The (Mostly) Bad News About Increasing Food Costs

Here’s yet another reason to forgo meat once, twice, or three times a week.

Here’s yet another reason to forgo meat once, twice, or three times a week: The most recent onslaught of bad weather in the Midwest is being blamed for a reduction in the region’s corn crop. This isn’t going to mean fewer tacos and nachos in your future, it means a higher cost for all types of meat. Much of the corn grown in the U.S. is used for bio-energy and livestock feed. Experts predict that the national corn shortage could cause meat prices to rise 7 percent or more this year.  Other forces—from oil prices and overall energy costs to marketing and storage—are also responsible for food price increases.

Recently the American Farm Bureau Federation released its report on the prices of 16 foods commonly used to prepare meals. Use this list to choose economically when deciding what to make for dinner.

The Bad News: 14 Items Increased in Price

Sirloin tip roast, up 52 cents to $4.48 per pound

Russet potatoes, up 43 cents to $3.07 for a 5-pound bag

Sliced deli ham, up 35 cents to $5.26 per pound

Bacon, up 32 cents to $4.18 per pound

Ground chuck, up 19 cents to $3.29 per pound

Whole milk, up 16 cents to $3.62 per gallon

Vegetable oil, up 13 cents to $3.01 for a 32-ounce bottle

Toasted oat cereal, up 12 cents to $3.17 for a 9-ounce box

Apples, up 11 cents to $1.56 per pound

Orange juice, up 4 cents to $3.18 for a half-gallon

Eggs, up 3 cents to $1.65 per dozen

Bread, up 2 cents to $1.86 for a 20-ounce loaf

Bagged salad, up 1 cent to $2.67 per pound

Flour, up 1 cent to $2.52 for a 5-pound bag

The Good News: 2 Items Decreased in Price

Boneless chicken breasts, down 23 cents to $3.09 per pound

Shredded cheese, down 7 cents to $4.56 per pound.


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Originally Published in Reader's Digest