Food prices have stayed low in 2012 compared to last year, but food inflation may bring an avalanche of higher prices on produce and other goods in the coming months.
Grocery prices increased just 2.7 percent from June 2011 to June 2012, according to the Consumer Price Index. However, the most severe U.S. drought in 25 years may fry the chances of inexpensive grocery trips for consumers.
"Absolutely, this drought has the capability to have serious impacts on food prices," says Richard Volpe, research economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Prices for commodities such as corn and soybeans influence several links in the chain of the food-making process, he says. In turn, consumers could feel the effects at the grocery store in the next few months, according to the USDA.
Be ready for the rise in food prices. From discovering how to neutralize the "grocery shrink ray" to learning to trade certain products for cheaper ones, here are five ways to slice your grocery tab in hopes of fighting food inflation.