(Because I like to write (type?) and am long winded, here is a favor to keep you from having to read the full version of this post, in a one-sentence summary: Buy a few extra weeks worth of your favorite "fruity things" now and freeze them as to not have to pay more for them later.)
So by now we've all heard about the nationwide cold front that is producing terrible growing conditions and devastating crops in Florida and other normally sunny and semi-warm places.
Ok, yes, we've all heard about it; other than the fact that we can tell it's cold(er) outside, the media has done more than enough to let every single person and animal-left-at-home-with-the-tv-on-in-the-background-as-comfort-noise know that it is cold and that these are some freaky weather conditions. (I rearranged my morning schedule on Thursday specifically to watch a segment on Good Morning America - the "investigation" on just how "dirty" new clothes are - and the damn Dallas ABC affiliate decided to continue coverage of the non-event, which was literally them bouncing "life coverage" cams from the 9 ((seriously bundled up)) reporters who were all standing at different intersections in random locations of the metroplex, just because it was misting and 17 degrees outside. Yes, that is unusually cold for Dallas. But they could have just scrolled the school closings at the bottom of the GMA broadcast and given the blue-faced reporters some Starbucks and a chance to sit in the warm van.) ... Anyway.
You're probably thinking "Why are you blogging about this?"
(Good Question!) Because, said cold front is going to mean increased prices in everything that we eat - from the obvious (like orange juice and "real" fruit and veggies) to things that are processed & easy (frozen dinners, jarred baby food, canned veggies) and most of that stuff that is not good for us but that we still love to eat (toaster pastries, high-fructose corn syrup "fruit" wraps and gummies).
I'm not trying to cause a fear and pandemonium like one would see if a hurricane were coming and the stores were completely sold out of everything, but I do think that its smart to plan a little bit ahead.
While there is a certain amount of wiggle-profit-room built into prices, AND the fact that companies and retails haven't fully returned prices to what they were in 2006 before gas pushed $4 a gallon and prices for EVERYTHING had skyrocketed, you can bet that you are going to pay a least a little more for fruit and veggie included items in the next couple of months.
I don't know how much, and I don't know for how long. But I guarantee you that we will see some sort of price increase.
I know that this is why we use coupons and come together as a community - to spend as little out of pocket and to get the best deals - but now just might be the best time to buy an extra paper (the Sunday coupon-filled one) or just buy coupons of the items you need/will stock up on online.
Here is a really - no, what I think to be THE BEST - article about freezing ANYTHING food related. (We actually used this article in my "Food Safety and Standards" class that is apart of my Hospitality Management degree. I have yet to use it in my professional life but MAN has it come in handy for my home life.) http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-to-freeze-anything (If anything, think of the article like you just saved a grand and earned 3 free credit hours.)
So go forth and buy an extra orange juice (or 3) now and save the difference later - just be sure to open it and drink/pour out/use a good 2-4 ounces before freezing and completely thaw (in either the refrigerator or under warm water) before using.