A small head of broccoli was $4.49 in one local supermarket on Monday. Tomatoes and cucumber are way up there in price as well.
However, that's to be expected. The latter two are out of season. The broccoli — well I guess the weather hasn't been that great this winter for growing brassicas. In fact, the rain and freezing temperatures are not that great for growing anything.
After a discussion with another shopper looking at the broccoli, we both decided we wouldn't buy it. Cheaper to get frozen we thought.
To top it off this week we have heard that New Zealand's consumer price index (CPI) rose at the fastest pace in about a decade in the second quarter of this year.
One of the items that has helped with this hike is the price of meat and dairy products.
This is food grown on our doorstep but instead of ending up in our supermarkets at a decent price, which you would expect, it is exported overseas.
I was staggered to read an RNZ story this week which said 95 per cent of New Zealand's sheep meat and 87 per cent of beef is exported.
What's left for us is getting so expensive many of us simply can't afford it.
The story, which quoted Stats NZ's food price index, said in January 2007, 1kg of beef mince would have cost you $9.
That's a fair amount of meat for under $10 and would easily feed a family of four or five depending on what you made with it.
A good spag bol is filling and goes a long way. Mince on toast with a few carrots and peas thrown in also goes a long way.
But the story continued, if you bought the same item in January this year it would cost $16.39. I know that is 14 years ago but that's an "82 per cent increase and inflation doesn't explain the difference. Had the price of beef mince simply risen with inflation, that $16.39 pack of mince would have cost just $12.09."
With fruit and vegetables, you can save money simply by buying what's in season. That's not possible with meat and dairy products.
It seems to me that the price of meat is eventually going to price itself off the market for the majority of Kiwis but people overseas will still be able to enjoy it.
My daughters in Australia buy New Zealand lamb much cheaper than I can get it.
I actually haven't bought lamb for months now. During Covid and just after lamb chops were quite reasonably priced. But there is no way I would pay $14 for six scrappy looking lamb loin chops.
It just doesn't make sense to me.
Recently it has been hammered home to us to buy locally made and grown and we have been doing that.
I know that growers want the best price for their products but surely there must be a way for Kiwis to get a decent deal.
And then there's pork. The RNZ story says "pork prices have risen at lower rates than inflation. In January 2007, a kilogram of pork loin chops cost $14.25. Now it costs just 26c more. Had it followed inflation the cost would be $19.14."
Now why do you think that is?
Yep, it's because we import more pork than we grow. And, obviously, consumers buy the imported pork.
We really can't win here it seems. Most of us try our best to buy local produce but sometimes the choice is taken out of our hands.
It's either buy the imported pork and have some meat on the table — or go without.
* Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today