Shoppers Cope With Sky High Food Prices

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Earlier this month it was reported that beef prices are at the highest they've been in nearly 30 years. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates food prices will increase between 2.5 and 3.5 percent in 2014.

That's not good news for shoppers like Angeline Bula, who has adapted the way she shops to fit her budget.

"I use coupons and look for mark down stuff," she said while shopping at Copp's in Antigo.

The store's assistant manager says that the higher prices for groceries has not gone unnoticed.

"We have a lot of customers complaining about the beef prices," Cari Dieck said.

Some shoppers are changing their meal plans, by making supper out of sale items, or passing on the more expensive meats.

"Instead of buying the $7.99 steaks or $12.99 steaks, they're going for the cheaper hamburgers," Dieck said.

Shoppers wanting to save may need to get creative. For example, if a recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts you can purchase a whole chicken for about one dollar more and twice as much meat.

Other tips include always using coupons, which can be found in ads, in-store, online or on phone apps; taking advantage of loyalty programs; paying attention to store promotions; and choosing store brand items rather than name brand.

That's what another shopper, Elizabeth Dunlap, does on her trips to the grocery store.

"The cost of groceries has changed dramatically in the past ten years," Dunlap said. "Now I don't buy anything unless it's on sale or I've got a coupon or whatever and I've raised four children and it's been tough going," she said.

Shoppers can also ask for price matches and buy in bulk.

According to USDA, groceries have risen by an average of 2.8 percent each year since 1990.

California's on-going drought is expected to cause even more skyrocketing prices at the grocery store.

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