SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

The drought in California may drive food prices up this year.

Alisa Urquart is a mother of several young kids and knows first hand how expensive food is getting. Urquat says, “It has gone up definitely and gas is going up so going places, going out to eat, can sometimes be cheaper than going grocery shopping.”

It's a similar story for Melissa O’Malley and her family. O’Malley says, “I think just in general, I have three boys, I buy a ton of milk, I buy a ton of eggs, I buy a ton of cheese, I mean just the basics are going up year by year I spend more and more for the same things.”

Economists say California’s ongoing drought will continue to have a domino effect on the economy. Mark Schniepp with the California Economic Forecast says, “Meat has gone up and we'll see a little more of it in the agricultural crops if we don't get rain, the stuff that you have seen is not quite yet what you are going to see, that's why they still say there is a lag because you are going to see a lot higher prices for food towards the end of the year.”

Paying more for food will mean taking a bigger bite out of the already lean family budget.

O’Malley says, “I happen to live on ten acres and I have a lot of people saying, buy a cow, buy a cow, I don't want to take care of a cow, I want to be able to go to the grocery store and buy my food.”