Get ready to stretch your wallet. We're already seeing the signs of prices creeping up in just the infancy days of 2011. So be prepared to open wide for:
1. A Trip to the Grocery Store
The USDA forecasts a 2% to 3% hike in the cost of all foods in 2011. Higher corn and soybean prices are the main force behind the increase. Remember, farm animals have to be fed and when those costs go up, so does what you pay. Expect a big spike in the dairy case and meat counter, where pork alone is forecast to rise between 3% and 4%.
If it's any comfort, in 2008 food costs overall rose more than 5.5%. And you still didn't lose weight.
Solution: Sign up for sites that offer grocery coupons. Shop the weekly sales and the manager's specials. Plan your meals for the week and make a list of what you need before you go to the market. Don't buy impulse items, even if they're on sale. Consider a grocery co-op if your neighborhood has one. Don't be afraid to try planting a vegetable garden, at least for your fresh herbs.
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