I was shocked by inflated grocery prices when I moved from Michigan to New York City, but I made a smart switch that finally saved me some money
- I moved to NYC from Michigan in May and my spending on staples went up by about 25% a week.
- I’m also getting less food now than I did before, which has meant buying more takeout.
- I started using Amazon Fresh for groceries and that’s helping, but my spending is still up.
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Throughout college and into early adulthood, I’ve prided myself on my ability to grocery shop on a tight budget and live on a small salary. This has meant figuring out which grocery stores have the best deals on which products and shopping weekly at multiple places. In college, I also began saving my monthly receipts so that I could compare my spending from month to month.
In March of 2021, I was in college in Michigan, and I typically spent around $30 to $40 a week on groceries; sometimes, on a good week, even less. Then, I would make a larger shopping trip monthly and spend between $60 and $75.
After graduating in May, I moved to New York City for work and was shocked by the increase in grocery prices, both from inflation and the higher cost of living in the city.
I decided to compare my grocery spending in March of 2021, just before the significant uptick in inflation, to the summer of 2022. I wasn’t too surprised to find that there has been a substantial increase in the cost of many of the basics I purchase.
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The cost of my grocery bill went up when I moved to New York City
|Product||Cost in March 2021||Cost in May/June 2022||Increase|
|Eggs||$0.72 (for 18)||$3.99 (for a dozen)||$3.51 for a dozen|
|Milk||$1.29 (for a half gallon)||$1.99 (for a quarter gallon)||$2.69 for a half gallon|
|Total weekly increase||$11.49|
Looking through my receipts, I found that weekly I was spending $50 to $60 on groceries and still getting takeout a lot because I wasn’t purchasing all the grocery items I wanted. This increase in spending was very disheartening and not sustainable, so I began looking into other options.
What I’ve settled on for the time being is ordering groceries through Amazon Fresh, which I get free with my Amazon Prime account. I place orders every two to three weeks and spend $50 to $75. Then, I purchase the essentials at the grocery store nearest my apartment as needed.
Shopping with Amazon Fresh has saved me some money
|Product||Cost in March 2021||Cost in August 2022 (Amazon Fresh)||Increase|
|Eggs||$0.72 (for 18)||$2.99 (for a dozen)||$2.51 for a dozen|
|Milk||$1.29 (for a half gallon)||$3.19 (for a half gallon)||$1.90|
|Total weekly increase||$6.21|
I wanted to compare individual food costs from March 2021 to today. However, this was more challenging than I anticipated as I’ve swapped out many of the things I used to purchase for more affordable alternatives. For example, I regularly purchased fresh berries and chicken, and now I rarely do that.
I hadn’t realized how many items I had cut from my regular weekly shopping until I began looking at my receipts. I especially cut back on purchasing meat and produce, and increased my purchase of frozen meals, canned fruits and vegetables, and dry goods such as pasta.
While I am still spending more than I used to, I was shocked, looking through the receipts, that I’ve been able to manage inflation without breaking the bank. And though the cost of all items has risen substantially, Amazon Fresh has provided me a bit of reprieve compared to the grocery store prices.