6 Sneaky Food Inflation Tricks to Sidestep Now

Beat the High Cost
of Hidden Food Inflation

Man with expensive groceries Government officials and food manufacturers are working hard to hide food inflation from you.

You’ve probably sensed you are paying more for your food these days. Unfortunately, political schmucks in Washington and their food industry cronies have a vested interest in hiding the true impact of their inflationary policies on your food purchases.

We’re going to reveal the underhanded means they use to convince you that there isn’t a problem.

Official average inflation for 2013 was 1.2 percent. That’s a nice, normal number when compared to recent years. It’s even normal compared to annual inflation prior to the economic meltdown. So why is it that you seem to have less money to go around every month? Especially after your weekly trip to the grocery store?

The pain you feel when you pay your food bill is all too real. And it’s not going away anytime soon. We’ll recommend some steps you can take to prepare for higher food prices and tougher times.

The Government Thinks Food Doesn’t Count

The first way food inflation is being hidden is through the very inflation calculation itself. When the federal government comes out and tells you that inflation in the last year has been 1.2 percent, they’re using what’s called a core price index. Because food and oil prices tend to be more volatile than many other goods, they’re dropped from the core price index. That means the typical number thrown around when talking about inflation doesn’t consider rises in food or fuel prices.

Food prices could be going through the roof, but if hard goods like cars and clothing aren’t going up, the reported inflation number will be low. That can leave you scratching your head because so many things you usually buy at the grocery store seem a lot more expensive – or don’t seem to last as long – but you’re being told prices haven’t changed much.

Trust us… you’re not crazy. The cost of living is going up and it’s going up rapidly.

The Facts on the Ground

When it comes to food prices, it’s been nothing but up-up-up for the past several years. In some countries, food inflation has gotten so bad, that governments are intervening in extreme ways.

Take Argentina, for example. Early in February 2013, Argentina announced a plan to freeze food prices for at least two months. Inflation in Argentina was expeceted to top 30 percent in 2013, and that puts basic necessities like food out of reach of the average citizen.

Weird weather, like a U.S. drought and flooding in Australia, affected crop production, which drove up the price of food.

But it’s not just Mother Nature wreaking havoc. The Fed’s monetary policy also has an effect. When the Fed injects money into the economy through quantitative easing, it decreases your purchasing power, which makes the hit you take at the grocery store even worse. Between wild weather and bad policies, food prices are expected to experience double the core inflation rate during this year. And some staples, like corn could go up by as much as 50 percent!

Sneaky Ways to Hide Food Inflation

To keep consumers complacent, food manufacturers are taking to underhanded means to make you feel like you’re not paying more. Their main strategy is to shrink packages while keeping the price the same. Just take a look at these examples:

  1. You used to pay about a dollar and a quarter for a 16-ounce box of spaghetti, but some brands have dropped the box size to 13.25 ounces for the same price.
  2. A three-dollar jar of mayonnaise has dropped from 34 ounces to 30 ounces.
  3. A 75-cent can of tuna has fallen from 6 ounces to 5 ounces.
  4. A three-dollar jug of orange juice used to deliver 64 ounces of juice–now you get 59 ounces for the same price.
  5. You used to be able to pick up a half gallon of ice cream for four bucks–now you’ll get a quart and half.
  6. A $4 bag of potato chips has shrunk by 12.5%.

The examples go on and on. You may feel like you’re buying the same amount of food for the same amount of money, but brand after brand is giving you a smaller size and hoping you won’t notice.

Other Sources of Hidden Food Inflation

The other thing that plays a big role in the cost of your grocery bill is changing fuel prices. When fuel prices go up, it costs more to produce the goods, to get the goods to the store, and to go pick up the goods. This chips away at the amount of money you have left over after buying groceries every month.

And that brings us to the final source of hidden food inflation: wage stagnation. While food prices are shooting for the moon, your wages aren’t changing… and if they are, they’re likely going down.

It all adds up to less money in your wallet and a bigger pinch at the grocery store. The government and food manufacturers don’t want you to realize what’s happening, but it is happening, and that’s why you need to take steps to prepare.

Your Best Hedge against Food Inflation

The trend of food inflation outpacing the core inflation rate and wage increases isn’t going to end soon. The time to take action is now. The best thing you can do is invest in foodstuffs with a long shelf life. We recommend at least a 30-day supply for your household, but a three-to-six month supply is really ideal. By stocking up on non-perishable items now and keeping them on hand, you have a backstop should inflation ever outpace your wages by so much that you can’t get the food you need. Or if you face a major, unexpected expense, your food stores will give you a way to meet it without having to go into debt or cut way back on groceries.

In the face of ongoing food inflation, a food store gives you and your family peace of mind and ensures that you’re ready for whatever may come in terms of food prices.