Breakfast bacon, $22 a pound?
It’s not even the artisanal kind — just ordinary bacon, precooked. Would a BLT be quite as delectable if you made it with bacon that cost three times the federal minimum wage? Not artisanal bacon, mind you, or even one of the fancier versions of everyday pork. Just ordinary bacon that the folks at Oscar Mayer cooked in advance, ringing up at $22.22 per pound at a Seattle supermarket. Sometimes convenience food is worth it because it makes life a little easier during hectic times. But if your grocery bill is over the top, take a closer look at the prices you’re paying. Yesterday I poked around a Seattle supermarket (from a regional chain with prices typical of other supermarkets), alternately laughing and shuddering. You might, too, if you did the math on what convenience is costing you. Here are 15 other foods that caught my eye.
“Baby-cut” carrots. These were $1.84 per pound; whole carrots were 99 cents a pound. You’re paying almost twice as much.
Washed and wrapped in plastic, sweet potatoes were $1.67 apiece and regular potatoes were $1. Unwashed taters were $1.24 and 67 cents, respectively. Not much of a difference, but how much work is it to rinse off a potato? (Post continues after video.)
Shredded iceberg lettuce
It cost $4 a pound, vs. 65 cents a pound for head lettuce.
A bag of mostly iceberg was $2.40 per pound. The fancier blends are even more expensive.
Stir-fry vegetable mix
The store chopped up a few vegetables (peppers, broccoli, cauliflower) and charged $3.99 a pound. Sold solo, those varieties cost no more than $1.29 per pound.
This office potluck staple cost a whopping $12.99. It weighed 3 pounds, but 8 ounces of that was dressing; the tray and lid weighed several ounces, too.
Someone’s knife skills meant $3.99 a pound; whole melons were 99 cents to $1.29 a pound. Even though that includes rind, I doubt you’re paying for $3 worth.
Soup At Hand
This is a microwavable variety of Campbell’s, for $3.85 a pound. Regular canned soup is $2.22.
Kids love these things, but the per-pound cost is $3.77. Jarred applesauce is $1.24 per pound. Buy yourself some reusable containers, already.
The nuke-able stuff costs $3.89 to $7.96 a pound. Compare that to the $1.25-a-pound plain kernels on the shelf below. (I got it even cheaper at an ethnic market. For links to exotic recipes, see “The world’s most frugal snack.”)
Too busy to shred the $4.50-a-pound block? Buy it pre-slivered for $8.58. They’ll throw in some potato starch, “cellulose powder” and mold inhibitor for good measure. Yum.
Snack-sized cheddar cheese
Handy li’l 1/4-oz. pieces of the same kind of cheddar work out to a whopping $12.59 a pound. You should always cut the cheese yourself (assuming we’re still talking about cheddar).