I Got Groceries and Realized the Effect of Inflation

All the sili memes got me wondering how inflation affected my everyday living.

We are a family of four. My mom, dad, and 10-year-old brother live in a 2-storey house in Mandaluyong. I am always the one in charge to get groceries, which is okay because I have a job and paying for food really isn’t an issue for me.

Our electricity, water, cable and WiFi bills are average; there isn’t really much change unless the weather is extra warm and we have to use air-conditioning or extra electric fans. Our bills are not always the same. They increase and decrease, but they have an average. The groceries, though, have a monthly budget.

If you’ve seen the news, you know that the Philippines’ inflation rate has drastically increased. The inflation rate refers to the increase in the prices of goods.The surge to 6.4% in August 2018 is the highest in ASEAN, passing the government’s target of 2-4%. Though the inflation rate differs per industry, NCR felt it higher at 7%. This is where food, household expenses, and transportation (among others) get higher prices.

Have you bought any groceries lately?

Though many people attribute the increase to expensive oil prices, economist believes that it is also because of different factors. One thing is for sure, though: our budget for groceries can no longer buy enough.

What’s your household budget?

Our bills range from Php5,000-6,000, while our groceries that should last for two weeks are at Php1,000-2,000.

For a family of four, this is our average. The budget is also affected by the family members’ behavior. Though we are a family of four people, my dad and I barely eat at home. My brother and mom spend the day at home, though, making them consume more food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My groceries before August always vost around Php1,000-2,000 for two weeks. It went to Php2,300 one time because I bought extra stuff that we don’t normally shop for. In September, my usual grocery items’ total soared to Php3,000-3,700.

As I was standing by the counter, I wanted to put some of the items back. I was looking at the things I bought; nothing was new or extra for me to get this (way) higher total.

I traced back my steps. I remember getting two carrots for more than Php60 and a bag of baby potatoes for Php80. I was never too specific about the prices of what I bought. I just made sure that they weren’t too expensive or too far away from the prices I usually buy them for. I ended up paying Php3,600 for two weeks of groceries.

Two weeks later, I went back to the grocery store and took it upon myself to check each price tag and make sure that they were following the SRPs that the DTI had imposed. I wanted to make sure that all of the things that I bought were properly priced, so I wouldn’t have to spend more than my set budget. I also made sure I watched out for special deals so I could save.

Adobo, caldereta, sinigang, afritada, and ginataang kalabasa. Those are some of the usual dishes we eat at home. I almost never buy pork for health purposes, so the main meats I buy are chicken and beef. I buy easy-to-cook food, as well, like hotdogs and chicken nuggets for my brother’s baon in school. I also get vegetables for our ulam plus some bread, milk, and toiletries. These are my usuals.

So there I was, back at the counter. All of my things were scanned and the total was Php2,600. It’s still higher than my Php2,000 budget, so I plan to try and spend less on my next trip to the grocery store. I am also planning to look for a grocery store with lower prices or maybe even check out the local palengke.

Honestly, everything has increased in price, so we should plan our finances better and find more ways to save.

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