Nearly every part of this year’s Thanksgiving celebration is expected to cost more. While we got a break from breaking the wallet last year; this year’s holiday is seeing labor shortages, transportation costs way up, a gummed up supply chain, severe weather impacts due to climate change, increased demand, and inflation all conflating to crimp your cash.
We’ve put together several ideas to consider this year to take some of the pain out of the price tag. They’re great for holiday planning, but really good for the rest of the year too.
SIDE NOTE: We know that too many of us simply do not have many choices of what and how much food we can get. With that in mind, we offer these points to help make our store as accessible and available to as many people as possible.
Get ahead of the rush, potential supply shortages, price creep, and unexpected delays. From most economist accounts, things won’t be getting any cheaper as the year goes on. We have a lot of shelf stable items that will last you through Thanksgiving.
And with the supply chain being a little goofy still, we may run out of some things here and there. We don’t expect anything like the panic buying we’ve seen before so there’s no need to do that. Our staff is here and ready to help facilitate every step of your holiday shopping process.
A little planning ahead will go a long way.
We earn our keep by selling food so it may be a little weird for us to say this – but don’t overbuy!
We’re also citizens of this planet and care deeply about our climate emergency and food waste accounts for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the airline industry!
Of the 30-40% of food supply that is wasted, it’s estimated that over 40% of that is on the consumer side; more than restaurants and retailers combined. This is largely a result of overbuying.
So when you shop; come with a list, make a plan for leftovers, decide needs vs wants, and confront the fear of running out. It’s unlikely to happen. And if it does, it’s worth remembering that we’re still recovering from a global pandemic that upended everything.
PS. According to national food waste expert Dana Gunders, about 204 million pounds of turkey will get thrown away over Thanksgiving this season; wasting 100 BILLION gallons of water and producing emissions equivalent to driving a car across the country 80,000 times.
We have a lot of high-quality staples for the holiday on sale right now. We’ve got broths, flour, canned pumpkin, canned veggies, frozen veggies, roasts, dairy, and more featured in our bi-monthly sales cycle.
For consistently low prices on natural and organic fare, we highly recommend Cadia. Cadia is specifically produced for local, natural markets and provides an affordable alternative to your favorite organic products. And Cadia’s firm belief is sustainable farming and sourcing high-quality ingredients doesn’t come at a higher cost.
And if you’re really digging these deep deals, shimmy over to our Disco shelf. While we love all the products that come through our store, some of them don’t gain as much traction with customers as we may have hoped. When products are discontinued, we sell them here for 30% off.
You’ll find a mix of items, including foods for your feast like today’s shelf featuring chicken broth, bags of rice, coconut oil, condiments, crackers, beans, and seasonings, all marked 30% off.
Adaptability goes a long way when it comes to shopping on a budget. While everyone has their favorite brands, checking out a great sale on a lesser known product can add some adventure and fun to your shopping routine. And of course save you money.
Ask about our Senior Discount
After enjoying a rich holiday meal with your loved ones, you may feel gravity leading you to the recliner to digest. May we suggest perusing our extensive health and wellness department where you’ll find an array of herbal blends, relaxing teas, and supportive probiotics to sooth your system. Our Senior customers aged 65 year and up are eligible for 10% off all supplements that are not currently on sale. Seniors are encouraged to take advantage of these great savings when stocking your medicine cabinet year round.
This year, with smaller gatherings and challenging economics, it may make sense to outsource your meal. Whereas you may have to buy dozens of ingredients you rarely use, restaurants and food service operations have most of what they need on hand, more direct access to supplies and ingredients, and can buy at scale. You’ll also get a pre-cooked meal out of it saving you energy and time.
The joy of cooking and preparing a meal is certainly part of the tradition of the holiday, so you may want to only outsource a bit and get an a la carte approach. There’s plenty of time and effort in prepping and plating pre-ordered meals, but you may save some dough and get a little extra time to enjoy the day.
If a pre-ordered meal sounds appealing, our Castro Valley food counter, Tomato Eats, has put together a terrific menu. There are meals, vegetarian included, and all dishes are also available a la carte. All meals will be pre-cooked and reheating instructions will be provided. You can pick them up on the 23rd or 24th in either our Castro Valley or Alameda store.
The turkey will undoubtedly be the most expensive part of any meal – and the most waste-producing. We know the holiday is built around having a bird on the table, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be new traditions.
There is no great analog to turkey, but the meatless roasts have come a long way in recent years and some meat alternatives are nearly indistinguishable from the real deal. Beyond that there are abundant pot pie, lasagnas, casseroles, and other plant-based dishes that are hearty and satisfying. It’s a pretty big departure from tradition, but for many, it is a better way.
If you do get a bird, make sure it comes from a reputable place with humane and ethical growing practices.
There’s help out there if you need it and qualify for it, and there is absolutely no shame or harm in taking it. That’s what it’s there for.
To see if you qualify and to apply online visit getcalfresh.org. The application takes about 10 minutes. After that, you’ll be contacted by the County within a week or two, and if approved, will get your EBT card within about 10 days. Which you can then use at many farmer’s markets and retailers – our stores included.
If you’re in need of more immediate assistance, you can visit cafoodbanks.org/find-food/ to find a local food bank.
And if you do come from a place of security, please consider donating your time or money to local organizations that feed our less fortunate. They are facing the same cost increases in goods as we all are. What’s more, many are reporting decreases in donations too.
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