Elgin, IL

Prices At Area Grocery Stores Are Through The Roof

Sherry McGuinn

How long before we can't afford to eat?

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Lately, every time I go to our local Jewel Foods to shop for groceries, I return home in a high state of anxiety due to the inflated prices on everything from bread to aluminum foil.

On the side of town where we live, the options for grocery shopping are limited. There's a small Jewel about two minutes from our home, an Aldi and Fresh Market, also close, and then of course a Walmart in a neighboring suburb.

We don't have a Trader Joe's or a Butera or any similar options. Those are reserved for the residential population off of Randall Road, which is teeming with strip malls filled with Super Targets, Caputo's, Valli Foods, and the like.

I don't know why we're so bereft of choices, here. Perhaps developers thought the residents on my side of the tracks weren't worth the effort. What I do know: Food prices are at the point where something's gotta give, and soon.

The other day, I was at Jewel and remembered that I'd run out of aluminum foil. I grabbed a fifty-yard tube of the "heavy duty" foil and, when I saw the price, threw it back. It was $5 on sale! And this was Jewel's "Signature" store brand. I'm sorry, but that's outrageous.

So, I hightailed it down the block to Aldi where I found the shiny stuff for two dollars less.

Speaking of Aldi, and this was a total shock, I went there today to grab a few items for dinner, and when I went to check out, couldn't believe what I saw: All the lanes except two were gone.

I'm certain you can guess what they were replaced by: Self-service checkout stations! At Aldi, which has become one of my favorite stores and where the checkers are so fast, the lines could be out the door and shoppers barely have to wait.

What a disappointment. Although, I don't know why I'm surprised as self-service has become a "thing," virtually everywhere. Walmart, Jewel, Aldi, and most likely a plethora of other stores.

What do you readers think about this? Not only are we paying through the nose for staples, but now, we're doing the work, as well.

I can deal with a six-dollar loaf of bread if that's what it costs to get the "added fiber" and stay healthy, but I'm sorry, scanning and bagging it deserves a tip, at least.

For now, I'm going to do my best to ensure that my husband and I eat every last thing in our fridge and pantry that we can possibly throw together to make a meal. Either that, or start buying lottery tickets.

Nope. Can't afford those, either.

Thanks for reading and again, I'd love to hear your thoughts as to where you think the best values are. If, anywhere!

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