Stock Up on Peanut Butter Before Prices Soar

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- It's appropriate that Mr. Peanut wears a top hat and monocle, because peanuts look poised to become something of a luxury item.

According to the latest peanut price report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average price of peanuts is around $1,150 a ton. Compare that with last year, when a ton of peanuts sold for around $450.

The peanutpocalypse is upon us.
Skyrocketing peanut prices will make peanut butter a lot more expensive in the coming weeks.

The spike in price has been partially attributed to a poor peanut crop brought about by a hot, dry summer. And while fluctuations in commodity prices are usually more of interest to Wall Street than Main Street, clearly the fact peanut prices have more than doubled in the past year is going to make a difference at the supermarket. And indeed, the Wall Street Journal recently found that wholesale prices for peanut butter have risen 30% to 35% in the past year, while Kraft ( KFT) plans to raise its peanut butter prices by 40% at the end of the month. And that's to say nothing of salted peanuts, peanut oil and candy bars such as Snickers that use peanuts, all of which might feel the pinch as well.

Thankfully, peanut butter has a shelf life of over a year, and does not need to be refrigerated even after opening, so if you're a big peanut butter fan, now is a good time to stock up. Parents planning on churning out a ton of peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of the school year would be well-advised to hit the peanut butter aisle of your local big box store and just go nuts. And you can buy online, too: Amazon.com has a six-pack of 16-ounce Skippy peanut butter for just $13.82, and it qualifies for free shipping if your total order is more than $25.

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