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Pain at the Grocery Store - Prices Climbing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Grocery shopping is taking a bigger bite out of the family budget in Missouri. Food prices are higher now than at the beginning of the year.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Food prices in Missouri are higher now than at the beginning of the year.

16 items are regularly tracked on the American Farm Bureau Federation Market Basket survey and those items range in at $52.44, compared to the first quarter average of $48.73.

"Three years ago you could buy anything, now you're going to the lowest shelf for the best deal."

As food prices continue to increase, grocery shoppers across Missouri are noticing the pain its putting on their pockets.

"I have three kids of my own and another on the way so its hard for me," says shopper Elizabeth Sweeney.  "I have to really stick to the always save brands-- anything like that."

Families find themselves cutting back.
"Anything on sale, I will usually buy in bulk," Sweeney says.

They're focusing on their absolute needs.
"It's just not anything that's a luxury anymore.  It's what you absolutely have to have for your family."

 Meat and dairy products were among the 16 foods surveyed.
According to an economist with the Farm Bureau,  consumer demand is what hiked those prices.

"Meats are outrageous right now but frozen seems to be the best," says Sweeney.  "I'll do frozen patties anything like that."

One gallon of whole milk rose 6 cents since the last quarter and that's not all, the price of a dozen eggs rose by 17 cents.
"The real issue is energy prices because the actual product costs less than most products than packages processed and transported," explains Diane Olson, promotion and education director for the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Grains, fruits, and veggies were also looked at.
"Fresh produce seems to be good I just stick with non organic but it's definitely hard to eat healthy nowadays," Sweeney points out.

The price of red delicious apples rose by 13 cents.. and the price of russet potatoes rose by 64 cents.
That was for a 5 lb bag of potatoes so an item there -- that's a specific size.

Of the 16 items surveyed,  10 came in higher for Missouri shoppers during the semi-annual survey, five were lower and one remained the same.

"Food prices are just a part of the big picture and it seems like they're going up but they've gone up probably less than 3 percent overall this year. It's frustrating-- because it's something you need for survival," says Sweeney.

On average,  Americans spend just under ten percent of their disposable annual income on food - the lowest average of any country in the world.

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