only 0.80 here (comparing to Sam Adams here). And it gets cheaper the farther east in Europe you go. (Polish vodka, anyone?)

I know that prices vary by state because of taxes, but I've been to more than a few states, and have never seen alcohol prices as low as they are in Europe.
Odd that you would make such a blanket statement, and then conflate euros and dollars (both Canadian and US). As indicated by posters up-thread and elsewhere you can buy wine in the US for the prices you've mentioned.  And as you've mentioned, there are certainly price differences in Europe as well as in the US.
Whether it is "better" is highly subjective, and I doubt we'll ever agree.  I certainly prefer the less expensive wines from California & Oregon to those I've had in Spain and France. Spirits are pretty hard to compare since they're so regional (and protected), but personal preference I'll take bourbon over ouzo or raki. It's true I've never found vodka as cheap as I did in St Petersburg and beer in Germany is (as you say) very very cheap. But both beer and spirits in Copenhagen were more expensive than anywhere I've lived state-side. Ditto for Oslo and everywhere in Iceland. Prices in the UK seem fairly similar to most US cities but ironically I can find better deals on the same bottle of single-malt in the US than I ever could in Scotland.  In other words, it depends on where you are, and your blanket statement that alcohol in all of Europe is cheaper than all of the US doesn't hold ethanol.
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Sockigal

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #48 on: Today at 09:02:08 AM »
Trader Joe's boxed wines are really good and I think they are still from Australia. Roughly $10.99 a box. It's a good daily drinking wine and buying the box is cheaper than the 2 Buck Chuck. Trader Joe's has the best prices on wine. They even have a organic bottle of red table wine and other varieties, Green Fin, for $4.99 a bottle, which are all very good.

boarder42

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Re: Groceries -- a vent
« Reply #49 on: Today at 09:18:45 AM »
Trader Joe's boxed wines are really good and I think they are still from Australia. Roughly $10.99 a box. It's a good daily drinking wine and buying the box is cheaper than the 2 Buck Chuck. Trader Joe's has the best prices on wine. They even have a organic bottle of red table wine and other varieties, Green Fin, for $4.99 a bottle, which are all very good.

this isnt correct where i live.

the box costs 11.99 for 4 bottles worth of wine - a bottle of wine is 2.99 making it 3c cheaper than the box o wine at trader joes.  Aldi wine is 2.89 thats what we choose to buy as there box is more expensive per bottle as well(and just "red table wine" vs shiraz or merlot)
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