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Old 03-25-2011, 06:32 AM
 
Location: New England
11,640 posts, read 7,593,954 times
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LiveContent, thanks for your input as well as the links. It really is a challenge to be a knowledgeable consumer. There is so much out there in candyland, so much that when one thinks of how the majority of the world lives and survives it boggles the imagination.

I remember my Italian grandmother who grew up around Boston saying how when she was a kid all the kids loved to eat dulse washed up from the sea onto the beaches. That was no doubt the only "supplement" they got and it was a food. She and her siblings lived to a ripe old age.

I wish we could just simplify things. I have a hard time believing that a pill in a bottle has any live active nutrients or enzymes, it was created in a lab for heavens sake, and probably months ago, then vacuum sealed in a bottle. And that bottle probably costs $25!
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:00 AM
 
1,445 posts, read 2,390,611 times
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Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I live near Denver and if you know where to look and how to buy--food is cheap. Every Thanksgiving the Sooper Markets sell turkeys for about 5-6 dollars. King Soopers (Kroger) sold 20 lb. plus turkey for $6. This has been going on for years. I buy at least one extra, sometimes more and make multiple meals. I have been buying onions for 2o cents a lb.--brown, white and sometimes red. Carrots are available for 49-79 cents a lb.
Livecontent
I don't live in an area with a Hispanic population, thus no Hispanic markets. The ethnic markets here are Asian, and the prices vary. It's a college town, and prices are jacked up all over the place, in rents, food, groceries, etc. The Asian market here has a good selection of veggies, and I do buy the bok choy regularly, but it's still $1.69/lb (compared to $3.59/lb in a grocery store). Ginger is $1.99/lb compared to $2.99/lb, so there are a few "bargains."

I skip the farmer's markets here too, they are a huge rip off, and have turned into "boutique" shopping with inflated prices and questionable sources (not local). I'm so sick of being scammed and ripped off in general with regard to food shopping (shrinking packages, poor quality, etc), and farm markets are one more example.

I carry a calculator to the store to check unit prices, and this has become essential. Grocery prices here even with sales at the local Kroger and Meijer, are much higher than you listed. Onions, for example, are $2.30 for 3 lbs (except when they get a batch of poor quality, rotting onions and dump it off for $1.29/3 lbs). I buy a lot of greens to cook and even collards or turnip greens, for example, run $1.69/lb and you end up throwing away half in the spoiled leaves and thick stems. Forget fresh apples, berries and peppers. All are $1.99/lb year round, and I'm not paying $1.00 for an apple. Nor am I willing to pay $1.50 for one green pepper, or $2.00 for one red pepper. It's outrageous. And these are conventional vegetables, not organic.

There aren't any road side stands around here, as there used to be in the past. Probably people are too busy working 2-3 jobs to staff the stand. The U-pick places around here are exorbitant. $5.00/quart for U-pick raspberries and blueberries? Not for me.

Trader Joe's is good for a lot of things at modest prices, but I've noticed they are shrinking their packages (jams, cereals, etc) and raising prices on most products. I never go to Whole Foods, which is a huge rip off and the customers are too pushy and arrogant. Don't need that on a shopping trip.

I am looking for a better place to retire, as my rent is high, as is my health insurance (I'm pre-medicare and pay out of pocket for individual ins). College towns are touted in some publications as good places to retire, but they cater to students and the cost of living is jacked up accordingly for all those "rich" students. Plus, this is a car-dependent town. Ideally, it would be nice to find a place with good public transportation, when the time comes down the road that one cannot drive.

Last edited by xz2y; 03-25-2011 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:22 AM
 
4,749 posts, read 8,265,317 times
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xz2y,

I live in Arvada which is south from Boulder, Colorado. Yes, I have also noticed that food prices and all prices of all items are jacked up in Boulder. Boulder has become an island of the higher income consumers. The farmers market is exactly as you describe as "boutique" shopping. Since there exist few poor striving ethnic groups, there exist no real values in Asian and Hispanic Foods. It is much different than the real commercial farmers markets that I have experienced in my youth and the wonderful roadside stands in the great fertile farming areas of New York.

It is interesting that you note that Whole Foods have customers that are "pushy and arrogant". I have noticed it and being an ex New Yorker, the capital of pushy and arrogant--it is in my radar to spot. People are just not friendly; they are into their own world of "me"! Perhaps they look at me as not belonging--ugly and disabled.

Boulder does have excellent public transportation as the community does provide extra funding to the Regional Transportation District. That is one good result of the liberal college community which embraces the advantages to the environment of public transportation. You can easily live in many areas of Boulder without a car which may make up for some of the other higher costs.

Today, I am going down the road to a Denver local Hispanic Market, Azteca Ranch Market, and buy some good cheap fresh vegetables. Some people are afraid to venture beyond the traditional supermarkets because they feel threatened by people that are not of their color and speak "strange"--for me, it is a grand adventure of living the real "diverse" life.

Livecontent
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: New England
11,640 posts, read 7,593,954 times
Reputation: 8078
Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
I don't live in an area with a Hispanic population, thus no Hispanic markets. The ethnic markets here are Asian, and the prices vary. It's a college town, and prices are jacked up all over the place, in rents, food, groceries, etc. The Asian market here has a good selection of veggies, and I do buy the bok choy regularly, but it's still $1.69/lb (compared to $3.59/lb in a grocery store). Ginger is $1.99/lb compared to $2.99/lb, so there are a few "bargains."

I skip the farmer's markets here too, they are a huge rip off, and have turned into "boutique" shopping with inflated prices and questionable sources (not local). I'm so sick of being scammed and ripped off in general with regard to food shopping (shrinking packages, poor quality, etc), and farm markets are one more example.

I carry a calculator to the store to check unit prices, and this has become essential. Grocery prices here even with sales at the local Kroger and Meijer, are much higher than you listed. Onions, for example, are $2.30 for 3 lbs (except when they get a batch of poor quality, rotting onions and dump it off for $1.29/3 lbs). I buy a lot of greens to cook and even collards or turnip greens, for example, run $1.69/lb and you end up throwing away half in the spoiled leaves and thick stems. Forget fresh apples, berries and peppers. All are $1.99/lb year round, and I'm not paying $1.00 for an apple. Nor am I willing to pay $1.50 for one green pepper, or $2.00 for one red pepper. It's outrageous. And these are conventional vegetables, not organic.

There aren't any road side stands around here, as there used to be in the past. Probably people are too busy working 2-3 jobs to staff the stand. The U-pick places around here are exorbitant. $5.00/quart for U-pick raspberries and blueberries? Not for me.

Trader Joe's is good for a lot of things at modest prices, but I've noticed they are shrinking their packages (jams, cereals, etc) and raising prices on most products. I never go to Whole Foods, which is a huge rip off and the customers are too pushy and arrogant. Don't need that on a shopping trip.

I am looking for a better place to retire, as my rent is high, as is my health insurance (I'm pre-medicare and pay out of pocket for individual ins). College towns are touted in some publications as good places to retire, but they cater to students and the cost of living is jacked up accordingly for all those "rich" students. Plus, this is a car-dependent town. Ideally, it would be nice to find a place with good public transportation, when the time comes down the road that one cannot drive.
I could have written this! My sentiments exactly!

Where are you now, and where do you want to move to?
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:00 PM
 
1,804 posts, read 1,225,898 times
Reputation: 1933
I don't know LiveContent if that is an issue with people being afraid to venture beyond their traditional supermarkets. I think it's cause there not available to many. Maybe I'm wrong. Don't know. I lived in Mexico for a short while, so I got familiar with their supermarkets (and fabulous bakery) so finding one in Arizona was a blessing to me. Just none here where I live in Florida.

NewEnglandGirl. Yes, Southern Florida.

xz2y. I'm with ya. Don't know if it's where we live or if it's like this all over pretty much. I live in a well to do town, but in the poorest neighborhood of the well to do town. Even so, the busiest store in town is the Goodwill. (seriously the parking lot is always full) You used to be able to get some bargains there, but now they have hiked up their prices to all most retail.

I have been trying to buy a headboard for two months, and today I finally broke down a bought a cheap black metal one for $75 at a thrift shop. I don't think it cost more than $100 new.

Last edited by modhatter; 03-25-2011 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:07 PM
 
1,445 posts, read 2,390,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I could have written this! My sentiments exactly!

Where are you now, and where do you want to move to?
I'm in Ann arbor, MI, in SE MI, a college town, with all the high prices that go with that. The rest of the state, with the exception of a few wealthy burbs of Detroit, is a disaster economically, which is no surprise to anyone following the news of the last few years. There are some beautiful areas up north along the great lakes, but very cold and wintry weather 5-6 months a year and not cheap. More of a vacation destination up there, and wealthy folks have second homes there. Some retire to the northern part of the state, but again, they are wealthy.

So, I'm looking for a better place, like so many others: some charm would be nice, an opportunity for a pt job to supplement retirement income and SS. No pt jobs in a college town left over for retirees after the college kids snap them up. I need to lower my cost of living (lower rent in particular, and lower health ins) and would like a more moderate climate and reasonable public transit, as the car is expensive to own and maintain, and eventually, driving may be impossible (not sure when that will happen, but many of us will be there at some point). I had been researching Mexico as an option, but the drug cartel violence has changed my mind. Very hot climates might not work too well, such as Texas and the SE. Everything is a trade-off. Once I turn 65 in 3 years, I'll have more options for the health ins, since Medicare will kick in and I won't have to purchase the individual (expensive) health ins, only the supplemental. So, in the meantime, I'm doing research and trying to visit a few places, looking around. Getting a pt job is important and around here, it's close to impossible.

Winter here can be long, snowy and icy (it's still only a high of 27 this weekend, 3/26/11) and because of all the budget cuts, the city has cut back on snow removal and salting, and doesn't even start to plow until after 4" of snow has fallen (that's on their website)! And then, it's pretty minimal. I don't mind some winter weather as long as the roads are plowed! Summers are very hot and AC is a necessity as well for a couple months. Sorry to digress from the topic of budgets, but climate factors into the cost of living/utilities if you need to run an AC in the summer and use heat for several months in the winter. Again, everything is a trade-off, and I think I'll work on a list of priorities, what are the most important factors in making a move.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:13 PM
 
1,445 posts, read 2,390,611 times
Reputation: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
xz2y,

I live in Arvada which is south from Boulder, Colorado. Yes, I have also noticed that food prices and all prices of all items are jacked up in Boulder. Boulder has become an island of the higher income consumers. The farmers market is exactly as you describe as "boutique" shopping. Since there exist few poor striving ethnic groups, there exist no real values in Asian and Hispanic Foods. It is much different than the real commercial farmers markets that I have experienced in my youth and the wonderful roadside stands in the great fertile farming areas of New York.

It is interesting that you note that Whole Foods have customers that are "pushy and arrogant". I have noticed it and being an ex New Yorker, the capital of pushy and arrogant--it is in my radar to spot. People are just not friendly; they are into their own world of "me"! Perhaps they look at me as not belonging--ugly and disabled.

Boulder does have excellent public transportation as the community does provide extra funding to the Regional Transportation District. That is one good result of the liberal college community which embraces the advantages to the environment of public transportation. You can easily live in many areas of Boulder without a car which may make up for some of the other higher costs.

Today, I am going down the road to a Denver local Hispanic Market, Azteca Ranch Market, and buy some good cheap fresh vegetables. Some people are afraid to venture beyond the traditional supermarkets because they feel threatened by people that are not of their color and speak "strange"--for me, it is a grand adventure of living the real "diverse" life.

Livecontent
Thanks for sharing where you are located. I've heard of Arvada. Plenty of snow! The Hispanic population influx to your area does create a proliferation of markets with less expensive produce options, which is nice. At least you have choices. The Asian markets here are not that cheap, but do have interesting items. In bigger cities, the Chinatown markets do have inexpensive vegetables and specialty items, but those are in very large cities NY, Toronto, etc) and not affordable locations to live in, at least for my budget.

It's good to hear you can live in Boulder without a car. There aren't many cities where that is possible and also affordable to live in (Portland, San Francisco, NY, Boston, etc, have good mass transit but are pricey places).
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:18 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 8,265,317 times
Reputation: 5901
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Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
I don't know LiveContent if that is an issue with people being afraid to venture beyond their traditional supermarkets. I think it's cause there not available to many. Maybe I'm wrong. Don't know. I lived in Mexico for a short while, so I got familiar with their supermarkets (and fabulous bakery) so finding one in Arizona was a blessing to me. Just none here where I live in Florida.
Florida has a big Hispanic Culture, especially Cuban and Caribbean --does it not?? You must be living in a wealthier area. Certainly the Miama areas has an abundance of Hispanic Markets. I never really spent much time in Florida.

The Denver has really changed in the 32 years that I have lived here. It always had Hispanic Markets and some Asian Market but today, there are much more, with more Laotian, Chinese and Vietnamese and a growth of Russian and Korean Markets.

Some relatives, friends and acquantances who live in the wealthier areas will not venture beyond Whole Foods or their local expensive stores. They do not like the older areas. They fear crime; they think the products are tainted; they do not like areas where Spanish, Vietnamese and Laotian are more spoken. Some never developed the familiarity that I have with different people and the different neighborhoods of Denver.

In addition, some are just of the meat and potato crowd, which is part of the western culture. Many just eat fast food--pizza and burgers and go to the national chain restaurants--thinking they are cleaner and safer. They will avoid the locally owned Hispanic and Asian Restaurants. That is to me is really funny because there is a tremendous abundance of good cheap authentic Mexican and Asian Food in Denver.

Livecontent
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:34 PM
 
1,804 posts, read 1,225,898 times
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Yes your right LiveContent. There is a very large (primarily Cuban population) in the Miami area, but I am about two hours north of Miami, and yes where I live it is considered a wealthy area. The inland areas are not so expensive, but the island and all the developments along the inter-coastal or ocean are multimillion dollar homes and developments with multimillion dollar homes and fabulous golf courses, marinas, etc.

We have many very famous celebrities living on the Island here, including our newest addition Tiger Woods who just built a new $10,000,000 home on the water (that doesn't include the land)

We still have our areas, (Have to have that cheap labor for all those millionaires lawns and gardens) and where I live abuts the Hispanic neighborhoods, but we only have two very tiny Hispanic stores and prices are very high actually. But I still don't notice any difference in prices about an hour north of me where my mother lives. That area is considered just an average area, and prices in the grocery stores are the same there too.

Want to hear a funny story about our town. About five or six years ago, the town passed an ordinance imposing a $5,000 fine for anyone caught picking up a day laborer (there was a special area where they hung out daily-where most of them live) They even posted cop cars there to make sure the law was enforced. Then about a year or two later. I find out that the city paid $1,000,000 for a new building that they built right behind the Police Station, where you can go now and hire labor for the day.(But technically it's still considered illegal) They even provide some training for them and have on going free English lessons and some other amenities I have forgotten. According to the person I spoke with on the phone, the city takes no money at all from them and you negotiate the price with the laborer yourself. Now talk about an about turn-face.

Last edited by modhatter; 03-26-2011 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:06 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 8,265,317 times
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Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Thanks for sharing where you are located. I've heard of Arvada. Plenty of snow! The Hispanic population influx to your area does create a proliferation of markets with less expensive produce options, which is nice. At least you have choices. The Asian markets here are not that cheap, but do have interesting items. In bigger cities, the Chinatown markets do have inexpensive vegetables and specialty items, but those are in very large cities NY, Toronto, etc) and not affordable locations to live in, at least for my budget.

It's good to hear you can live in Boulder without a car. There aren't many cities where that is possible and also affordable to live in (Portland, San Francisco, NY, Boston, etc, have good mass transit but are pricey places).
The Denver area is not a very snowy areas; as it sits on the semi-arid high Great Plains and is shelter by the Rocky Mountains. It can be 60-70 here and snowing in the mountains, a few miles to the west.

I grew up near Buffalo, NY and I know the snows around the Great Lakes. This is very much different. The days are mostly sunny, even in winter, with very low humidity. Much less preciptation and snow than the Great Lakes. It is very common in winter to have warm days. However, we do get ocassional blizzards but they mostly melt fast. Because of the low humidity, cold winter days feel less cold and hot summer days feel less hot.

Boulder is expensive to live but the Denver area is reasonable and has excellent public transportation with an expanding rail system, so in many neighborhoods of Denver and the suburbs, one can live car free.

Livecontent
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