SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

Beef.... its what's for dinner, if you can afford it.

"It is sad to try and feed a family", says one local mother shopping in Santa Maria, "I have three growing boys, to try and feed them and fit meat in there, its hard now."

Other Central Coast shoppers have sticker shock when it comes to keeping meat on the table.

"Its getting out of our price range lately", the same local mother says, "especially the Tri-Tip, steaks and all that, we really have to plan ahead."

"The kids are out for the summer so let me tell you my grocery bill has increased", adds another local mother, "they are home all day and snacking all day."

As the economic impact of the drought on the Central Coast mounts, local cattle ranchers have been selling off their herds because of a lack of feed and water.

Meantime its buyer beware for local meat lovers at the grocery store.

"We typically buy our meat from the County Fair so we'll support the kids in 4H", says the local mom, "we'll buy the bulk of our meat and that will last us mostly all year, we'll buy beef, we'll buy pig from the Fair so I don't really buy, thank goodness, my meat from the grocery story."