October 28, 2016

Not Good News – Price for this Food Staple is Going Up

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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5 Comments on Not Good News – Price for this Food Staple is Going Up

  1. Yeah, I have seen a small jump in price here in NJ. I am sure now that the news is mainstream the prices will artificially inflate as well. I go through a lot of peanut butter myself. Time to stock up on more of it prior to the next price increase(s).

  2. I swear, if we all started eating cardboard because it’s cheap, the price of would go up a dollar a pound 🙂 I checked and it looks like the shelf life of peanut butter (the standard homogenized kind) is 12 months. Time to look for month-sized jars on sale and start rotating this, too. Thanks for the heads-up, we would miss our peanut butter and the holidays are coming when we use a lot.

    • Rain23, Good idea, picking up enough for a month then keep rotating. Wish there was a way to get cheap food without driving up the prices!

  3. A shadow of things to come.

    As a kid (and largely until recent years), I never understood exactly fragile the food chain is. The older I get, the more I realize how the things we put in our mouths turn on extremely small cogs.

    Doesn’t help that our nation is become ever more top heavy, with fewer producers and more consumers.

    One suggestion that is perhaps a little lower on the immediacy and sustainability scales but still worthwhile-If you have the space, try growing some peanuts.

    If you are an apartment bound urbivalist (like Bernie), probably won’t be an option, but if you have a small yard, it may be worth giving it a rip.

    Found this cool article on growing peanuts for self sufficiency (includes, growing, harvesting, saving, roasting, and making peanut butter).


    • Hey Dan, thanks for the link, neat article on peanut growing. It would be worth a try, as they are a good protein source. Wish I had the yard space!

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