Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drought-Proof Your Grocery Budget

I receive a newsletter from the Frugal Living site at About.com and today it was on a timely topic that I thought I would share. I know that a lot of people are worried about what the nationwide drought will do to their food budget. I am not that worried, but thought that this information is interesting and can be helpful to anyone that is worried, or has a tight budget.

(Shared from Erin Huffstetler at About.com Drought-Proof Your Grocery Budget)

You can't watch the news right now without hearing about the drought, and there's good reason for that. Check out these statistics from the USDA and the United States Drought Monitor:
  • 55% of the continental U.S. is now under drought conditions
  • 1,297 counties have been declared national disaster areas        
  • 88% of the corn crop is located in areas impacted by the drought        
  • 87% of the soybean crop is located in areas impacted by the drought
  • There hasn't been a worse drought in the U.S. since the 1950's
All of that adds up to bad news for farmers and consumers. Analysts say to expect higher prices at the grocery store in the coming months, and the list of impacted foods is staggering.
    Basics like flour and dried pasta will go up because of the failing wheat crop. Cheese, butter and milk will go up because of a decline in milk production. Meat prices will go up because of increasing feed costs, and fruit and vegetable prices will go up because of smaller than normal harvests (caused by both the drought and the extreme heat). In short, it seems there aren't many foods that won't be impacted.

    So, what can you do to keep all of these increases from taking a big bite out of your grocery budget? Start stockpiling now. While dairy and meat prices will start climbing within the next couple months, many of the other increases won't reach stores until next year (when we start relying on the 2012 harvest). That gives you plenty of time to stock up on food at this year's prices.

    Here are some places to start:
    • Load up on fresh produce when you find a good deal. Then, freeze or can the extra to enjoy later
    • Stock up on cheese and butter when it goes on sale. It freezes beautifully
    • Meat prices are experiencing a temporary dip. Fill your freezer before the prices start to go up
    • Build up your supply of flour. Wheat flour can be frozen to extend its shelf life
    • Stock up on canned and frozen fruits and veggies. The canned and frozen foods that are in stores now came from the 2011 harvest, so they're still cheap
    • Combine sales and coupons to build a reserve of cereal, oatmeal, dried pasta and other non-perishables
    For a complete list of foods that you should consider stockpiling now, check out: What To Stockpile Due To The Drought

    11 comments:

    slugmama said...

    Interesting article but.....you know I was going find a but, didn't you?lol
    But...of course EVERYTHING with something food in it will be impacted by a drought, won't it?
    And then add in the things with corn in them that aren't food, those will go up too. I think it's just common sense and I know you think this too.

    It's always a good idea to stockpile some and to buy at rock bottom in the cycle, but really, unless you are going to buy enough to last you until you die, you are just delaying the inevitable, the inevitable being that at some point in time, the stockpiled food WILL run out and you'll be paying more to replace it.....unless you just don't eat again when it's all gone.lol Sure wish I could do that, huh?
    So you save some now but you will end up paying more later, maybe not as soon as those who don't stockpile now, but eventually.

    The same articles(sky is falling, buy up all the food you can)circulated a year or so ago when the cost of barrels of oil from OPEC went up, and the subsequent price of gas(thus the transporting of food costs)went up.
    So those who stockpiled then got cheaper prices, but it was just a small gain in the grand scheme of life.
    I guess I'm just tired of hearing bad news and everyone jumping on the doomsday wagon.
    Let's go have a couple of adult beverages and forget the world this weekend.....you with me on this Frances?

    Frances said...

    Oh, man, Sluggy!! I wasn't jumping on the doomsday bandwagon! I think the article has some good tips for just everyday living. Buy on sale, stockpile what you will use, etc.

    I don't panic over articles like this and don't want anyone else do. I certainly don't want anyone to panic. Heck, I didn't panic over the "great rice shortage" a couple of years ago.

    As with everything I post, take what you need and leave what you don't.

    Sluggy, you are on about the adult beverages.

    slugmama said...

    Oh now Frances, I wasn't ragging on you! And I KNOW you aren't one of those running around squacking about the sky is falling.
    I've just seen so many articles like this lately and I guess this one just put me over into WTF?! land, ya know?lol

    I am just an old crankypants lately.
    I think I need more adult beverages in my life. ;-)

    Frances said...

    You DO need more adult beverages, Sluggy. LOL! I guess I haven't seen that many sky is falling articles. Or I just don't pay attention to them.

    I could have edited out some of the drought info, but since I was stealing...errr....borrowing from another source, I didn't want to chop it up too much.

    Sonya Ann said...

    I'm stocking up on meat right now! It's like an advanced level of tetris in there.

    Frances said...

    We always stock up on meat when we find a deal. Last week, we bought 15 lbs of fish. Yummy!

    Sonya Ann said...

    I bought 20 lbs of bacon a couple of weeks ago.

    Frances said...

    OMG! 20 lbs of bacon! I have never found a deal good enough to buy 20 lbs of bacon.

    Annie Jones said...

    I've seen so many doomsday prepper articles that I've had to just quit reading some of the blogs I used to read in order to stay sane.

    I've always stockpiled a little. If something we'll use is at a great price, I'll get a bunch of it for the pantry or freezer. Why not? In addition to saving a little money (on the front end, anyway), it just makes my life easier when I can "shop" in the garage in

    Annie Jones said...

    oops.

    ...when I can shop in the garage instead of the grocery store.

    Like you, Frances, I'm not very worried about price increases. They will happen sooner or later anyway.

    王红 said...
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