How to Have More While Spending Less

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Up With Food Prices?

The answer is, well...almost everything. 

If you've gone grocery shopping in the past few months, you've probably experienced some "sticker shock".  I have personally been tracking our food prices for the past 50 weeks & almost everything has risen in the past few months.

Why?  Is it due to gas & diesel prices being so high?  Is it because of the unrest in the Mid East or the devastation in Japan?  The United Nations mentions none of those reasons.

By the way, this post isn't meant to alarm or depress you.  Some people watch The Weather Channel before getting dressed for the day or before deciding whether or not to wash their car.  This is the same thing.  I just want an idea of what I can expect.  Personally, I try to avoid getting caught in a rainstorm in stilletos.  I'd much rather have my umbrella & some cute rain boots!

This is just some of the information that can help us know what to expect.
This graph from the U.N. shows the major commodities/staples of the world's diet.

The world supply of corn is up 83% from March of last year. 

Wheat is now 63% higher than it was this time last year. 

The reason they show sugar prices declining last month is based upon the speculation that India will be producing more than usual.  Sure hope they're right.  Fingers crossed!  I do love my gummy bears.

The price for oils & fats is a similar story.  They show them decreasing based upon the recovery of "prospects for palm oil".  Again, fingers crossed because I love me some rich foods!

Overall, commodity prices are just below the all-time high they reached in mid-2008 (when gas prices averaged just over $4.00/gallon).  Hmmm...I don't wanna think that there's a correlation, but the numbers certainly show gas prices & food prices fluctuating together.

The graph below tracks what the United Nations calls the Food Price Index.  It's not measured in actual currency;  it's just basically an indication of how the world's food prices are trending. 
Whew!  I'm glad those 2008 gas prices are gone!  But, I'm not too excited about the trend of 2009 or 2010...or what 2011 is looking like so far.  My Mom has always said, "Don't borrow trouble," so  I'm not even going to speculate what might happen if this year's gas & diesel prices keep climbing.

What I am going to do is prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.  What does that look like?  I'll post that soon.  It's possible to feel secure without feeling scared.  It's a nice, calm, content feeling & I like it.  :)  Ahhh.

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