(NEW YORK) — As grocery prices continue to rise on everything from grains to greens, customers are struggling to find ways to keep costs down.
Consumer prices on food experienced the largest annual increase in over four decades since February 1981, with costs skyrocketing 10.4% in the 12-month period ending June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Within the “food at home” category — grocery store food products purchased for cooking or eating at home — prices rose 12.2% over the last year, the largest increase since 1979.
Since June, food at home prices have risen another full percentage point, marking the sixth consecutive month of increases.
With prices ballooning constantly, it can be hard to plan out a weekly grocery list. Figuring out which items are consistently the most expensive and which prices have climbed steeply in recent months, however, might at least allow shoppers to craft a backup plan or estimate an approximate budget.
Below is the current breakdown in cost changes across various food categories from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services.
Everyday items like meat and dairy see an uptick at grocery store checkouts
Fruits and Vegetables: This group saw an 8.1% increase in price between June 2021 and June 2022 and a 0.7% increase between May and June this year.
Meats, Poultry, Fish and Eggs: Between June 2021 and June 2022, prices rose 11.7%. Prices fell 0.4% between May and June, however, as the cost of pork and beef declined.
Nonalcoholic Beverages: This includes everything from seltzer water to soda. Prices in this category rose 11.9% between June 2021 and June 2022. They increased 0.8% between May and June.
Other food at home
The BLS report also showed sharp increases in the costs of butter (21.3% increase over the past year), sugar and sugar substitutes (11.4% over the past year) and “other sweets” (15.7% over the past year), with cereals and bakery product prices rising 13.8% over the past 12 months.
The cost of flour, meanwhile, rose 19.4% over the past year. Between May and June, prices rose 5.3%.
For those who have time and resources to shop around, similar products can cost different prices at different stores, since every retailer has different pricing variables.
Phil Lempert of supermarketguru.com explained that, due to supply chain issues, some grocery stores aren’t sure when certain items will arrive, so coupons aren’t as common as they used to be either.
In order to find special prices or deals, customers can download their favorite grocery store apps to get the latest savings directly at their fingertips.
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