Buyers who are holding on to their money waiting for lower prices, may want to start spending now. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics' Consumer Price Index shows prices are on the rise and they are going to continue to climb.
Before prices get too high, here are 10 things you may want to buy now. The price of these items are on the rise and soon they will be costing you plenty more:
The price of coffee futures recently hit a 13-year high, which drove up the price of a cup of Joe at places like Starbucks. Blame bad weather in South America and low U.S. stockpiles of coffee beans.
Coffee from Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone already cost an average of 9% more. Kraft Foods raised prices on Maxwell House Coffee and Yuban coffee products by about 9% in September, translating into a price hike of 5 to 30 cents per pound of ground coffee and an increase of 2.5 cents per ounce for instant coffee.
And prices on single-serve K-cups -- sold as Tully's Coffee, Timothy's Coffee, Newman's Own Organics, Caribou Coffee and other Green Mountain Coffee brands -- will rise 10% to 15%, starting Oct. 11.
2. Cotton clothing
Again, blame the weather in part for this increase. A drought in China is damaging cotton crops there, causing the world's largest cotton producer and consumer to increase prices. Another major cotton producer, Pakistan, was devastated by floods, and another, India, is restricting its exports.
All that should add up to another $2 on the $12 t-shirt you planned to buy next year, reports CNN Money, along with higher prices for jeans. With 80% of U.S. cotton exported, it may be good news for U.S. cotton farmers, who are at an advantage compared to their competitors in the far East. For consumers, maybe it's time for a polyester revival?
3. Health insurance
In what the New York Times called a "deflationary apocalypse," medical care prices fell in July for the first time in 35 years. But that doesn't mean health premiums are dropping. Workers are paying more of their health care costs as businesses look to cut costs. The average employee contribution toward premiums for family coverage climbed 14% this year to nearly $4,000, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. Contributions for single coverage grew 15%.
4. Miami Heat games
Variable or "dynamic" pricing is popular in Major League Baseball, and it's expanding to the NBA whenever LeBron James and company come to town. The New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets are charging three to four times more for games against the Miami Heat, according to a New York Post story.
The same Knicks seat against Atlanta in November that costs $34.50 goes up to $129.50 on Dec. 27 when the home team plays Miami. Knicks tickets for the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics also demand higher prices than other games. An NBA spokesman told the paper that most teams are experimenting with variable pricing. Prices on football tickets also went up this year.
The price of pork bellies -- from which bacon is cut -- jumped to an all-time high of $1.42 a pound, soaring more than 200% from a year ago, according to a CNN Money . Retail prices are up nearly 16% over the past few months -- from about $3.64 per pound in April to $4.21 in July -- according to the Department of Agriculture.
Bringing home the bacon is more expensive because there is less bacon to be had. After corn prices soared in 2008, livestock producers cut their inventory of animals ready to slaughter, which led to a near doubling of hog prices in the summer 2009. The beef industry is experiencing the same problem, which could lead to higher prices in the beef section of the supermarket.
Known as a safe-haven when times are tough, gold recently sold at $1,300 an ounce, continuing a recent record-breaking run. Gold is seen as an attractive investment when the dollar weakens and the financial markets slide. Gold has become so popular that the U.S. Mint has run out of the 1-ounce, 24-karat American Buffalo bullion coins -- the purest gold coins offered by the Mint.
Since the recession began there have been plenty of outfits (both legit and not so legit) offering consumers money for their old gold jewelry and coins. Consumers willing to let go of some gold could stand to make a profit. There are plenty of ways to sell gold; just be sure you're getting the best price.
7. Utility bills
The latest increase in the Labor Department's Producer Price Index , which tracks the change in the average price paid to manufacturers for goods, was attributed to a 2.2% increase in energy prices.
Electricity and natural gas prices are expected to continue to climb in 2011, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration. Maybe it's time to think about getting a solar charger for the iPad and other gadgets sucking power at home.
8. Airline tickets
Airlines have raised their fees by as much as 50% from a year ago, and that's just the beginning. Fees have increased so dramatically it's difficult to determine just how much more ticket prices have increased.
With fewer planes flying, and thus fewer seats, airline ticket prices are projected to increase this fall and winter and airline experts are recommending booking soon for holiday travel. If you do pay more for an airline seat for Thanksgiving or Christmas, save some money by packing light and bringing your own snacks onto the plane.
Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This story was updated on October 1. Based on the recent rejection of request to boost postal stamp rates and a recent report from Case-Shiller regarding home prices we have removed stamps and housing from our list.
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