Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food Prices To Continue to Rise for 2012

FORT MILL, S.C. -- Sticker shock in the grocery aisle is forcing some people to change their food buying habits to make ends meet.

Let's face it, a hundred dollars at the grocery store isn't buying you what it used to.

Prices rose nearly five percent for common household groceries last year, according to the USDA.   Prices reached record levels around this time last year.

In 2012, the USDA says some food prices are predicted to rise, but not as fast as last year.
Connie Jarrett from Fort Mill says $100 used to buy three or four bags of food, now it doesn’t.
Her days of going to Harris Teeter for all her groceries are over. Rising food prices are the reasons why. Now, a trip there involves planning.

"I try to look for their specials,” Jarrett said.

Jarrett will drive to two or three other stores if there's a better deal.  She says it saves her a little bit of money. Hitting another store saved her two dollars on her favorite coffee.

"So I'll go ahead and get a couple when otherwise I might just get one,” she said.

Jamie Johnson shops at Food Lion.

"The prices have definitely gone up,” she said. Johnson is buying less and sticking to basics.

"Just make good dishes out of those,” she said.

Johnson says she tried going to different stores to take advantage of sales, but it didn't work for her.

"When you look at the difference in what you're burning for gas, it's best to just stay at one store,” she said.

The USDA says 2012 food prices aren't expected to be as high as 2011, but will be above historical averages. Typical foods you eat at home are expected to rise 3 to 4 percent.

The USDA forecasts meat, eggs and dairy prices will rise at a slower rate than cereals, baked goods and processed fruits and veggies.

The USDA says there was an end of the year surge.  Plenty of people noticed.  

"I can't come out of the store and spend less than 60 dollars and that's just for a week.  That's ridiculous for a single person,” said shopper Leigh Hartsoe.

In general, stores try to eat the rising costs, but can only do so much before passing it on to customers.

The USDA says weather, fuel prices and demand all play roles in determining food prices.

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