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5 of Your Favorite Foods Will Be Cheaper This Summer

May 20, 2016
by Dana Sitar
Staff Writer
cheap food

Since I was a kid, my mom’s been bemoaning the rising price of milk.

As an adult, I’ve watched the trend continue in recent years. I’ve come to expect shelling out nearly $4 for a gallon.

For a childfree 20-something who doesn’t even enjoy the creamy beverage, the price isn’t too scary. But for a family with several young children who can’t seem to get enough of it? Every spike in dairy prices means a hit to your grocery budget.

Good news! The price of several of our favorite foods — including milk — is dropping this year, Time reports.

So breathe easy this summer, and eat up. Look for lower food prices on these five items at the grocery store, according to Time:

1. Milk

I know some dairy farmers who won’t love this news, but I know more Midwestern families that will delight in hearing milk prices are finally falling.

Milk supply has grown due to several factors in recent years, driving prices down about 7% from a year ago.

I won’t see the sub-$2 price of my youth, but a gallon of milk is down to an average of $3.15 around the country.

2. Cheese

Tied to the oversupply of milk — which is tied to an oversupply of beef, which we’ll get to shortly — is what the Wall Street Journal calls “a glut of cheese so big that every person in the country would need to eat an extra 3 pounds this year to work it off.”

Are you up to the challenge?

If that sounds like too much, note you’re already probably eating about 36 pounds of cheese per year, according to the WSJ.

Set the Kraft singles aside, and deck your burgers with real cheddar this summer. The price for a block of it fell to a six-year low of $1.27 per pound last week.

3. Beef

Depending on how you like it, the retail price of beef has fallen between 2-10% since this time last year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Ground beef costs an average $3.82 per pound, down from $4.23 last April.

If you haven’t already connected the dots: A few years ago, beef prices jumped, causing farmers to increase the size of their herds. That means more cows, which means not only more beef, but also more milk — and, therefore, cheese.

This general cow surge across the U.S. means we get to enjoy lower prices at the grocery store this year.

Now, moving on to the rest of Old MacDonald’s crew.

4. Eggs

This year’s 13% drop in egg prices is actually a recovery to somewhat normal costs.

This time last year, the nation’s chickens — especially egg-producing hens — were ravaged by a bird flu outbreak. Egg prices hit record highs last August, but are coming down now that Henny Penny and crew have recovered.

Expect a dozen grade-A large eggs to run you just $1.79 this summer, as low as $1.48 in the Midwest, according to BLS data.

5. Pork

The same surplus in grain and corn — used for feed — that was a boon to beef production has affected the pork supply, as well.

Your bacon won’t be cheaper. Anecdotally (and grumpily) I’ll assume you have hipsters or something to thank for its rising value. But other pork products do have kinder price tags.

BLS data says pork chops are 2-3% cheaper and ham is down 3-5%.

Plan Your Summer Meals

These dropping prices are refreshing, but you can always do more to cut your grocery bill if your favorite foods aren’t on this list.

Pull out your smartphone when you get home, and save money with these seven apps.

Follow these five tips from a mother who feeds her family of five on $64 per week.

Prefer the organic, free-range or otherwise-more-sustainable versions of these foods? Keep an eye out for a cheaper version of Whole Foods opening in your area in the next few months!

Your Turn: Have you noticed food prices dropping in your area this year?

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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