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Gifted Gourmet

Getting milked in the San Francisco area

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article from San Francisco Gate

A gallon of milk costs 29 percent more in the Bay Area than it does, on average, across the country, a consumer group reports.

It adds up to a big bill for a common, and sometimes necessary, purchase. "Our survey shows that big grocery supermarkets are gouging consumers and earning huge profits from this important family grocery staple,'' said Elisa Odabashian, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union's West Coast office in San Francisco.

The report  found the average price for a gallon of milk was $4.71, or 29 percent higher than the $3.66 average price reported by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in a survey of 29 major U.S. cities outside California.

Is this possibly something new or has the price of milk been escalating more recently, Bay area eGulleteers?

Are you surprised by this report? Or is this yet another typical high cost thing so very typical of this area which you have gotten comfortable in accepting? :rolleyes:

Let's hear your "take" on this!


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Wow, I just paid ~$2.50 for a gallon of 1% yesterday in NJ. It was on sale though.

But that view of the Golden Gate Bridge has to be worth something perhaps?? :laugh:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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We buy organic milk at Trader Joe's. It's a bit more, but I'd just as soon spend the extra dollar or two a week to know that the milk I drink is not full of hormones/chemicals/etc.

Does anyone buy their milk from a local dairy farmer or small cooperative directly?


allison

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Highest Milk prices, highest GAS prices - are just a few.

The fun and good times don't come cheap here on the Left coast.

But we suffer through it.

Oh we suffer....

Another glass of wine anyone?


"Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage."

Woody Allen

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Like Janet, I rarely buy milk unless a recipe calls for it. The half-and-half I buy for coffee is about $1.75 a pint. Is that expensive? I don't even know. :blink:

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I generally don't think about the cost of things like milk, bread, eggs, etc when I'm at the store. Is it really a cause for concern to pay a 29 cent difference from the average per/.5gal? I hate to get screwed by the man, but I'm more worried about paying my mortgage, property taxes, etc. My food costs are so minimal compared to other things.

Of course, I would add that our milk tastes better in California. :wink:

But that view of the Golden Gate Bridge has to be worth something perhaps??

I pay for that too, everytime I cross it. Its been a few months, shouldn't GGT be raising the toll again... :raz:

[edit for clarity]


Edited by rdailey (log)

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But that view of the Golden Gate Bridge has to be worth something perhaps??

I pay for that too, everytime I cross it. Its been a few months, shouldn't GGT be raising it again... :raz:

Actually I just read somewhere (can't remember... SFGate?) that they're considering it.

Back on topic: I don't pay much attention to what I pay for basic groceries, either. (I happened to spot a receipt in the pile of papers on my desk, which is how I got the $1.75 figure for the half-and-half.) But I don't buy groceries at the major supermarket chains. It doesn't really come as a surprise to me that they're screwing their customers. What did surprise me is that California produces over 1/5 of the nation's milk! Who knew?

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What did surprise me is that California produces over 1/5 of the nation's milk! Who knew?

Apparently they did! :shock:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I generally don't think about the cost of things like milk, bread, eggs, etc when I'm at the store. Is it really a cause for concern to pay a 29 cent difference from the average per/.5gal?

Still might not make a difference to you--but the article mentioned 29 percent difference (not 29 cents). With their data that came out to be ~ $1.05 extra for a gallon of milk.

Admittedly I don't know how supermarkets price various items to come out with a net profit--but having markups on basic staples like milk (the article mentions 60-89% markups) does seem insane to me. It may not be a large problem for single people or couples w/o children (myself included) but it sounds like these prices would definately add to hardship for families with kids.

That is, even if they are avoiding junk foods or processed food and are just buying basics they are still being gouged. Butter and egg prices are ridiculus out here as well. By shopping around one can do a bit better (Trader Joes has good butter and egg prices for example).


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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We buy organic milk at Trader Joe's. It's a bit more, but I'd just as soon spend the extra dollar or two a week to know that the milk I drink is not full of hormones/chemicals/etc.

Does anyone buy their milk from a local dairy farmer or small cooperative directly?

I switched a couple of years ago to organic milk (2%, half-gallon, at the Safeway that is one block from my house), usually when it's on sale. We only drink milk in our morning tea (Oh. Shut. Up.), and I agree with MsMelkor that it's worth it to me not to think about the crap that cows ingest.

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I buy the regular milk at Trader Joe's and it is cheaper than at the bigger chains. I buy a lot of dairy there. The house-brand butter is a lot cheaper than at the store and it is of decent quality. The house brand is about $2.69/lb and the Plugra is only $.60 or so more.

I buy cream Berkeley Farms Manufacturing cream in 1/2 gallon containers at Smart and Final for about $6. I also buy milk there once in a while... I think their gallon price is around $3.50. Their butter price, when purchased in the unsegmented 3lb box, is the best around (usually less than $5).

Wow... Does it seem like I buy a lot of butter?

I guess I do and that doesn't even take into account the butter I often make with the left-over manufacturing cream (cultured of course)....

Going back to the topic. If I were to buy my milk at the big chain stores, or Andronico's etc.., it would be very close to $5/gallon. Milk and cream prices always drift upward in the summer due to higher demand from ice cream manufacturers. However, this year has been particularly tough on dairy consumers.

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wowsa! since when did prices shoot up like that?! prices are always higher in the coasts...i think i used to pay $3.94 per gallon for organic milk...bay area was *always* pricey...they better get their act straight..it is no longer the 'silicon valley'...its time to fix their shit or its going to be a ghost town..my friend in iowa says that he pays 69c per gallon...but he is a bull shitter..but even trippling the price...the price index @coasts are always higher...

btw.. Dairy prices appear set to fall from record highs ...

btw...here is the seed for another of my pet peeves.

pepsi = 89c/gallon. milk $4.71/gallon. i rest my case.

edited to add from the news article:

The people who won't benefit from the scenario are the farmers.

Farmers were paid record low prices over the last two years before March or April of this year. In some cases, dairy producers were paid as little as 95 cents per gallon for their milk, Rogers said.

The resulting bruising put many farmers out of business, and others cut back on their operations, which caused a dwindling supply of milk.

there was an excellent article in the charlotte observer several months ago about the demise of dairy farms in north carolina...maybe kpurvis can point it to us?


Edited by Lalitha (log)

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We go through a lot of milk. No kids, just us and I'm talking the good old whole milk, none of this 2%, 1% or such and the prices are high out here. WIth one exception. We are in Antioch and out here we have a WinnCo. Hell it is a chain but I'd never heard of them before. Safeway milk is 4.13 a gallon. WinnCo, for Berkeley Farms (which has been my favorite since I was a kid) it is only $2.75 there. Also Whipping Cream. 2.79-2.95 everywhere else and 1.79 there. (And that is up from the 1.38 it was a month ago!) I also find butter there for 2.75 as opposed to 3.65 to 4+ elsewhere.

With costs being what they are out here I do have different stores for different things and there is a significant enough difference to make it worthwhile.


Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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I completely agree with shopping for different things in different stores. It makes me seem like a freak to go to three or more places to get all I need. But I really think I not only get better prices but fresher products, often of the same brands. Because of their lower prices I think Smart and Final stores move eggs and dairy very quickly so they are a lot more fresh than at the other grocery chains. Trader Joe’s moves a good deal of dairy and because they are more convenient I often go there when I can’t hit the S&F. The S&F doesn’t have a lot of good cheese so for that I’ll go to TJ’s. Costco has good prices on milk, but they don’t generally carry heavy cream and they don’t always have unsalted butter, which is the only way I buy it. The local grocery stores (albertson’s and safeway) have terrible prices on eggs and the dairy products I buy and some of their eggs show pack dates weeks older than the eggs at either TJ’s, S&F or Costco. I don’t usually check pack dates on dairy, but I suspect their story is similar. I will go to the albertson’s and safeway only to get stuff where fresh doesn’t matter as much and the prices are competitive or I don’t want to purchase in volume. I go to the highfalutin markets, a butcher shop, or costco for my meat, fresh poultry, and fish.

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..The half-and-half I buy for coffee is about ...

Remains a mystery to me why people buy half and half.

You should just make up your mind, don't you think, Squeat? :huh:

The only milk I buy and drink is Strauss non-homoginized organic whole milk. It tastes good. I like it, and I like the politics. I have no idea how much it costs.


Edited by pim (log)

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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..The half-and-half I buy for coffee is about ...

Remains a mystery to me why people buy half and half.

You should just make up your mind, don't you think, Squeat? :huh:

Not sure I see your point. I have made up my mind. I like half-and-half in my coffee. (When I drink it hot -- I like my iced coffee black.)

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..The half-and-half I buy for coffee is about ...

Remains a mystery to me why people buy half and half.

You should just make up your mind, don't you think, Squeat? :huh:

Not sure I see your point. I have made up my mind. I like half-and-half in my coffee. (When I drink it hot -- I like my iced coffee black.)

It's a joke that only I get, apparently.

half and half...

milk and cream...

make up your mind?

<nevermind> :unsure:


chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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I generally don't think about the cost of things like milk, bread, eggs, etc when I'm at the store. Is it really a cause for concern to pay a 29 cent difference from the average per/.5gal?

Um, that's 29 percent higher, not 29 cents.

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Well, if you get so angry at the price of milk, you decide to go soy-WOL, IMHO, the only soy milk worth drinking is Sun Soy. Actually, I'm less picky than that, but Sun Soy is easily the best.

Take it from someone who can't have milk (well, I can, but it causes people around me great suffering) :wink:


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I generally don't think about the cost of things like milk, bread, eggs, etc when I'm at the store. Is it really a cause for concern to pay a 29 cent difference from the average per/.5gal?

Um, that's 29 percent higher, not 29 cents.

Got it...thanks.

Sheesh, I guess I should have said 37 cents as that is the 29% difference per half gallon versus the national average and my local supermarket. Only 8 cents off... :raz:

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