Mature man reads label on milk carton.

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Consumers can face a world of added costs.

Key Point

  • Americans have increased their spending on food over the years.
  • After a major storm, food costs could skyrocket even more.
  • Florida’s citrus crops are well known, but key fertilizer ingredients are also produced in the Sunshine State.

There’s a reason so many Americans have had to ditch their savings just to survive this year. Inflation has pushed up the cost of living and has had a major impact on food costs.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, food costs rose 11.4% on an annual basis through August, the largest annual increase since May 1979. Hurricane Ian could further spike food prices.

Impact of Hurricane Ian on Food Supply

Florida is known as a major supplier of citrus fruits. But with 75% of the state’s citrus belt likely to be flooded, it’s entirely possible that certain supply he chains could be hit to some extent. And when that happens, prices for citrus and related products could rise.

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But that’s not all. A major producer of phosphates used in fertilizers is based in Tampa, and if the city were hit really hard, it could affect production there. , given that the aforementioned phosphates are needed to feed farmers across the country, this could be a problem.

Abnormal weather raises an ugly head

Hurricane Ian wasn’t the only extreme weather event affecting the food supply chain this year. Much of the country was also hit by drought during the summer. This forced farmers to destroy their crops.

Overall, the more weather makes food supply chains more difficult to maintain, the more likely consumers are to suffer. And at a time when everything is already very expensive, that’s a problem.

How to save money on food during inflation

It’s too early to tell what impact Hurricane Ian will ultimately have on food production. Either way, consumers struggling financially this year can and should take steps to cut food-related spending as prices soar.

One option is to plan your menu in advance and load up on sale items as they become available. This tactic works especially well with perishables, as they do not have the same limited shelf life as products such as meat, fruit, and vegetables.

Consumers with a sufficient amount of storage space at their disposal can also take advantage of bulk buying opportunities. , can lower the cost per ounce or unit.

Likewise, taking advantage of a Costco membership can be of great help during a time when food prices seem to be rising endlessly. It could be a smart move for now for larger households with easy access to the warehouse club store.

Of course, with Hurricane Ian moving in and out of the state, the safety of Florida residents is paramount and a concern. But the fact that storms can cause additional economic stress for consumers across the country is worth noting and being prepared for.

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