A new year and new prices, predictions for 2014 - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

A new year and new prices, predictions for 2014

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The ball dropping on New Year's Eve signifies the start of a new year, but that's not the only thing that's expected to drop.

Predictions for 2014 show that you'll be paying less at the pump. The average price for 2014 is expected to be 10-cents per gallon less than prices this year, according to Gas Buddy Analysts.

Although we may see "huge swings and regional volatility," the national, yearlong average is expect to hit lows we haven't seen since 2010, with prices below $3.40.

This isn't the only area we'll be on a roller coaster ride.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects an upward trend in food prices, a 2.5 to 3.5 percent jump from 2013.

The USDA says an increase in wheat and wheat flour in the final months of 2013 will cause an increase in bread, cereal and bakery products this coming year.

Expect to shell out more dough for beef as well.

If we see severe weather in the new year, these prices could continue to drive up, frustrating consumers.

"When you're living on a limited budget it's distressing because then I have to cut down on some of the other amenities or the things I would want to buy and I realize that I have to cut back," says Litchfield resident Claire Reilly.

You may need to cut back on mailing out letters as well, the price of the forever stamp will jump to 49 cents, a three-cent increase from it's current price.

Teri Nagle says although she likes to mail out letters, the price increase in stamps doesn't come as a surprise.

"That doesn't bother me because everything else is going up, the postage system has to go up too," Nagle says.  Instead she will pay her bills online.

The good news is, there's other ways to plan ahead.

Caren Brown will purchase her stamps before January 26, when the new price goes into effect.

"I do Forever Stamps those are the best because if stamp prices go up - you are forever set," says Brown.

Other recommendations are to shop at supermarkets that provide membership cards with perks such as points towards gas.  

Purchase foods you can freeze, like bread and beef, and get them before prices jump in the new year.

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