This has been an interesting year across the United States. Most people would agree that we’ve had less rain than normal this summer. We’ve also had fewer storms, although that doesn’t mean some haven’t had severe weather. Just seeing some of the fires going on around the country lets us know that things have changed drastically for the year.

This is affecting crops obviously, and we’re hearing the warnings of higher food prices coming. We already suffered through higher food prices over the past couple of years as the economy fell off and the price of oil went up. We all know that rising costs get passed on to us, and now it’s going to be even worse.

We might as well acknowledge the trickle down. Crops are worse and that not only means produce will cost us more. Everything else will cost more as well, because some of those crops are fed to animals that bring us meat, and when it’s bad for us it’s also bad for them. I know that going to my local grocery store for only food probably means I’m bringing home little unless I buy something like grits; one can’t live off grits every day for every meal (just trust me on this one). You’ll go a little farther on eggs, but if you even think about variety it’s going to cost you.

Instead of lamenting the higher costs of food you’ll need to become a better shopper. This means comparing prices of your local stores for things you need, not necessarily things you want. This means breaking out of your convention and going to something like a weekend farmer’s market to buy produce from area farmers, which costs a lot less than it does in the store. It might even mean shopping closer to save on gas so that you can redirect that money towards something else.

You might also need to learn to buy in bulk. There are outlet stores where you can get a lot of something for less money; of course it has to be non-perishables unless it’s something you usually go through fast. My mother is an expert at this; she buys paper good and the like that will last her at least six months and saves a lot of money by doing it.

We can sit around and lament the rising costs of goods or we can be proactive and figure out how we’re going to feed ourselves and our family with what we have left. Overall, we’re still living in a land of abundance; we just might have to change the abundance we’re used to in some way.

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