In the past year and a half, consumers across the country have seen the prices at grocery stores spike, said Ephraim Leibtag, an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
In the past two decades food prices have only increased by an average of 2.5 percent each year, Leibtag said. But from 2006 to 2007, prices spiked 4 percent. And this year they show no sign of easing. The Department of Agriculture is forecasting a 4-5 percent increase in retail prices this year.
The cost of white bread alone was 16.3 percent higher in March than at the same time last year, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks inflation through the Consumer Price Index.
Tips to Save
Buy dried instead of canned grains and beans because they're generally cheaper. With cans, you're paying for water.
Eat seasonally. It's healthy, supports local growers and vegetables and fruits in season are far less expensive.
Supplement your fresh produce with inexpensive frozen vegetables.
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