If you eat meat every day, which many Canadians do, your grocery bill could be significantly higher in the new year. A new report by the University of Guelph says meat costs are expected to rise by almost 10% in 2013. The reason meat is getting more expensive is because it's costing farmers more to feed their animals. Cattle feed costs are higher because of the extremely hot summer we just experienced, which lead to droughts and a slower harvest across North America. It’s all connected - and one rising cost within the chain means we all pay for it.
The Food Cost Chain
Last summer, ranchers were forced to kill part of their herd because it was too expensive to feed them. U of Guelph's report states, “Because the inventories are now much lower than last year, pressures on beef production and distribution [will impact] the price for consumers.” Any meat lover will gasp thinking their precious rib-eye steak or back bacon will take more money out of their wallet - but there is plenty you can do to help curb this cost and save on your grocery bill.
Experts are telling meat lovers to stock their freezers before we’re hit with skyrocketing prices. That might be a good temporary fix, but meat can’t last forever, even in your deep freezer. The first thing we have to do is to stop wasting food. North American families waste more than $122 a month on food monthly because it goes bad or is thrown away. That adds up to $1464 in a year.
Psst: Looking for even more ways to save at the grocery store? Check out How to Shop - and Save - Like a Granny.
Shop With a List
Cut waste by shopping with a list. We spend almost 25% less on groceries when we plan what we need ahead of time and write it out. Shopping on the same day of the week can help save money too. By creating a routine of how you shop and planning your food shopping you can save extra money that you will need to pay for beef and pork.
Buy Local and Organic
This may seem like the worst advice for someone trying to save money on meat, but in the long run the economic impact of shoppers buying local will mean prices will remain stable. By supporting your local farmers we ensure they stay in business and continue to provide products to consumer at the most reasonable price possible.
The price increase is likely to hit beef and pork prices hardest. Beef prices are set to increase by between 6% and 8% next year, pork prices as much as eight to 10%. Choose chicken products, which will still be much cheaper.
The rise in prices is expected to happen slowly over the next year, as cattle feed prices remain high and have not sign of coming down. Choosing less meat and more vegetables is the easiest way to cut costs and it is definitely healthier. However, if you plan to enjoy your daily evening BBQ this summer take steps now to save money on your groceries in the New Year.