As a caterer, I see all too well the increases in food prices. Rather than pass along the inflated prices to my customers, I’m trying harder to use different staples in my food. I used to be a brand buyer but now I try to buy more generic items to save money. Here’s a cool trick I want to share with readers: On food labels, look for the plant number on the back. Many name-brand and generic items are made in the same plant, but because of the name you’re paying more. For example, a major well-known brand of cheese and Key Food’s brand of cheese are both OU and both come from the same plant, but there is a significant price difference.
I can’t walk into a store and just buy items casually like before. I have to limit my choices and so shopping has become less fun. We also can’t go around as much due to the high gas prices.
I’m eating out less. The price of food is shocking. I remember buying a bagel for 40 cents and now it’s a dollar. This didn’t happen gradually – it almost seems like it occurred overnight. I try to only buy necessities. I also use my ’93 Corolla more than my 2005 truck to conserve on gas. In my line of business, I unfortunately see foreclosures, evictions, and bankruptcies all too often.
–Gary Rose, New York City marshal
When I look for clothes I don’t buy brand names as much anymore since it really doesn’t matter what the label says. I also go out to eat less than before. I was shocked when recently I went to the grocer to buy a few plums and a bottle of water and the bill came out to $10!
–Tara Chariton, 7th grade student