The current administration is desperately trying to convince you that inflation is leveling off and that prices are coming down – They aren’t, but here are some things average Americans might try to reduce the sting
Current political leaders want us to believe that prices are falling, but it’s hard to buy in to that when we checkout at our local grocery stores. While it’s debatable whether certain elements of inflation may be slowing, there is no doubt that your grocery bill is substantially higher today than it was a year and a half ago.
In total, food costs spiked 11.4% over the past year, the largest annual increase since May 1979, according to data released Tuesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Americans browsing their supermarket aisles will notice most food items are far more expensive than they were even a year ago, particularly the staple items found in almost every American household such as milk, bread, and eggs.
To that end, egg prices have soared 39.8%, and flour got 23.3% more expensive. Milk rose 17% and the price of bread jumped 16.2%.
As far as proteins are concerned, meat and poultry also grew costlier. Chicken prices jumped 16.6%, while meats like beef rose 6.7% and pork increased a total of 6.8%. Fruits and vegetables together are up 9.4%.
Overall, grocery prices as a whole jumped a whopping 13.5% since the beginning of 2021, and, long with them, restaurant menu prices have increased by about 8% nationwide, though significantly more in certain cities and states where the individual tax laws are less consumer friendly.
To make matters worse, The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in an effort to tame inflation, but the central bank says that food prices are largely out of its control.
That’s because the nationwide demand for food isn’t flexible — consumers may be able to skimp on other items, such as clothing or gasoline, but they have to eat. Even so, shoppers are increasingly making changes to their diets and shopping habits to cope with rising costs.
People are pulling back on certain items. Sales of frozen dinners and entrees have fallen about 11% by volume in August compared to the year prior, according to a report this week from IRI, a market research company. Cookie volumes and volumes of refrigerated juices fell nearly 9% and about 8%, respectively, in that same period. Lower-income households in particular are skipping items like juice, snacks and candy.
Recently, Applebee’s and IHOP have reported an uptick in higher-income customers, who may be trading down from more expensive restaurants. And Tyson (TSN) has noticed higher demand for chicken as shoppers buy fewer pricey steaks.
When we looked into what items got more expensive, this is what we found.
The seasonally adjusted prices of most grocery items ticked up from July to August, but there were some more extreme examples.
Margarine spiked the most, up 7.3%. Eggs were 2.9% more expensive and sugar was 2.4% higher, while flour and bread edged up 2.2%. Similarly, canned fruit prices rose 3.4%, and fresh vegetables got 1.2% pricier.
Also, hot dog prices jumped 4.9%, while ham was up 1.3% and turkey rose 2.2%.
In contrast, some meat prices fell, however. Bacon was .5% less expensive, while the price of pork products in general and such items as roasts, steaks and ribs fell 1.9%.
Additionally, some fruit prices moderated as well, with apples getting 2.3% cheaper and citrus fruits falling 1.6%.
So how can we help ease the pain of these higher prices? The answer really isn’t any big secret. Most experts continue to preach the value of becoming more savvy consumers and shopping the sales as they occur.
In short, instead of buying the things we like or want, customize our purchasing habits to only buy what is on sale at each store at that time. We do this by adjusting our shopping rituals to visit more stores, in order to take advantage of the diversity of sales going on at multiple stores at the same time.
Another great suggestion was to frequent more discount grocery stores such as Aldi, and Save a Lot, which offer quality products for what can often amount to substantially lower prices, particularly on non-name brand and generic items.
Also, taking advantage of shopping warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Clubs wherever possible can also help. That’s because many of these stores also hold great sales, but even more, by buying in bulk now, you lock in the current prices of commonly used items and hedge yourself against future short-term price increases on those products.
Veracity Editor's Note:
This unbiased, non-satirical, fully attributed article was thoroughly researched by our team of fact-checkers and found to be accurate. The sources relied upon for the factual basis of this article were: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Firm IRI, and the USDA. More information on this and all of our stories are available on our network website veracityreport.org.
This article was compiled and written by Investigative Reporter Brooklyn Lassiter – Because the Truth Matters!
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