Families tighten belts as food prices soar

Idaho StatesmanOctober 10, 2011 

Boisean Sarah Nokleby used to be able to feed her family, including five kids, for $150 a week.

“These days, it’s $200 minimum,” she said last week. “I’ve been complaining to my husband about it for a while.”

Nokleby said she stopped complaining so much after a trip to Utah and Colorado, where food prices were even higher. Families in the Treasure Valley and beyond have had to adjust their shopping and eating habits to cope with significant price increases in meat, dairy, flour and sugar prices over the past year.

Nokleby’s five kids — 15, 12, 9 and two 4-year-olds — go through at least eight boxes of cereal a week (and 6 gallons of milk), so she only buys cereal with coupons and milk at Costco.

Last year, she began buying hamburger and chicken in bulk from a wholesaler.

“I have 80 pounds coming in two weeks,” she said of the meat, for which she’s paying $1.49 a pound. “You have to separate it, wrap it and freeze it. But it’s worth it. Then you have it for several months.”

Nokleby said she shops sales for everything else, including produce and snack foods. She doesn’t consider herself an “extreme couponer,” but she does buy two Sunday papers each week for extra coupons.

“We’ve pretty much given up on ice cream,” she said. “We don’t do chips unless it’s a special occasion.”

Read the complete story at idahostatesman.com

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