After the widespread droughts in 2012, economists warned that grocery prices would see an increase in 2013. According to the Department of Agriculture and WBTW News 13, this first week of 2013 is already delivering increased prices to the shelves in your local grocery store. They are predicting a 3-4 percent increase in overall food prices. However, some products are jumping higher. For those living on a budget, this predicted increase means changes to the family budget.
Meats, poultry, beef, fish and eggs will see an expected increase of 3-4 percent in 2013. In order to keep these items on your family’s menu, smart shopping will help keep you within budget. Many stores offer discounted prices when you purchase meats in family-pack size. Take these larger amounts, break them down into meal servings and freeze.
Another meat option requires you to frequent the butcher’s clearance section. When meat is nearing its “sell or freeze by” date, most stores will reduce the cost. Purchasing this allows you to stock up, freeze, and use the meat when needed for your favorite recipes.
According to the USDA, dairy products expect to rise 3.5 to 4.5 percent. This means that in addition to milk, you will see a rise in products like cheese. Again, buying in bulk here can help you stay on budget. If you cook with a lot of cheese, buying in bulk allows you to freeze the cheese and use when needed. When cheese is frozen, the texture changes a bit and becomes crumbly. This does not affect taste and makes it perfect for cooking.
The highest increase comes in fresh vegetables, which are expected to increase 4-5 percent. Luckily, this one can be addressed in your own home with just a little effort. Planting a backyard garden, patio plantar garden, or even an indoor window garden allows you to grow some of those fresh vegetables on your own for the price of seeds and a little bit of work. With prices rising, many families are turning to gardening to provide food for the table. Many cities are also getting involved as community gardens become more common.