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Welcome to The Smart Mom Manual. I'm Winnie Yu, mom blogger at CompletelyYou.com. My daughters, Samantha and Annie, are 14 and 12. Like most moms, I'm still trying to perfect the balancing act that we all know as motherhood in the modern world. Please don't hesitate to write to me as you read my blog. You can also tweet me @Completely_You. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Say No to Climbing Food Prices

By Winnie Yu for Completely You

The other day, I picked up a bag of dried mangoes -- a new-to-me snack that I’ve recently grown to love -- and realized that most of the bag was filled with air. In essence, I was paying $4.29 for a few mango slices and plenty of air. That’s when I said “No more” and put the bag back on the shelf.

These days, we’re all experiencing leaps in food costs. And if you’re like me, you’re probably feeling powerless. But the truth is that consumers do have a voice. We can say no.

It was last year when it dawned on me just how rapidly food prices are climbing. I found a box of stale graham crackers in my pantry that was only about a year old and priced at $1.98. When I went to the store to pick up a fresh box, the price had gone up to $2.49. OK, so it’s only a 51-cent price hike. But consider the percentage increase in cost: 26 percent!

I don’t know about you guys, but my income hasn’t seen that kind of a hike since the year I swapped my babysitting gigs for a “real job” working at a clothing shop in my local mall. Having to pay that much more for food seems outrageous.

Sure, there are some necessities that I will buy no matter how much they go up, though I may certainly buy less of them. But I’m also learning to say no to certain foods that are simply too much money. For instance, I no longer buy cereal that isn’t a generic store brand, on sale or accompanied by a coupon. I rarely buy dried cranberries, and multigrain pasta is no longer an option.

Saying no to high-priced foods is the only power we have as consumers. Because food manufacturers will continue to demand we pay more … until we say “No more!”
How do you feel about climbing food prices?

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Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.

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