OK, please DON’T panic.
It’s bad for your health and to paraphrase someone very wise, worrying won’t even buy you an extra hour anyhow.
So here’s the scoop: peanut prices are on the rise due to a really dismal peanut growing season. Kraft will increase the price of its peanut butter by 40% starting October 31st. Scary coincidental, right?
A number of you have shared this information with me, so I thought I better address it. What can you do about the peanut butter price hike?
1) Stock up NOW. But be reasonable folks. There is no reason to steal from a food bank or clear out store shelves to accomplish this. (If you’ve been following my blog for sometime, you probably already stocked up on peanut butter for the year because September is generally one of those great months to do so.) In the absence of sales, I would recommend you check a store like WinCo or Grocery Outlet for good deals. Just mind expiration dates.
2) Look to leverage online vouchers. Got Groupon? Living Social? Sometimes daily deal sites put out vouchers for natural markets or online retailers (think Abe’s Market, VitaCost). Use these to save 50% or more on a nice stock up of peanut butter.
4) Consider peanut butter alternatives. I recently wrote about almond butter as part of my Bulk Foods series. There are many different kinds of nut and seed butters on the market now. My friend Susan makes her son cream cheese and jelly sandwiches instead of peanut butter. Not all these options are cheap, but may be worth considering depending on store sales and your coupons.
5) Try making your own. Admittedly, I’ve never tried this before, but it looks cheap and easy to do. The more I’ve been cooking foods from bulk, the more I’m realizing how easy and frugal it can be to cook from scratch.
6) Use Catalinas, UPs, and Register Rewards, etc. If you have earned store credit, this may be a very good use of it right now.
Can I also add a word here about generosity? It can be so easy to start thinking inwardly when situations like these arise, but I would encourage you to take a minute to consider what this may mean for food banks. Peanut butter is one of those items that they are almost always requesting. Think donations on this item might go down at a time like this? I know many of you are generous couponers out there, so ’nuff said on that topic.
When it comes to price hikes on peanut butter, tuna fish, paper towels, orange juice, or anything else that’s a staple in your house, the goal is going to be the same. Be creative, consider your options, and above all: don’t panic. Remember: even if there is a coupon apocalypse, we all have each other.