On TV, radio and the web, it’s the background noise we have been hearing all summer: the big Midwest drought. Living in South Carolina, where it rains every day at 4pm sharp, it seems like somebody else’s problem. But my grocery bill tends to disagree. The biggest factor? CORN.
Corn — a crop that has been decimated by drought — is used as feed for beef and poultry; is manufactured into ethanol, a gasoline additive; and is cooked into corn syrup, a sweetener in everything from cereals to ketchup. And, of course, that doesn’t count corn’s simple uses, whether to be eaten alone or made into anything from chips to tortillas. CBS Money Watch
Before the planting season, they were talking about a record crop. Now they say it will be down 12% from last year. So how does this affect your wallet? And what can you do about it?
- Buy meat now: Before long, it will be cheaper for farmers to slaughter their livestock that to feed them. When that happens, meat process will shoot up.
- $kip proce$$ed food$: they have a lot of high-fructo$e corn $yrup.
- Buy fruit: The weather that is killing vegetables is good for fruit, so prices are lower.
- Substitute. Oatmeal instead of processed cereal, fish instead of beef, foods with simple sugar instead of fructose, etc.
- Eat locally: If you happen to live in an unaffected area, the local stuff should be cheaper.
So, have you seen the difference in your grocery bill? Do you have any other saving tips? Let us know!