COMMMENTARY | Food prices have been on the rise for a long time now, but it seems the problem is just getting worse. Peanuts have now increased to $1,200 a ton, which was just $450 a year ago, and Kraft is expected to increase the prices on Planters peanut butter, KWGN reports. As the main grocery shopper in my household, the effects of food prices rising have really been devastating and here is how I have dealt with this new reality.
For the past year, I have seen food prices rise steadily on the products I purchase all of the time. When I plan my meals and food shop, I have been looking at the weekly ads for all of the local grocery stores to find the best prices. This allows me to see which store has the best deals on which items, such as Kroger being cheaper one week on breads and pasta, while Meijer is cheaper on meat. I basically have been separating my grocery list between these two stores, because it seems neither store is running a sale on the same items. I have noticed that Meijer is cheaper on meats such as hamburger, chicken, pork loin, and ribs, so I always make sure to go there to get these types of products, while I save smaller items for Kroger.
I have made permanent changes in my eating habits since the cost of food has risen, such as buying only what I need to make it to the next paycheck. I found that buying generic products has helped and instead of purchasing name brand lunchmeats, I have been buying the cheap brands. I have also limited the amount of meals I cook each week and will have at least two fend-for-yourself nights, so that I am not cooking all of the time. I have downsized portions that everyone gets in the household, so that I can save money. One way I do this is I have been making just enough chicken breasts so my family of three will get one piece each, instead of making the whole bag of 10 like I used to do just a year ago. Even those temporary food spikes have caused me to change habits long-term, because I know that it is likely to rise again. Thankfully, I have been listening to Glenn Beck for the past couple of years, so I knew what was coming and have tried to stock up on essential items such as sugar, cereal and coffee. I have just tried to basically put needs before wants, so I buy milk, bread, soups and meat products, before I purchase snacks like chips or cookies.
Myself, Personal Experience
Shaul Turner, “Peanut Butter Prices Expected to Rise”, KWGN