08/14/2012 02:35 pm ET Updated Aug 14, 2012

20 Ways To Save On Food


More than half the counties in the United States have become government-designated disaster areas this year -– mostly due to drought.

A new survey says 94 percent of 2,208 respondents were concerned about the drought –- although 8 percent apparently first heard of it through the survey, which says only 86 percent were aware “of the recent drought issues.”

(If you haven’t heard, you can read up on the drought outlook in specific areas of the country at the National Weather Service website.)

More than a third (36 percent) of respondents expect higher food prices because of it. Here’s how they plan to avoid a bigger total at checkout…
  • Use coupons (70 percent)
  • Buy store brands and generics (60 percent)
  • Buy less expensive items, e.g. more canned and less fresh food (48 percent)
  • Shop at a discount grocer (45 percent)
  • Buy in bulk (41 percent)
  • Freeze large amounts of food (33 percent)

The drought may impact dairy and beef prices within the year, but increases on corn products – including anything with high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything from soda to cereal, won’t be as dramatic and may not be noticeable until next year, according to the latest update to the USDA’s Food Price Outlook

"The severe drought in the Midwest is expected to affect prices for corn and soybeans as well as other field crops which should, in turn, impact retail food prices. However, the transmission of commodity price changes into retail prices typically takes several months to occur, and most of the impact of the drought is expected to be realized in 2013."

The USDA says the “full extent” of the drought’s effects on prices isn’t obvious yet. Future updates will continue to adjust the price estimates. But regardless of price hikes, taking any of the steps above will shrink your grocery bill, as will these…

20 Ways To Save On Food

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