Families to pay $615 more for groceries

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A trip to the grocery store will cost more next year thanks to the 2012 drought - $615 more. The USDA reported this week that while the immediate effects of the drought are being felt on Midwest farms and ranches, future impacts will trickle down to consumers by next year.

NBC News reports that the ripple effect of the drought will hike prices down every aisle in grocery stores.

“We're gonna see price increases across the board because corn, in particular, is such a ubiquitous product,” economist Bernard Weinstein told reporters. “It's used in the manufacture of most processed foods.”

Animal-based, perishable products will likely be the hardest hit by the increases. The USDA expects beef, dairy, pork, poultry and eggs to increase by 3.5 to 5 percent in 2013.

For the average family of four, this will add approximately $615 to their annual grocery bill next year.

Though some shoppers may adjust their shopping habits to avoid premium products, others are resigned to the reality of the drought.

"Food is not a discretionary item," one Texas shopper told NBC News as he put a carton of eggs in his basket. "You've got to eat."  

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