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The rising costs of food

By Mathilda Charles

It’s not over yet. Rising food prices, that is.

The best guess of experts is that food prices are likely to rise 5 per cent in the first half of 2022. This is on top of the average 6.8 per cent rise for all items, as reported by the Consumer Price Index in November for the previous 12 months.

That report cited increases for foods such as eggs, meat, poultry and fish topping the list at 12.8 per cent, the highest since 1982.

Which food items do experts point to as likely to see additional price increases? Nearly everything.

And what are the reasons for all the increases? That depends on the item.

Potatoes are heavy; it costs more to ship them. Mayonnaise comes in a jar; packaging costs have risen.

In other words, if there’s a reason, there’s an increase.

We’re all scrambling to find lower food prices. If you have one of the warehouses clubs near you, it might be worth joining. Costco and Sam’s Club will charge you for an annual membership, but over the course of a year, it might be worth it. Your biggest hurdle, however, will be calculating whether you can actually use up the foods before they expire. Nearly everything comes in a mega bulk size.

One benefit is that you can buy more than food in those stores — including tires, furniture, books, jewelry and much more — which keeps you from needing to go into multiple stores to get the things you need. Some of the stores have been using curbside pickup, and some have a discount pharmacy and two-day delivery. All of them have online ordering.

As a test, I just checked the prices of my cereal. If I bought several large boxes, I would save over $2 per box, compared with my local grocery store. I’m tempted to sign up.

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