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Meat Prices Going Up

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With weather warming up, many are ready to fire up the grill.

But some of the food typically found at a backyard cookout, is going to cost more. 

The average price of beef at the counter is at it's highest level in more than 25 years, $5.36/lbs. 

That's up 32¢ since January. 

The major problem is severe drought, which is reducing herd sizes, starting a supply and demand problem, effecting everyone from suppliers to consumers. 

Dan Haskins owns of Cattleman's Meat Market in East Moline, IL.

He says the problem with less cattle, means his suppliers have to pay more for the beef. 

Then he has to pay more to his suppliers.

Now, his customers are having to cover that cost, just so he can keep his doors open. 

"Come this summer, you're demand is going to be higher, to an already depleted supply and that's gonna take things up," Haskins explains. "When we raised ground chuck prices for the first time, people noticed... It doesn't seem like a lot but then all of the sudden, it;s 20¢, then 30¢... You just have to shop different."

How do you do that?

Haskins says buying in bulk will be an easy way to save this grilling season, as much as 10-15%.

At the same time, he says he will be looking to keep his prices down too through some smart shopping of his own. 

"We have to do comparative shopping as well. We have 3-4 vendors," he says. "If I can buy a cut of meat a dime a pound cheaper than the other, then naturally, I'm going to do that."

To put the price spike in perspective -  Haskins says just two years ago - he was paying 30-40% less for beef.

Those prices have been passed onto his consumers.

But he doesn't expect prices to get any better anytime soon.

 

His suppliers tell him it could take three years to get back to prices from two years ago.

And that's if the weather is perfect.

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