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How to Stay Ahead of Rising Food CostsBlame whomever you want for it – the government, the farmers, big businesses, oil companies, it doesn’t matter. The simple, hard truth is that food prices are on the rise for a multitude of reasons :
- Less corn is available, thus making it more expensive for producers of animal feed (your meat) and items containing corn products.
- Energy prices are higher, putting more of a burden on companies to process, store, deliver food and on the grocery stores which are spending more in energy costs and property taxes.
Tips for Shopping Smart and Eating Healthy
- Start Pickin’ Chicken Chicken, when prepared correctly, is really healthy for you. It’s packed with protein and vitamins and there are a million recipes out there for this versatile bird. This year’s USDA food forecast also has chicken prices staying relatively benign, while other meats, namely beef and pork, are up 11 and 12% respectively.
- Be a Bulk Shopper If you do not have a shoppers’ card at one of those bulk stores (think: Sam’s Club or Costco), then it’s time to get one. It can be a little difficult to find fresh meat and produce at these places, although you may be able to, but they have all types of canned foods, wheat products and other healthy choices you can buy in bulk to stock up. If you ever find a bulk pack of meat, be sure to buy it, along with some freezer wrap and foil. A little work in the kitchen and you can store food and literally save hundreds of dollars every month.
- Become a Gardener Did you know that onion prices are high because the government banned futures speculators from the onion market in 1958? It’s true. And onions are certainly not the only produce item to shoot up in price. Nearly all fruits and veggies are higher. This is when you need to plant your own garden. Don’t have a yard? Be sure to hit up roadside farmers’ stands instead of the grocery store. You’ll find better-tasting, organic products for a fraction of the price. And if you precook your meals, like soups and stews, you can get great use out of bulk veggies and have ready-to-go meals for weeks.
- Make “Eggsellent” Choices
- Clips Your Coupons Grocery store weekly circulars can be misleading. They’re usually just looking to pawn stuff off on you at slightly discounted rates. The real savings come with clipping out coupons. You can find websites dedicated to coupons and end up saving some big money by taking a little extra time.
Eggs – like the commercial says, they’re incredible and edible. Another thing they are is cheap. You can buy a dozen eggs for a buck or two at most places, and egg applications are endless.