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Rising and Falling Prices In 2012

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 19, 2012 · 7 comments

Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Fluctuating prices are nothing new to consumers, but there are a few surprising trends making an appearance this year. If you're wondering how to get the most bang for your buck, check out these prices that are currently on the downturn, thanks in part to money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.

  • Restaurant Meals -- Consumers have curbed their dining out habits in recent years. In response, restaurants like IHOP are looking to bring families back with both variety and value, as seen in their new 7 for $7 meal offerings.
  • Corn, Wheat and Soybeans -- Food prices in general are expected to rise, but prices on these commodities have plunged of late, thanks to massive stockpiles.
  • Car Rentals -- Agencies are experiencing an excess of stock and more competition, which means lower car-rental rates throughout the year. Road trip anyone?
  • GPS Units -- Today's smart phones can do nearly everything these days except cook your breakfast. As a result, they're sending many competitors down the tubes, including stand-alone GPS units.

On the flip side, prices on the following items are on the increase, so paying close attention to sales or looking for alternatives would be a wise move.

  • Peanut Butter -- Peanut butter prices have risen as much as 40% since the beginning of 2012 in response to one of the worst peanut harvests in decades.
  • Orange Juice -- The FDA discovered "low levels" of a fungicide in the 2011 orange crop imported from Brazil, the world's largest producer of oranges.
  • Gas -- Did you enjoy that recent small reprieve from high gas prices? Well don't get used to it; the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts regular gas will average $3.45 this year. Maybe we should hold off on that road trip after all...
  • Mobile Data Plans -- Kiss that unlimited data plan goodbye. Carriers are building up LTE and 4G services, which means your rates will rise.
  • Desktop Computers -- You want a touchscreen? Then you're going to have to pay a lot more for that luxury. The shortage of hard-drive materials, thanks to flooding in Thailand, is also a factor. Expect a boost of about 30 percent.

Have you been feeling the impact of of these pricing fluctuations lately? Are there any other trends that you would add to this list?

Disclosure: IHOP has provided me with compensation for the time and effort spent creating this post. However, my opinions are entirely my own -- always have been, always will be.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maricris @ SittingAround March 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Almost everything has been more expensive these days. I am a SAHM and only my husband works for us. I really do need to budget our money better.

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2 David March 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

Also, the price of clothing, particularly cotton items, has risen drastically in the last 1980 or so months because of the near doubling of cotton prices on the commodity markets. Just look how much denim costs nowadays.

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3 David March 20, 2012 at 1:05 am

I meant 8 months, not 1980 months.

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4 CJ March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Rising prices havent affected me too much. I can deal with higher gas prices because I dont drive much and I dont spend much money on gadgets, vacations, entertainment, etc. But $8-9 for a 24 pack of soda is ridiculous! I guess its time for me to cut back on that.

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5 Kelsey March 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

My husband and I travel or we like too..and it has made a huge dent for us. We even drive small cars. But as for Summer trip or even strips...saddly we will be skipping. Greedy people.

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6 kim March 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I WISH our gas was the cheap. We're at $3.95 a gallon and still climbing. I'm not too happy about it but BOY am I glad I don't drive a gas guzzler... I drive a half hour a day to and from work ..... LONG drive when you don't know when you can get gas again thanks to crappy pay! ha

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7 Rye @Payment Protection Insurance Claims/Reclaims April 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Well, even if the mobile data plan's cost is going to be upped I would still rather stick with and I don't think you would really have a choice if you are using a smartphone -what would be the point of having one without unlimited data right? It's not going to function right. And I'd rather know what I am going to pay for each month than be shocked by an enormously huge data bill because I didn't keep track of my usage. With regards to desktops, well, at least it is still cheaper compared to how much desktops were a few years ago and you got to pay more if you want performance.

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