Rising food prices: a recipe for frugal families, cook more to spend less

Rising food prices: a recipe for frugal families, cook more to spend less


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Pauline is 30 years old. Married, mother of 2 children, unemployed, must make do with the couple’s income: € 1,700 per month including CAF. Françoise is a nurse. As a couple with 2 children, her partner has € 80 restaurant tickets a month to limit the impact of rising prices. Less prepared meals, more cooking, their solutions to deal with soaring food prices in Tarn.

Their mother doesn’t work … even though she has a lot of work at home, my father is a mechanic, the family’s income is limited to 1,700 euros a month, including help from Caf. However, Sofia and her big sister have never eaten so well since the beginning of the year.
This is the paradox of soaring food prices, Pauline’s mother changed the way she shopped. “I had € 500 to € 600 a month for the four of us. I rarely went to the market. Since the beginning of the year, I have been going there every Thursday, buying fresh produce and cooking much more. That’s how we get there. »

Evidence with a civic field course for Sofia, who used the Ascension Thursday to follow her mother to the Saint-Juéry market near Albi; first!
Head to the Chalet aux fruits stand, 65 running meters of self-service fruit and vegetables, with a little waiting at the four checkouts, which will allow you to complete the narrow circuit, but the game is worth the effort. “My cart is full.” I have € 18 because I will take my parents and brother this weekend. So I took some accessories. But I usually buy fruit and vegetables here between € 10 and € 13, it’s 20 to 25% cheaper than elsewhere and I like it from Thursday to Thursday. »

Good meat at a low price

As for meat, she found two other good offers: Marché d’Orient in Albi, where she finds very good local meat with a first price of 10 EUR per kg. A Portes d’Orient in Séquestre, where he buys boxes of 20 to 25 chicken legs for EUR 13.90. “When I go there, I’ll take three boxes and freeze them. When I take out my thighs, I make them in the oven, in the casserole, in the tomato sauce, in the stew … They never get the impression that they are eating the same thing. »

Sofia confirms with a big smile. “And tomato sauce, I make it myself, the same for bolognese,” Pauline continues, looking satisfied. With fresh products for the same price, I earn much more than what I find in glasses in supermarkets. Besides, it’s better. And it freezes, too. I definitely spend more time than before cooking, but thanks to that we eat better and cheaper. In any case, if we continued to consume as before, it would not pass with rising prices. »

Cooking fresh costs less and is healthier than ready meals.

An increase that did not have the same impact on Françoise. This liberal sister, also the mother of two, has two salaries, so food is not part of the budgets she intends to save. On the other hand, she is more careful than before not to lose vegetables from the garden and restaurant tickets paid for 40% of the face value thanks to her husband’s company. “We are against ready meals; Cooking costs less and is healthier than foods that contain more salt and sugar, not to mention antibiotics and plastic packaging. »

Cooking to keep savings in the cold in the event of a hard blow, a recipe that seems to please these two families.

Thanks to self-service, this primeur sells 25% less than the market price

“Fruit Hut” in Toulouse, another in the Séquestre in Tarn Gardening, four markets in Tarn, six in Haute-Garonne, this is a proven recipe that has allowed Eric Belgioino to expand in 20 years. “We buy large volumes at lower prices while maintaining quality. And we will also save on the payroll. It is true that in the supermarket there is a bit of a loss due to goods damaged by customers. But they like to choose, and this allows us to offer them products 20 to 25% cheaper than average. In a few hours, 7 tons of goods were found at his stand at the Saint-Juéry market on Thursday.

Marché d’Orient decided to reduce its margins in order to retain its customers

The increase in material costs could not have come for Zoubeyr Mahy at a worse time, a year after “Le Marché d’Orient” moved to larger premises in Albi, a few meters from the previous one. With the loan to be repaid, logic would dictate that it pass on the fee increase to its selling prices. Or when he sacrifices quality, he who is used to picking his animals on the hoof, from the traditional cattle and sheep farms in Tarn or Aveyron. But the former fugitive, who became an entrepreneur, experienced suffering before seeing his work as rewarded. The French-Kurdish businessman therefore preferred to “cut” from his margins, so as not to bear the situation for the most difficult French.

So, like the ‘Chalet aux Fruits’, the Marché d’Orient played to buy large quantities at lower prices. This way he managed to increase 5 kg of groats from € 7.95 to € 6.95 this year.

He kept low prices for brushes (EUR 7.95 per kg) and merguez sausages (EUR 8.50 per kg). And reduced the damage to finer meat. And to mention poultry, he bought 40% more expensive than in 2021, which he resells today for 11.95 EUR per kg compared to 10.95 EUR per kg a year ago (+ 9%). “I pay twice as much for lamb, but I have limited the increase from 100% to just over 12%. I got from EUR 15.95 to EUR 17.95 per kilo.” Always cheaper than anywhere else, like beef.

However, in order for Zoubeyr Mahy to maintain such prices, he had to save money wherever possible. It went from 11 to 8 employees plus an apprentice. “In exchange for what my wife and I have never worked so hard for. I work 90 hours a week,” admits a man everyone in the company calls a “boss.” Never mind, despite the drawn features all these employees trained to save energy and water. The release of personal energy, which he does not regret. “We need to overcome the crisis with dignity and not kill customers at too high prices. We try to be as reasonable as possible so that it doesn’t burden people too much.” And customers pay him back. Marché d’Orient remains a very popular address in Tarn.



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