Nightly News | August 16, 2011
>>> now we turn from politics to food prices, specifically a noticeable rise in prices. they are way up, in some cases and the experts who watch these things say they will keep going up over the coming months, as farmers struggle with bad weather and lousy harvests as a result. but is there any relief in sight? our report from nbc's tom costello.
>> reporter: these days it could be any grocery store in america. walk down the aisles and you come face-to-face with sticker shock.
>> i thought it was closer to $3.50. i didn't know it would be over $4.
>> reporter: in mar gate, florida farrah crow says her grocery bills for family of four seem to grow each passing week.
>> a horrible time with school shopping that we need to do and, you know, i'm hoping that most of his things still fit him from last year.
>> reporter: it is no illusion prices have jumped over the past year in some case, dramatically. as of the end of june, government data showed a dozen grade a eggs costs 19 crept morse than a year earlier, $1.68 a carlton. chicken costs 7 cents more, 1.30 a pound. ground beef was up 33 cents to 3.62 a pound. a gallon of milk, up 33 cents in a year to 3.62 a gallon. coffee up 1.54 to 5.24 a pound. and prices are expected to keep climbing, perhaps 3 to 4% this year alone. the weather gets much of the blame. heat, drought and flooding have sent wheat prices soaring and corn prices at record highs in june. what you may not know is that food prices are tied very closely to fuel prices and not just because of the cost of shipping, but because corn and soybeans are used in ethenol. the good news is right now, fuel prices are going down.
>> that means that basic food ingredient prices are going to fall and you're going to see that in your grocery store three to six months down the road.
>> reporter: but dorothy parks says prices only seem to go in one direction.
>> once they go up, they usually stay up, no matter what happens. and it's very hard, hard for me with what i'm getting. i get social security .
>> reporter: her strategy, lots of coupons, fewer dinners out and a hope for better harvests ahead. tom costello, nbc news, washington.