USDA: Drought will cost families $615 at the grocery store

FORT WORTH, Texas (NBC Modified) - The biggest immediate impact from the Drought in the Heartland is being felt on America's farms, but it won't stay there for long, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The ripple effect will mean price hikes down every aisle of the grocery store on products like cereal and chips.

"We're gonna see price increases across the board because corn, in particular, is such a ubiquitous product," says Bernard Weinstein, an economist at Southern Methodist University. "It's used in the manufacture of most processed foods."

But it's animal-based perishable foods expected to be hardest hit.

Beef, dairy, poultry, eggs and pork will increase, the agriculture department says, anywhere from 3.5 to 5-percent next year.

For a family of four, the price hikes will add an estimated $615 dollars to their annual grocery bill in 2013.

"I would try to find the best price," Weinstein says, "because we don't have a lot of extra money to spend on groceries, but you gotta eat so..."