KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whether you like it or not, you have to pay for food. It’s a necessity of life, which means you probably want to keep an eye on how much money you’re forking out.
Milk, bread and eggs are the basics on most grocery lists. Soon, they might be the things that cause you to feel a pinch in the pocketbook.
Steve Mosby, a partner with ADMO Energy, explained that external factors, like the price of diesel fuel, have a direct impact on what you spend at the checkout line.
“I see this as a longer-term trend.” Mosby said. He keeps a close eye on the energy industry and watches food, production and gasoline costs. “Three dollar and change diesel out there and that’s going to raise the cost of moving anything around, by rail or truck, producing anything with a tractor, or a manufacturing plant that operates on diesel fuel.”
Mosby said the recent drought in California and basic supply and demand principles are affecting the food market.
“If a guy can’t make money feeding a cow, he’s going to sell it and there will be less supply of beef, chicken, pork, all protein. I’ve never seen more guys exiting the dairy industry in my life.”
So what can you do to maintain a tight food budget? Coupons are a tried and true way that experts say can help save money, but FOX 4 also spoke with some folks who have some tips on how to make your food dollar stretch.
Alex Pope, a butcher and co-owner of the Local Pig Charcuterie, who explained how to make more expensive food purchases last longer.
“It really comes down to thinking ahead and planning ahead and doing a little labor on your part,” he said. “If you marinate some pork shanks the night before, put them in the crock pot, then come home from work, it’ll all be done, it’s going to be great.”
Pope also suggests buying in bulk.
“Anytime you can buy a bigger item and break it down into smaller items that you can do, that you can further process, you’re going to save some money like that,” he said.
Pope also suggested buying items like whole chickens and beef that can be prepared for stew and chili, as well as other less expensive items.
“Throw some vegetables in with the meat you’re cooking and it’ll feel like you’re having more meat, and simply eat a little less meat, and you’re going to cut your budget down,” he said.
According to the Associated Press, consumers saw food costs rise 0.4 percent in February, the biggest jump in nearly two-and-a-half years.
The AP also reported that beef prices climbed four percent last month, the most in more than 10 years, as a result of recent droughts. Milk, cheese and other dairy prices also rose.