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All meat products, dairy, and eggs will increase in price due to continuing drought. Corn is what many animals eat and it's been in short supply driving prices higher. Here are ways to offset some of these price increases:
1) Try using smaller amounts amounts of meat in a way that is not very noticeable. Spaghetti with meat sauce, chili, stir fry, wraps, pizza, and soup can be loaded with vegetables and a little less meat than before. The price of meat is supposed to rise about 4%, and cutting back on portion size by 10% won't be noticed.
2) Experiment with sauces and spices to give more savory flavor and satisfaction.
3) Though milk products and eggs will be priced higher this year than last, they are still cheaper than meat as a protein source. Adding some cheese to dishes that contain less meat seems to make it all good! Think of all the Tex-Mex dishes that depend on beans for protein. So yummy.
3) Try some new vegetarian recipes this year. Do you do "Meatless Mondays"? You might want to set aside 2 nights a week for vegetarian meals, even if you don't announce it to your family. Tofu might be more affordable than meat, but it could also be affected by the drought.
More items that could be affected by the drought: adhesives, aluminum, aspirin, cough syrup, crayons, dry cell batteries, ethanol, gelatin capsules, honey, ink, paint, soy products, stamps, starch, tires, toothpaste, and vitamins.
New cars will cost about $1000 more this year than last. The silver lining is that used cars are lower in price than in 2012 making them a better buy. You don't pay for the depreciation of driving a new car off the lot either. That's already been done for you and you reap the savings. Check with Edmonds.com to learn the true cost of owning a particular car. Don't forget to find the cheapest car insurance by doing some good comparison shopping too! Take good care of your car to make it last longer.
Health care premiums will continue to rise. This is difficult to avoid, but you can shop around next Fall during the open enrollment period to see if you can find a better deal. In the meantime try to keep healthy with diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Taxes are up and this will take a bite out of your paycheck also. Between the health care premiums and the taxes, you could have about $100 less in your monthly paycheck. That depends on your income of course. How to make that up? Going out to eat less and cooking at home is the quickest way to make up the difference. Vow to have no more food waste--freeze leftovers. Cut way back on junk food since it's not contributing to health. Limit soft drinks and alcohol to certain occasions for big savings. Eat more Super Foods to get the most nutrition for your money!
Click here for my post on 16 ways to save on food. It gets down to the nitty-gritty of basic ways to save on food.
Click here for Part Two of this Fight Inflation series.
Click on the labels below this post for ways to cut costs.