By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
After months of blazing hot temperatures with hardly any rain, consumers are starting to realize filling up their grocery carts is getting more expensive.
Kansas State University and Johnson County agriculture agent Rick Miller says the drought scorched grazing pastures all across the country which made feeding livestock more expensive for farmers. Many chose to sell off their animals.
According to the USDA and the university, U.S. cow inventories are at their lowest levels in 50 years. Miller says it is economics 101.
"The supply is down, the demand is still high. The end result is you will pay more for a pound of meat than you did a year or two ago," Miller said.
But it is not just beef that is getting more expensive. The average price of corn has more than doubled since 2009, meaning anything that uses corn is also getting more expensive.
"That means that all those uses we have for corn, those prices are going to go up," he said.
So what can people do to save at the checkout line?
Kansas State Family and Consumer Science agent Nicole Burnett recommends buying meat in bulk and freeze what is not used. She says the meat should last six months.
Burnett also said to try and plan out meals every week and always make a list before going to the store. She recommends is to buy the generic brand over the name brand which could lead to double the savings.
Another good tip is to try buying frozen fruits and vegetables. They will last longer and have the same nutritional value.
"A lot of times the stores will run specials on their store brands and not on the name brands. As a store brand, they can offer them a lot more frequently to get a better deal," she said.
Burnett says a little planning can go a long way.
Those same experts say prices won't be leveling out anytime soon, so it is recommended to go ahead and start adjusting what is thrown in the grocery bag right away.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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