Food prices are rising. Social media users want to talk about it


Shilo Lewis was shocked by the cost of her last trip to the grocery store.

A cart full of ingredients for sandwiches and tacos — enough for four lunches and a few dinners for her and her husband — plus an 18-pack of beer cost her just under $100. The 49-year-old took a photo of the loot and posted it on Facebook on Wednesday in disbelief.

“If this continues to increase, I don’t know how many people will be able to continue to eat,” she told USA TODAY, adding that she and her husband had to stop at a food bank to get food. supply more. supplies after the trip to Safeway. The food is supposed to last them until October 15, when their next paycheck arrives.

“We had a hard time.”

As food prices have risen nearly 17% over the past two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people are taking to social media to share how much money it takes to feed a family.

A user on X, formerly Twitter, posted a photo of a grocery store trip and said it cost more than $270.

Another X user said a haul including cereal, chicken breasts, pancake mix and more cost over $200.

Some posts were pushed back, with social media users highlighting various non-essential foods in photos posted online. But the messages clearly show that people across the country are noticing higher prices in grocery store aisles.

Lewis, a substitute teacher in Terrebonne, Oregon, said she was looking for a full-time teaching job to make more money and make grocery shopping easier.

“We have been struggling since 2020, when everything stopped,” she says, noting that she and her husband are still behind on some bills. “The water seems to have risen. Electricity increased. Gas prices. … The only thing that’s not really going up is wages.”

A recent study on the bank rate shows that workers are not ready to recover their lost purchasing power due to inflation before the end of 2024.

Inflation: Inflation rises for second consecutive month in August due to rising gas prices

“We must monitor” sales

While many grocery shopping articles complain about prices, some show how money-saving tips, like coupons, can help shoppers save.

Aires Withers of Cloverdale, Indiana, posted a photo of her groceries Thursday, noting that coupons and discounts helped her pay just over $53 out of pocket for food worth more than $100 $.

The stay-at-home mother of two said she bought a slaughtered cow and pig earlier this year and is growing produce like tomatoes, corn and cabbage to combat high food prices. If his HOA allowed it, Withers said his family would raise chickens for their eggs and meat.

“You can really see the difference (in food prices compared to) what they were a year ago or even a few months ago,” she said. “When I go shopping, I tend to only buy what’s on sale. So if you’re trying to save money, you really can’t be picky about what you buy. You have to monitor sales prices and simply stock up.

How to Save Money at the Grocery Store

Barbara O’Neill, a distinguished financial educator, author and professor emeritus at Rutgers University, shared a number of tips on how shoppers can save money on their next grocery run.

  • Take advantage of sales and coupons. Whether you find them in the newspaper or online, O’Neill said coupons can make a big difference, especially if you pair them with a discount or sale items.
  • Change your diet. Avoiding processed foods and expensive products like certain meats can help keep costs down. O’Neill said shoppers can also look for alternative ingredients to reduce costs. For example, when egg prices were high, she suggested using applesauce as a binding ingredient in recipes.
  • Use store brand some products. Often, they are made in the same production plants as branded foods.
  • Consider becoming a member of a wholesaler-retailer. Buying in bulk from places like Costco and Sam’s Club can help keep costs down in the long run.
  • Join your grocery store’s rewards club. Memberships may include exclusive offers.
  • Make a list before you shop. This will help you reduce unnecessary purchases. O’Neill also suggests considering impulse purchases when setting a budget.
  • Buy seasonal produce. Consider cutting back on processed foods, which tend to be more expensive, and opt for fruits and vegetables that haven’t been pre-cut. “The more processing or preparation a store has to do, like cutting fruit versus selling a whole cantaloupe, you’re probably going to pay more per pound,” O’Neill said. “So if you slice and dice a little yourself, you’ll save money.” Looking at the price per ounce can also help shoppers determine whether to buy fresh, frozen or canned products. Often the best deal depends on the season.
  • Pay with a credit card… as long as you plan to pay it back. O’Neill said as long as you pay your bill in full, shopping for groceries with a credit card — especially with a good rewards program — can help consumers save money.

Overall, small changes in shopping habits can add up, O’Neill said, especially if the buyer puts the money they’ve saved into a high-yield savings account or l ‘invests.

“People need to fight inflation,” she said. “The more savings you can capture across all your spending categories, the easier it will be to keep up with all this inflation.” Small steps count.

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