Be Prepared for HIGH Food Prices.

We knew this was coming. Driving across the country this summer, we saw first hand the drought that was affecting much of the country. I told Paul that I was betting we could expect sky rocketing prices this fall. Sure enough I saw a report last week and another one again today.

Midwesterners are seeing the worst drought in 50 years. Eighty-eight percent of  U.S. farmland where corn is grown is now drought-stricken. Stunted feed corn and withered grasslands are forcing some ranchers to cull their herds.

“We’re expecting another year of tough food prices, bad news for consumers,” said USDA food economist Richard Volpe.

Sources: Fox News and Wired.  

Last year we were told that peanut butter prices and a few other things were going to go up. Many brands have gone up 30% this year, as we can see at the store.

What can you do to prepare for this?

In my opinion these are the things you can do now: 

  • Start stocking up on the staples. Buy a few extra things each time you are in the store.
  • Learn to coupon.
  • Shop the generics and find the store brand items you like.
  • Learn to make meals at home with simple ingredients.
  • Have an emergency fund.
  • Learn how to save and stretch food.
  • Attend my frugal living class this fall :)
  • Get your family involved now.
When the price of food goes up, it seems that everything else does as well. Eating out will cost more, and assistance programs already struggling will be in real trouble.
You can be prepared and not hit as hard if you start paying attention and preparing now.
On Thursday’s after we get the new ad on Wednesday’s, if people are interested we can start making a list of things that are a extra good price and start stocking up on a few extra while you are already at the store. You don’t want to stress yourself out financially by trying to do things all at once. If you do a little at a time, you might not even notice a difference.
What are your ideas to adjust to the higher prices of food that we will be seeing? 

Comments

  1. Pat says

    We went on an austerity budget about 2 years ago when I retired with a pension, insurance rose by over $1,000 a month and husband is a contractor. We saw hard times when we were young with kids so knew how to spread the food dollars out as some of you are doing. I only purchase meat that is on sale/reduced with coupon. You would be surprised how well you can keep stocked up! Casseroles with little or no meat stretch the food, kids macaroni & cheese with a little meat thrown in, hot dogs with some cheese on top (a treat that my daughter still remembers at 35 years old), pasta dishes (always cheap/free pasta available). Be creative people – freeze produce and fruit when cheap. Farmer markets and road side stands are a great source of local/possibly organic food. If you have the time to make dinners from scratch it is usually cheaper and much yummier. I used to cook enough for at least 2 dinners and would freeze one so I wasn’t always cooking. We have always only had 1 refrigerator/freezer and we have never gone hungry. Thank goodness for free/cheap toothpaste, etc. I have been couponing off and on for over 35 years.

  2. says

    Pat, I love your idea of making 2 meals at once. That way you have more free time on the nights that you don’t have to cook. Alot of people think that if you only have a small freezer you can’t cook extra meals. Your method sounds great.

    I think people should try planting small indoor plants for a little extra food. Anyone have any ideas about what plants would grow well indoors? I have never tried this so I have no clue where to start.

  3. Amy says

    I know this sounds like a very crazy thing but if you or anyone in your family takes prescriptions you may want to find out what generics cost if the generics can be taken instead. For example, my insurance only allows me to go to certain pharmacy’s run by our in network clinics. It cost me $20 to get a prescription filled there. A few weeks back Kroger was offering $25 for a transferred prescription. I wanted to check to see if it would be beneficial for me to switch pharmacies. I stopped in and asked what it would cost to get my prescription filled without using insurance. $9 was the response. Since this was going to be a savings of $11 a month plus they were giving $25 to use in the store, I made the switch :). I was able to pick up meat, produce, milk, etc.

  4. Jessica says

    Thanks everyone for some good ideas! I have a few to share as well.
    We like adding cabbage to our meat filling for enchiladas. This allows you to DOUBLE the amount of enchiladas! I know some of you may me thinking “YUCK”, but you really cant taste the cabbage once it’s cooked. We cook our meat (usually boneless/skinless chicken breast but pork or beef would work too) in the crockpot on low for about 6-12 hours. Once it is tender it shreds nicely. We add a bag of coleslaw ready uncooked cabbage along with seasoning to the mix. The amount of time needed to melt the cheese on top of the enchiladas is sufficient time to cook the cabbage. It taste great and your kids are getting some extra veggies.

    We Also like to make tortilla soup. I know a lot of you make your soup by scratch, but here is an easy way to make it fast. Use 2 cans of Healthy Choice chicken and rice soup and one can of Old El Paso mild green enchilada sauce. Heat that up on the stove, and serve it in a bowl or cup with a pinch of cheese and some crunched up tortilla chips on top! Yum-O! If you would like it to have a little kick, Dr. it up with a few drops of Tabasco.

  5. K says

    I like to keep a small herb garden in the backyard. The cost of fresh herbs is just TOO high for me and the taste and quality are never as good as when I pick them from the backyard. You can get a whole plant for about $3, which is the price of a few Rosemary sprigs at the grocery store. Herbs can really spruce up your at home meals and they are a fun way to experiment with new meals.

    Even though there are only 2 people in my household (BF and I), we have 2 refrigerators. I LOVE having the extra freezer/fridge space and I can REALLY stock up when I find good prices on perishables. It is an initial upfront cost to buy it, but I think it has saved me more money in the end.

  6. Paula says

    We precookand freeze a lot of food too. Usually I make 3 to 4 times the amount needed. That way, when we have little time on hand, we never get tempted to eat out. Stews, potato soup, home made chicken stock, pasta sauces etc. all freeze very well. It only takes 20 minutes to prepare your side dishes. That way you always get a healthy meal cooked from scratch..
    To avoid food getting forgotten in the freezer we lable the containers ( content and date cooked) and rotate. New food goes to the back of the freezer, old containers in the front.
    My Mom used to do this and it has worked very well for us.
    We have two frideges/freezers and they are always stocked .
    Thanks to Tiffanies coupon class our grocery bills went down $400 a month.
    Don’t we all love her!!!
    A wonderfull weekend to all of you hard working Moms and wifes.

  7. Kari says

    I’m fortunate that my husband hunts & that we live on an old farm, so we are able to raise butcher chickens in the summer, and also our egg laying hens. I rarely buy meat at the store, which is a huge money saver. Unfortunately, my husband works on the road(which can get costly eating out). What we do to combat that is on Sunday we cook a huge meal & he takes all the leftovers with him to eat during the week. The kids & I just eat simple meals then during the week.

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