By now, we've all heard about the fiscal cliff, but what about the "milk cliff?" It's a looming problem that could take a big gulp out of your grocery budget.
It may not sound serious, but for millions of families, falling off the "milk cliff" is very real. That's because if Congress doesn't reach a deal by January 1st, the price for a gallon of milk could shoot up more than $2.
Woodrow Boykin, who shops at Piggly Wiggly in Troy, says he wouldn't spend the extra money. "I know I wouldn't. I'd do without milk. It's too high already," he said.
It's a question we may all be asking ourselves, if congress doesn't pass the Farm Bill before the new year, when a federal dairy program expires. It would force the U.S. to follow half-century old laws from 1949, plus use an outdated formula on how much money dairy farmers make on their product. That would make the price of milk will more than double.
At Piggly Wiggly in Troy, dairy lovers have mixed views on whether they'd keep buying their favorite cereal standby.
"I couldn't drink a teaspoon full. I couldn't afford it, not even a teaspoon full," said Earnestine Coleman.
"Well, I mean, you have to buy milk. You have to have milk for the nutritional value, so absolutely, we'd buy it. it'd be like going without bread," said Suzanne Barton.
Right now, milk costs about $3.65 a gallon. some shoppers we talked to say paying more means cutting back. "They'll have to learn how to compromise, learn the difference between their wants and their needs. If there's something else they can get to do without the milk, they will," said Alvia Boykin.
Legislators are currently working on a short-term proposal, excluding some controversial parts of the farm bill, and the best part, it wouldn't change the cost for a gallon of milk.