Grocery prices expected to be up 3.5% this year

St. Petersburg, Florida - "When prices went up years ago, for me the quality of the vegetables deteriorated. I was very motivated to start my own garden," says Nathan Levy. That's when he decided to grow his own fruits and vegetables.

And after two failed attempts, he now has an expanded, profitable organic garden.

"You can walk by and pick one; eat it and get your vitamin C right then and there."

But garden or no garden, Levy and other shoppers will still get caught paying more for items that can't be grown in your backyard in the Tampa Bay area.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says four out of six major grocery stores have already seen increases: over 70 percent for coffee, over 11 percent for wheat, and over seven percent for meat like cattle.

See Also:Rising food prices bite into household budgets

Home-growers and small market owners say the only defense is to grow what you can.

"It is very economically if you do it correctly. It is not hard to do once you know how," said Levy.

In most cases, it appears the hike is because of weather-related issues, mainly drought. Also diseases and viruses have played a part, especially with hogs. You might notice that the price of pork has also gone up considerably.

The good news: according to the report there were a few grocery items that did drop: cereal and non-alcoholic beverages were among those food items. READ the FULL report at


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