If your grocery bill has been lower this year, you’re certainly not alone.
Beef, poultry and eggs are just a few of the items that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says have dropped in price during the first half of 2016. But you can expect to see higher prices as we look ahead to 2017.
According to the USDA, grocery store prices are expected to rise between 1% and 2% next year, which is actually below the historical average of 2.5%.
7 grocery store items that will likely cost more in 2017
1. Beef and veal
Beef and veal prices are 7.7% lower than this time last year due to a greater supply and weak demand. However, the USDA says U.S. beef is becoming more attractive abroad as a result of the price drop. Look for beef prices to remain lower for the rest of 2016 and increase 2% to 3% in 2017.
Poultry prices are down as well this year, but they’re only about 3.2% lower than in 2015. Both chicken and turkey are likely cheaper at the supermarket. You can count on further declines through Thanksgiving and Christmas, but poultry prices are expected to rise 1.5% to 2.5% next year.
Hasn’t it been nice to buy a dozen eggs on sale for less than $1? Egg prices are 29% below the July 2015 levels, according to the USDA. With the avian flu outbreak behind us, experts predict prices at the retail level will continue to decline this year and rise 1% to 2% in 2017.
4. Fresh fruits
Unlike some of the other items we’ve mentioned so far, fresh fruits cost about 3% more than they did one year ago. That trend is expected to continue into 2017 with a 1% to 2% increase.
5. Fresh vegetables
Vegetable prices are also on the rise, but not by as much as fresh fruits. This could make them a better buy as we head into the holidays. Prices may increase slightly in 2017 as well.
6. Dairy products
We’ve enjoyed a nice stretch of declining dairy prices, but demand is expected to be high for the rest of 2016, which could drive prices up. Going into 2017, count on a 1.5% to 2.5% increase.
7. Cereal and bakery products
Not only will milk prices be going up, but you can expect the cereal you pour it on to cost more as well. The USDA predicts a 1.5% to 2.5% increase in 2017. Prices for the rest of this year will rise by a similar percentage.
But there are ways to save!
The USDA’s forecast is based on the assumption of normal weather conditions, but severe weather could drive up prices even higher than what’s predicted. For example, the California drought could have effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices.
Meanwhile, a strong U.S. dollar can make it harder to sell our food products overseas, which may lead to an oversupply here at home – driving down prices.
While these factors are out of our control, there are things you can do to save money. Aside from clipping coupons, you can shop at a discount store like Aldi, buy generic brands, skip prepared foods and use one of these cash back apps!