Record breaking weather is causing droughts in many regions of the United States. With the effects of the drought on crops, it’s expected to raise the cost of foods by about 4.5% for 2013 for items such as corn, beef, poultry and more. Farmers have started reducing their herds of cattle, due to the cost of feeding them and the drought ruining grass they craze on. You may see a decrease in beef costs now because of this reduction, but an increase next year. Chicken will most likely be the first prices to increase due to their short life span. Fruits and vegetables are expected to rise 2%-3% but that is normal. They are not effected as much by the drought because they are irrigated on most farms. Processed foods should also not see a dramatic increase because they do not rely heavily on feed costs. The price of milk and cheese is also expected to rise because farmers have already started reducing their herds and cows also produce less milk in high heat conditions.
Ways to prepare for higher food costs:
- Cut down on portion sizes. Eating healthy means the main or large portion of food on your plate should be vegetables, with your protein being 4oz, and considered more of a side dish.
- Consider buying in bulk, at reduced costs with neighbors or family and splitting the cost.
- Stockpiling your freezer now with staples your family needs including meats.
- Continue to use your Grocery Saving strategies like, stocking up on meat at rock bottom prices, using coupons in conjunction with store sales and of course never let food go to waste.
- Adjust your budget now for the increase in food prices. Consider cutting back in other areas to accommodate for the increase.
- Buy local and help support your local farmers. Cut out the middle man by purchasing at farmers markets as much as possible.
- Be price conscientious. If you see a trend with prices increasing on items you purchase on a regular basis, starting looking for alternatives. For example, use apple sauce in your recipes instead of oil.