Food Prices Keep Going Up!

I haven’t done a big grocery shop in a while, so maybe I missed it.  Or maybe things at the commissary are just catching up with the rest of the US economy.  Either way, I have noticed a big jump in food prices in the last few weeks.  It seems like food prices used to go up a little at a time, but now they are going up quickly and they keep going up.  A little research shows that it isn’t just my experience, but everyone’s experience.

If you do an internet search on food prices 2011, you will find literally hundreds of articles talking about the worldwide increase in the cost of food.  US customers have been a little insulated from the increases, but we are still seeing the effects of the worldwide situation.  In addition, food prices are predicted to continue rising in the next 10 years, and rising fast.

We can offset the effects of higher prices through menu planning, smart shopping, decreasing the consumption of more expensive products, taking advantage of food buying programs and learning to produce more of our own food.  Gardening can be difficult for oft-moving military families, but there are smart people who learn to make it work.  (I haven’t mastered it yet, but hopefully someday.)

I know that my readers are a creative and frugal bunch who can probably share lots of useful tips for trimming grocery budgets.  I’d love to hear your ideas.


Interesting articles on this subject:

Chart of the Day:  The Food Price Spike is Still With Us

Using Tools Makes Couponing Easy

Are Food Price Increases Always Bad?




About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Kat

    they have jumped alot. last pay i spend 235. i went and bought basically the same items this pay but not as many “fun treats” for my family and spent 311. well seems to be that i can make out better at the walmart. i was always very loyal to our commissary even when we moved 40 min away from the base i made the drive to do my shopping. but now. its not worth my gas. or the pay day crowds. =(

  • Silvia Pavia

    Now that chillier temps and the winter season is approaching soon, it is a perfect time to consider one-pot meals as a healthy and quick alternative to cutting the food budget. Crock pots use less energy than ovens and microwaves and you can feed about 8-9 people healthy veggie bean chili. Another one-pot wonder is the stew and here, you can experiment with different veggies for varying textures. Instead of buying basil and oregano, buy the seeds and grow them indoors. Just because you live in a cold climate does not mean you can’t have fresh herbs at home! Buy in-season fruit when they tend to cost less. So…apples in the winter. Look for country farms or similar places where you can go apple picking and you can probably pay less for apples that have already dropped from the tree or apples that are slightly bruised. You can turn those into apple pies, applesauce or cut them up for snacks. A quick protein source for snacking is PB. Ounce for ounce, it’s one of the least expensive protein-packed snacks you can buy. You also don’t need a lot to derive the amount of protein that fills you up for a couple of hours.
    If you can’t live without meat, opt for cheaper cuts, like fish.
    Also, making and baking bread is very cheap and though it takes time to make and bake, you can increase your efficiency by making it on a day when you’re making other foods to freeze, like multi-tasking in the kitchen. For example, when you make chicken soup or stew, make more and freeze extras so you won’t feel like you are constantly cooking and thinking of something to prepare. That will prompt you less often to go to the store to impulse buy your food out of frustration that “there’s nothing to eat in the house.”
    Stock up on staples that you can use in more than one recipe rather than specialty items. These are just a few tips off the top of my head. Good luck to all! Bargain grocery shopping is possible – and so is healthy eating! It just takes discipline and commitment to wanting a better lifestyle for yourself and also avoidance of the middle aisles of the grocery stores, where all the junk is kept.
    We can do this!!!

  • Laura Reilly

    One of our local newspaper reporters in the Salt Lake Tribune provides a service wherein he teaches a 1 hour class on how to use coupons, etc. He then takes them shopping at the most appropriate store, and they find their grocery bills are generally half of what they normally expect to spend!