Two Wall Street Journal news items this week indicate that more belt tightening is coming for families. The first from their emailed CFO Journal (3/14/14) “The Morning Ledger: Oil Shipments Sidetrack Other Industries” reports “A major snarl in railroad traffic is ricocheting through the supply chains of businesses across the U.S., causing delays and losses for shippers of goods ranging from coal to sugar”. This echoes other news reports that increased supply and demand for crude oil from the northeast is dominating the shipping industry leaving farmers without transportation for their bumper grain crops. If it doesn’t get to market, shortages cause increases in food prices.
The March 18, 2014 morning print edition carried this front page piece: “Food Prices Surge as Drought Exacts a High Toll on Crops: Costs Pinch Consumers, Companies Still Grappling With Sluggish Economic Recovery” saying “Surging prices for food staples from coffee to meat to vegetables are driving up the cost of groceries in the U.S., pinching consumers and companies that are still grappling with a sluggish economic recovery. . . Federal forecasters estimate retail food prices will rise as much as 3.5% this year, the biggest annual increase in three years, as drought in parts of the U.S. and other producing regions drives up prices for many agricultural goods.”
Short story: Food prices are still going up even though your paycheck isn’t.
What to do about it? My ten step series “Don’t Eat Your Wallet! 10 Easy Steps To Reducing Grocery Expenses” (DEYW!) has ideas from a grocery savings/coupon class that I’ve given several times. Later this week, I’ll begin posting the new series “100+ Savings Tips: A Quick List Of 100+ Things You Can Start Today To Save Money”. No one has all the answers, but hopefully you’ll find a few helpful things in these two series and other posts.