How Do You Deal With The Rising Cost Of Food

Business By LIllybell23 Updated 9 Oct 2014 , 8:31pm by costumeczar

LIllybell23 Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 1:45pm
post #1 of 21

  In my town last December through April I was paying .50 to .60 for 8 oz. Cream cheese at a local grocery store (extremely cheap I know)  Now I am paying 1.29 at best sometimes 1.79 or more :(  Last year I could find butter for 1.79 per lb. this year it is 4$ to 5$ per lb. which seems insanely high sometimes I can find it for 3.50 but that's the lowest.   I can't raise my prices enough it seems!  I don't want to give up because I've done this for 8 years and I enjoy it but I don't like losing money... Just looking for some practical advice on how to keep baking  I use a lot of butter in my recipes and in my icing and I sell cheese cakes as well (roughly six a week).  So the dairy prices are really killing me! 

 

Thanks!! Sarah

20 replies
cai0311 Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 3:03pm
post #2 of 21

AWell, every year everything becomes more expensive - so a yearly price increase to reflect this is normal. Maybe even twice a year if prices in your area are experiencing large changes, which it sounds like that is the case.

I would suggest stocking up when items are on sale. For example, cream cheese (used in your 6 cheese cakes a week) usually has an expiration date three months out. So you should be able to stock up when it is on sale and not have to worry about it going bad. Same for butter.

Do you mind telling us how much you charge per serving?

melmar02 Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 5:36pm
post #3 of 21

I keep a list in excel of my most used ingredients and the prices at the three stores I go to. Every 4-6 months, I price check at all three stores and add the data to the list. When I hit a certain threshold, I know I need to raise my base ingredient charge to my customer. This also gives me the opportunity to review my own labor and other costs (electric, water, marketing, etc) - I don't necessarily raise my labor charge every 6 months, but I'm working on pricing stuff anyway so it is a good time for an overall review of my pricing structure.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 5:52pm
post #4 of 21

i'm not even caking right now -- but i went ahead and re-upped at sam's club -- the quality of the meat/fish/poultry has kroger beat by a landslide -- not to mention the excellent prices on sugars/butter/cheese and produce -- add  in vanilla and eggs and it's way worth it -- 

 

just a thought for you -- whereabouts in ar are you, lillybell?

AZCouture Posted 6 Oct 2014 , 6:20pm
post #5 of 21

And don't always assume it's cheaper at the bog clubs either. Some of the stuff is absolutely more expensive, and you're better off raiding the grocery store shelves. I can't be bothered to peel twelve sticks of butter for one batch (a quadrupled batch) of buttercream, so no matter what, I buy the one pound bricks at the club. But buttermilk, smaller quantity items, usually get at the grocery store.

cakesbycathy Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 4:02pm
post #6 of 21

There's nothing wrong with raising your prices to be in line with the rising cost of ingredients.  If someone asks why you are charging more you can give them a concrete example ("Well 6 months ago I was paying around a dollar for butter, now I am paying $4") or something like that.  I'd even follow up with a "I'm sure you've noticed you're paying more for milk and eggs when you do your grocery shopping."  Or whatever food item you want to mention.

costumeczar Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 5:56pm
post #7 of 21

Raise your prices and shop around for ingredients. @AZCouture is right, I have a wholesale food account and it's cheaper to get a lot of the things at Walmart than it is to get it from the wholesaler.

Rfisher Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 6:17pm
post #8 of 21

AIf you feel you can't raise your prices enough, and you still want to bake, and you don't want to lose money... Other options are decreasing the size of your product, or lower the quality of ingredients. (Remember when Breyer sold an actual half gallon of ice cream, and it was not called frozen dairy confection.....or some other nonsense) But doing that and not outright telling your customers really makes them miffed. Just like the Breyer customers! Little tiny lettering doesn't count. Raise your prices on your dairy heavy products and come up with some items that use more economical ingredients. (Does the Dollar Store sell dairy products?) You'll keep the good customers and maybe gain some. Or rethink your SO/goals. Good luck.

kblickster Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 6:43pm
post #9 of 21

Now might be a good time to purchase butter for your holiday baking.  It's jumped to $4.00 a pound here as well and it looks like it might go higher according to this.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/everyone-loves-butter-again-if-you-can-afford-it/

-K8memphis Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 7:12pm
post #10 of 21

interesting article on one hand it says, well we don't know what this means on the other it says they haven't even raised the prices enough yet -- ouch

 

Quote:
 

So what does this mean for consumers in the months to come? That's hard to predict, Dryer said.

"... retailers... probably have not yet passed along the full impact of the wholesale price increase."

 

it's been really fluctuating here -- while sam's was $2.50 # kroger beat that by fifty cents at $2.00 a pound then they doubled at $4 a pound -- dang -- so sam's now is beating out kroger at $3 a pound -- you can get sticks or one pound bulk -- the closer it gets to thanksgiving the price should go down -- fingers crossed -- but you do really gotta watch it -- fluctuations are fast & furious right now

 

so even though Jerry Dryer, a veteran dairy and food market analyst can't predict for consumers-- i think kblickster said it best  

Quote:

Originally Posted by kblickster 
 

Now might be a good time to purchase butter for your holiday baking.  

 

and don't get whiplash watching these prices 

LIllybell23 Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 7:14pm
post #11 of 21

Thanks! All of this is good advice!  I have been raising my prices little by little I have a harder time doing it to my long time customers and good friends than new customers who don't know my prices already.  I charge about 1.50 per serving which I know a lot of people will freak out and say that's way too cheap and you're right I just couldn't get anyone to tell me a good price in the beginning so I started out at 1$ per serving which around here I could make money at 8 years ago but now it is not working out at all lol!  I have just slowly been trying to add a little though as time goes by. The cheesecakes are  more like 2$ per serving.  I have considered sams I am not sure though cause I live in a small town in North AR and the closest sams is about 2 hours away so I am not sure it would pay off in the long run...

-K8memphis Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 7:20pm
post #12 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by LIllybell23 
 

Thanks! All of this is good advice!  I have been raising my prices little by little I have a harder time doing it to my long time customers and good friends than new customers who don't know my prices already.  I charge about 1.50 per serving which I know a lot of people will freak out and say that's way too cheap and you're right I just couldn't get anyone to tell me a good price in the beginning so I started out at 1$ per serving which around here I could make money at 8 years ago but now it is not working out at all lol!  I have just slowly been trying to add a little though as time goes by. The cheesecakes are  more like 2$ per serving.  I have considered sams I am not sure though cause I live in a small town in North AR and the closest sams is about 2 hours away so I am not sure it would pay off in the long run...

 

 

yes the time & gas would hardly be worth it -- but you've got a wal-mart close enough?

 

but tell your clients it's cost of living increase -- cola -- 

LIllybell23 Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 7:41pm
post #13 of 21


Thanks!  Yes I do have a Walmart and a few local grocery stores and an aldi.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 7:54pm
post #14 of 21

aldis are hit & miss with me -- they used to have the best deal on eggs for the longest time 99 cents a dozen -- but some of their cream cheese and sour cream are weird -- butter is almost always cheaper there -- i haven't checked lately -- but it's suspect to me because of the other dairy items --

 

i can highly recommend the baked bar b q chips :-D 

cakebaby2 Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 8:10pm
post #15 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

aldis are hit & miss with me -- they used to have the best deal on eggs for the longest time 99 cents a dozen -- but some of their cream cheese and sour cream are weird -- butter is almost always cheaper there -- i haven't checked lately -- but it's suspect to me because of the other dairy items --

 

i can highly recommend the baked bar b q chips :-D 

We have Aldi here in UK and I couldn't agree more. Some things good and well priced like butter but their cheddar and cream cheeses not so good. Continental food is really good but I only use it for a few things.

LIllybell23 Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 8:30pm
post #16 of 21


Honestly I'm not a huge fan of the whole store setup at Aldi but I do go there to cut down on cost sometimes but I think they're prices were better when they opened than they are now.  It seems like if you're buying popsicles and other frozen prepackaged food they are a lot cheaper but maybe not so much on the basics like eggs and cheese.

MBalaska Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 9:19pm
post #17 of 21

It's part of life. Buying in bulk is really helpful, however if you are throwing away old, unused, or expired food, you need to calculate that into your cost also.

 

In college I used to feed myself on about $200 a month, and it cost about $5.00 to fill up the tank in my VW beetle. Prices always go UP.

Claire138 Posted 7 Oct 2014 , 9:34pm
post #18 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 
 

There's nothing wrong with raising your prices to be in line with the rising cost of ingredients.  If someone asks why you are charging more you can give them a concrete example ("Well 6 months ago I was paying around a dollar for butter, now I am paying $4") or something like that.  I'd even follow up with a "I'm sure you've noticed you're paying more for milk and eggs when you do your grocery shopping."  Or whatever food item you want to mention.

 

That's what I did when I raised my prices a few months ago. It raised eyebrows for my long time customers but I explained to them that the price of everything has been going up steadily and that surely they as shoppers must have realized this too? (I ended on a question note). Everyone said they completely understood when I put it like that.

cai0311 Posted 8 Oct 2014 , 1:25pm
post #19 of 21

AWow, $1.50 per serving. I would loose money at that price.

My 2014 pricing for buttercream cakes started at $4 per serving. I am going to have my website updated for $5 per serving in 2015.

TheItalianBaker Posted 9 Oct 2014 , 12:58pm
post #20 of 21

I have the same problem now I'm trying to price my sugar cookies for wholesale. 

Cost of my ingredients  went up, till 2 months ago I used to pay $2.50 for a pound of butter at the grocery store, now it's $3.50 (Sam's club $2.87)!

How do big wholesale bakeries keep their prices down?

Because I did my math and a decorated sugar cookie, let's say a pumpkin, costs me 0.94 cents, bag and sticker! I should sell it to stores for $1.90 which it doesn't make any sense for them..

costumeczar Posted 9 Oct 2014 , 8:31pm
post #21 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker 
 

I have the same problem now I'm trying to price my sugar cookies for wholesale.

Cost of my ingredients  went up, till 2 months ago I used to pay $2.50 for a pound of butter at the grocery store, now it's $3.50 (Sam's club $2.87)!

How do big wholesale bakeries keep their prices down?

Because I did my math and a decorated sugar cookie, let's say a pumpkin, costs me 0.94 cents, bag and sticker! I should sell it to stores for $1.90 which it doesn't make any sense for them..

For decorated sugar cookies that they sell at Stabucks, and are hard and disgusting, they charge a pretty high price, considering what they are. Check out these prices...The stores you're selling to should be able to charge at least $3.50  for a bagged, decorated cookie. http://www.cookiesbydesign.com/cookie-bouquets

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