A reader named Angelika left me a comment the other day regarding price differences between the Midwest and other areas of the country. She was talking specifically about the Tri-State area, but I suspect those of you in other higher COL areas might have similar experiences.
You can read the full text of Angelika’s question here, but this is the part I wanted to address today:
I live in the tri-state NY area, where prices, even with sales/coupons, seem to be much higher than those you advertise, even for the same stores, like Target, Office Depot, etc. I have simply NEVER seen deals like the ones you get (.07/cereal, a few cents for a bottle of water, etc. I looked at your price book and was in complete shock) in NY or CT. I know that you live in KC–do you think that regional price differences can make a huge difference on your budget–not only on food and other grocery staples, but on other costs, like rent and buying a home? Are the deals you get in KC available here in the NY/CT area, but I am somehow missing them?
There is no doubt that regional pricing can affect the non-sale cost of purchasing many food and household items. The Midwest definitely has lower COL than the coasts, although some items can be less expensive there than here. I’m thinking of produce in California and Florida, but I’m sure there are other examples as well.
All of that said, the incredible deals that I share with you here are always from combining sales with coupons, and often times other store incentives as well. I’m fairly certain that the Office Depot deal on water was national, as the blogger I got it from lives in the Mid Atlantic region. The cereal deal was regional, but I have no doubt that with sales and coupons, anyone in the U.S. can get a box of cereal for $1 or less (consider that a challenge ;-)).
The prices you saw in my price book post are my targets for stocking up. Those aren’t the non-sale prices! But remember: Everyone shops at different stores, in different parts of the country, and buys different items, which is why I was a bit hesitant at first to publish my price book prices.
If you want to find out about the best deals in your region, my suggestion is to go to Money Saving Mom’s Store Deals. She has a network of frugal bloggers from around the country doing coupon match-ups for over 100 stores.
They are not kosher bloggers, so if you keep kosher you will have to sort through the deals that don’t work for you. But these bloggers do the work for you of going through advanced copies of the circulars and finding the coupons that will better those sales.
When you check out bloggers from your area, I have no doubt you will find equally amazing deals. Maybe it won’t be $.07 for a box of cereal, but it might be free toilet paper or $.20 for a box of pasta. There are awesome deals to be had nationwide, even if the base pricing is regionally influenced.
Hope that helps to answer your question a bit. And thanks for being a reader!
P.S. There is no doubt that housing/rent is FAR less expensive in the Midwest. When my friends in East Brunswick told me what they paid not only for their house but for their annual property tax bill, I about died! I don’t know how they do it!
Do you have a question about keeping kosher on a budget? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or contact me.