I just heard over the radio today that peanut prices are about to jump up this year, and with that, the price of a staple at our house, peanut butter. Of course, this does not apply to you if you or someone in your family has a peanut allergy, but for thousands of households, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are some of the cheapest, fairly nutritious food that kids love to eat.
The reasons for the price hike are two fold:
- Supply: The drought in Texas and Georgia has cause production to decrease – farmers are reporting the smallest peanut crop this year
- Demand: Demand for peanut butter since 2008, when the recession hit, has skyrocketed, with many families choosing peanut butter as an inexpensive source of protein
We go through a lot of peanut butter in our household, and this latest piece of news worries me. With all the increasing prices of meat, vegetables, coffee, peanut butter is one of the foods that families cutting back can count on. Now those prices are rising too. There are a few ways to cope:
- The prices have already increased but are expected to rise again. Stock up now and avoid paying higher prices later. Watch those expiration dates, though.
- Compare prices among the name brands and store brands. If you are unsure of the taste, pick the smallest size and try it. Do a taste test. If the family doesn’t mind the taste, switch to the store brands which will tend be cheaper.
- Find other inexpensive sandwich fillings: if bologna or ham go on sale, and the prices are low enough, then pick them up.
- Use less. Stop slathering the peanut butter too thick, so you can stretch out your supply.
- Avoid waste. If the kids usually only eat half a sandwich, then serve only what they will eat.
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