As we are all feeling the sky rocketing cost of our daily foods and groceries, many do not know why, or how long conditions will be like this, and what to expect in our future. Many will site economics. Many will site politics. Many will site farmers. Many more will site truckers, or shipping, and port processing. Most will site COVID, and definitely the shut down of various industries, and factories. And, many more, will site the cost of fuel.
Sure, all of these are true to some extent, or another. Some are more majorly impactful, currently, than others as well. Therefore, now, more than ever, we need to plan ahead.
When I speak of planning ahead in shopping, I am not just talking about cost of foods, groceries, and your budget. I am also speaking about AVAILABILITY. We are for the first time in a very long time, if at all in my generation, or younger, are experiencing active shortages, that are, may, and in some cases, will be active for an extended period of time in the future, possibly indefinitely. Thus, fueling the cost of simple regular living items to skyrocket, and so many more.
Many people fail to realize all of the pieces it takes to get an item from the source, finished, and to your kitchen for consumption and use. For example, I’ll use the example of eggs.
Eggs, are sourced from animals raised at either a facility, or farm. Let’s go with Organic Free Range Eggs, 1 dozen, Large. Let’s make them Farm Raised. Basically, the healthiest and natural egg packaged.
From the time the farmer collects the egg, the farmer has already acquired and utilized, chickens, roosters, land, feed, water, monitoring systems, lighting, electricity, medical, handling, buildings, and various machines to distribute the nutrients to feed the crops, that creates the feeds, for the Chicken and Roosters, and more.
The farmer will have hired staff, likely to collect the eggs in some cases, or machine automated the collection process from the Chickens. Then, there are endless different types of inspections, and permits. These inspections include, but are not limited to, weights, sizes, type, FDA approved qualities, and etc., are now up for action. Then staff utilize various sorting and packaging machines.
Next up, transporting the now crated cartons of palletized eggs, to either a shipper (truck and or boat), or direct to store. Many stores have central hubs to the various communities.
There are so many steps I did not include. However, you get the gist of what I am saying. What I do not mention is the fuel to run some of the machinery, the replacement parts, tools for repair, gear oil, gear materials, and etc. Over head costs, and the various insurances? Cost per employee, plus insurance? Taxes? Do they own the transportation trucks, or are they leasing? Do they need a refrigerated trucking system? Size of truck? Insurance? Etc, etc, etc.
Now, did you think about where some of the parts are manufactured that make the process run? Or, machine oil and packaging? Labeling? Stamping equipment? Inspections? Permits? Accounting? Legal? Maintenance and etc. Many of those physical things are manufactured some place else. Each is individualized. Many cogs in the wheel as they say.
This leads me to where things come from? We are a global society, and a global economy for a reason. Even all the way down to disposal. The machine made in Italy, the processor made in China, the ink for labeling India, the paper from Canada, the eggs from who knows where. You see where I am going with this? Sourcing. Even when all is sourced in one country, there is still endless sourcing. All the way to the paper you write your notes on, and that Bic Pen you use. Sourcing, processing, and shipping.
The simple Scrambled Eggs and Bacon, or Eggs Benedict, or even the Hard Boiled Egg, or Smoothie, this is the process to get that one dozen Large, Organic, Free Range Eggs.
With all this being said, this explains how we are where we are at now. Skyrocketing food and grocer prices. It also explains how we must plan, and prepare.
I have not even factored in, major outside political factors, affecting our daily living. From China, Russia, India, and abroad. Nor, have I factored in ‘exclusive’ or ‘specialty items’.
But, the ‘BEASTS OF ALL‘, ‘Amazon’, ‘Big Box Stores’, ‘Walmart’, ‘Target’, ‘Best Buy’, ‘Whole Foods’, typically ‘Anchor Stores’, all the way to 7- Elevens or Circle K Marts.
I also, most definitely have NOT INCLUDED ANY RESTAURANT, or ‘cooked food, i.e. fast food, or convenient food’, to before it hits your kitchen.
EVERYONE is experiencing these new processes. EVERYONE is experiencing these new expenses. But, hopefully this answers some questions. I hope in reading this it gives you guidance, foresight, and tips for preparing and saving for the months ahead.
So, today I came across a great article of insight and planning, that we all should brace for. It doesn’t matter your wealth, as much as your system of regularity, convenience, needs, and then money. Then factor, how you can, will, or won’t adjust.
By now it’s hard to remember when grocery prices were “normal”. Ever since the pandemic costs for basic items have increased, and coupled with the recent increases in inflation and shortages for many essential produce ingredients, things are even more expensive right now. Companies like Kraft and Mondelez—who are the forces behind some of the most popular items on shelves like Oreo, Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, and more—have already raised prices and trends are pointing to the fact that they could do so again.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agrees. According to the most recent Food Price Outlook report for April, six major food groups are going to continue to go up in price through the rest of the year. Read on to find out which ones they are.
Many grocery stores place the fresh food sections right near an entrance. If your supermarket is set up this way, expect to walk in and immediately be greeted by higher prices throughout 2022. The USDA says that both fresh fruits and vegetables are expected to go up in price between another 4.5% and 5.5%.
There also may be fewer bananas, strawberries, zucchini, broccoli, and more to choose from. One global commodity expert recently told CNBC that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions, plus the increase in fertilizer costs are a “double whammy” the full effects of which may not be felt until later into 2022 with upcoming harvests.
Another pricier buy at grocery stores will be dairy products. “Rapid increases in the consumption of dairy products have driven increases in retail prices in recent months,” the USDA says in the report. “This trend continued in March 2022 with a 1.2-percent increase in the prices for dairy products.”
The organization is predicting that prices for yogurt, cream cheese, milk, cheese, and other dairy favorites will go up 6% to 7% soon.
The egg industry isn’t only facing issues related to the pandemic. There’s also a massive number of birds who have been or are currently infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza. Bloomberg reports that the cases are threatening U.S. exports and making it harder to harvest eggs. With egg prices being directly related to supply and demand, the cost of a dozen could rollercoaster for the rest of the year.
“An ongoing outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza could contribute to poultry and egg price increases through decreased supply or prices could be reduced by a drop in international demand for U.S. poultry,” the USDA says before noting that prices are predicted to increase another 6% to 7% in 2022.
Meat prices in the delis and frozen sections of the grocery store have been anything but steady or cheap within the last two years, and 2022 is going to be no exception, the USDA predicts. Grocery shoppers should be aware that beef and veal prices could increase between 6% and 7%, pork prices by 4% and 5%, and other meat prices by 3.5% and 4.5% in the coming months.
Related: 7 Steakhouse Chains With the Best Quality Meat in America
The bird flu outbreak isn’t going to just affect eggs but chickens, too. Some grocery store brands are already feeling the effects—Jennie-O, which is owned and operated by Hormel Foods, recently saw some of its flocks become ill. Should the outbreak continue, it could affect the beloved rotisserie chicken at places like Costco, while also raising chicken and other poultry prices by up to 6.5%, according to the USDA.
Fish prices have already skyrocketed this year, and the USDA predicts that higher prices will keep reeling in for a while. “A 1.5-percent increase in the price of fresh fish and seafood drove a 0.8-percent price increase in fish and seafood between February and March 2022,” it says while noting that grocery shoppers may see an increase between 5% and 6% reflected before the end of 2022.
While higher grocery bills will be seen in the future, if you shop at one of several stores there’s one thing that won’t be around much longer—ALDI Is Joining Other Grocery Chains in Banning This From Stores.
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On a side note: sorry for any typos, I was writing in the wee hours.