A dollar sure doesn’t buy what it used to anymore!

About the only place that I can think of where a dollar is still worth a dollar is at the local Dollar Tree store!  During 2011, the costs of all groceries went up, which means your spending power at the grocery store went down.  In 2011, the average cost increase for foods purchased to eat-at-home was 4.8% (USDA Economic Research Service); and, during 2012 costs for eat-at-home foods are expected to go up by 2.5% to 3.5%.  What’s the impact on your wallet?  In January 2011 your dollar was worth a $1.00, but by the time December 2012 rolls around it will worth only $0.93.  Or, if you had $100 to spend on groceries at the start, you’d only have $93 at the end of this year – $7 has been eaten up by price increases!

Which groceries had the largest price increases in 2011?

Beef and veal – up 10.2%

  • Fats and oils – up 9.3%
  • Eggs – up 9.2%
  • Pork – up 8.5%
  • Fish and seafood – up 7.1%

What steps can you take to combat these rising costs?  Consider applying for SNAP benefits – which has a one-two punch.

  •  Punch #1 – average benefits for all adults is $135 per month, which means you’d have an additional $135 added to your grocery budget.
  •  Punch #2 – SNAP benefits are loaded on an EBT card, and when you use your card you pay no sales tax, which saves you 2% on your entire grocery purchase.

What ways have you found to offset higher grocery costs?