No, it’s not your imagination — prices are shooting higher at the grocery store.
In fact, in April the index for food eaten at home posted its biggest monthly rise since February 1974, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Food costs are rising sharply at a time when the price of many other items — gasoline, apparel, car insurance, airfare and lodging away from home — are dipping dramatically.
CNN reports that food producers and farmers have struggled to meet the rising demand of Americans who are now making their own meals at home thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. That disruption of the food supply chain has resulted in higher prices.
Hoarding by panicked shoppers worried about the coronavirus also is pushing some prices higher.
Grocery items that are seeing their prices quickly rise include the following 17:
- Eggs: up 16.1% from March to April
- Pork chops: 7.4%
- Frozen fish and seafood: 5.8%
- Chicken: 5.8%
- Frankfurters: 5.7%
- Oranges and tangerines: 5.6%
- Cookies: 5.1%
- Fresh sweet rolls, coffee cakes and doughnuts: 5%
- Apples: 4.9%
- Fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins: 4.7%
- Carbonated beverages: 4.5%
- Fresh fish and seafood: 4.2%
- Snacks: 3.8%
- Beef and veal: 3.7%
- Bread: 3.7%
- Canned vegetables: 3.6%
- Pork: 3%
How to lower your grocery costs
With the price of so many items climbing, every method of cutting costs counts.
For example, if you find a deal on milk that is close to its sell-by date, grab a carton — or two or more.
As we reported in “13 Unusual but Effective Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill,” you can use that extra milk to create cheap and delicious treats:
“Close-dated milk can be turned into yogurt, cream cheese and cottage cheese. Search online for easy recipes. I make my own yogurt at a huge savings over the retail price — and I share my recipe in ‘10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself.'”
You can also avoid overspending at the grocery story by making some of your purchases elsewhere. For more, check out “Never Buy These 19 Things at a Grocery Store.”