Groceries ~1919

What Kind of Shopper Are You?

Do you make a list and check it twice?
Coupon clipper?
Marathon shopper – getting it all done at once for several weeks at a time?
Daily shopper for what you need for tonight’s dinner?

Today’s post is a newspaper advert listing the weekly specials at the Crystal Falls Co-operative Society out of Iron County Michigan. It was actually published 100 years ago today. Check out the offerings and prices.

Grocery Prices 1919

You can see that the Crystal Falls Co-operative Society advertises little in the way of processed foods. In fact, they’re announcing the arrival of a sugar shipment for canning!

We’re running low in the pantry here on the home-front and I need to make my list and hit the store today. Contemplating coming home with sugar, a couple of grapefruits, and some tomato plants in the spirit of a historical lesson of sorts… Wonder how that will go over with the teens?

Shopping habits are highly personal.

My current strategy is to bulk-shop for 2 weeks at a time. I find that it actually reduces the overall food bill for the family. We have a deep freezer that plays an important role in the overall success of this particular strategy.


Our infamous power company – PG&E – announced to its customers that it will shut off power during high-wind, high-fire conditions across the state that could last 24-48 hours, even if your particular area is not at risk because it’s connected to a larger power grid. (They thoughtfully recommended knowing how to open your garage door manually.) This means that customers will probably lose all of their refrigerator items, and possibly freezer items which, for our family, mainly consists of the more expensive meat portion of the grocery budget.

The potential for extended power outages is forcing me to re-think our grocery strategy. Instead of bulk shopping, do you shift to daily shopping at the corner store? Though I’m not sure how many of the small shops will be able to keep open without electricity as well. The ripple effect could be hard for our little town that is heavily small-business.

Perfect example of how locale and access to resources shapes our grocery habits in 2019, let alone 1919!

What kind of shopper are you? Do spill the beans in the comments below…

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks


2 thoughts on “Groceries ~1919

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  1. As someone who lived without electricity as a child and several summers camping as an adult, you can still do bulk shopping just do it through new eyes. There’s home canning of fruits and veggies, dried foods, or purchasing a generator or solar panels to power refrigerator and freezer. The new generation of coolers such as Yeti are specifically made for no power cold storage. Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We had a lot of fun food shopping along a neighborhood street in Rome when we stayed in an apartment for a week. We would browse and whatever looked interesting became part of that night’s dinner. Then we got to do it all over again the next day. It seemed like everyone shopped that way, as I don’t recall seeing a large grocery store nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

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