Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Hurting At The Supermarket

Every week it literally pains me to go grocery shopping for my family of 4. We aren’t huge wasters or splurge shoppers so we just buy what we need. These days it is a lot less meat that it used to be.

Weekly our bill  has gone from $185 to $325.00 a week. I am certain you are all feeling the exact same and if you are not please let me know how you are doing it. 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food prices have surged at their fastest rate since the 1970s. Grocery prices are up nearly 25% overall, though certain items have seen more significant upticks. This upward trend in food costs is particularly concerning for families on tight budgets, as food expenses represent a non-negotiable necessity.

Researchers calculated the percentage change in CPI between March 2020 and March 2024 across the most common grocery (food at home) items, then ranked items accordingly. The full report also includes a complete breakdown of grocery spending for all 50 states.

These are the key takeaways from the report:

  • Groceries account for the largest share of individual spending in a number of states where income is relatively low, such as Mississippi (9.8%) and Kansas(9.5%), or where grocery prices are especially high, like Hawaii (9.7%).
  • In 37 states, consumers report weekly household grocery expenditures exceeding $250 on average.
  • Since March 2020, the cost of eggs has increased by 50%.
  • Other items with large price increases over the same time period include carbonated beverages (up 32.1%) and canned fruits and vegetables (up +31.6%).
  • More recently, beef products have witnessed considerable price hikes, claiming the top three spots in year-over-year increases. Since last March, the cost of beef roasts has risen by 11.2%, steaks by 7.2%, and ground beef by 6.2%.

Price Changes for Common Grocery Items

Source: Trace One analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data

Here is a link to the complete results of the analysis, with data on nearly 40 of the most popular grocery store items, as well as grocery spending for all 50 states. And here is a snapshot of the data table included in the full report, looking at the 15 grocery items that have seen the largest increase in price since March 2020.

ItemRankChange in price since March 2020Two-year change in priceOne-year change in price
Beef roasts2+40.0%+6.5%+11.2%
Sugar & substitutes4+34.9%+19.1%+5.6%
Beef steaks5+32.6%+6.6%+7.2%
Carbonated drinks6+32.1%+16.4%+4.2%
Fruits & vegetables (canned)7+31.6%+13.1%+2.7%
Salad dressing8+31.5%+16.0%-0.4%
Biscuits, rolls, & muffins9+31.4%+13.3%+2.6%
Butter & margarine10+29.4%+14.8%-2.1%
Cakes, cupcakes, & cookies13+27.6%+15.8%+0.2%
Fruits & vegetables (frozen)14+27.4%+14.0%-0.9%

Feel free to republish or use the findings in your own write-up. If you choose to use the analysis, please link to the original report:

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