After years of relative flatness, rising grocery prices are affecting families everywhere, and many people are finding ways to cut back in the supermarket. Gas prices are on the rise as well, despite the Feral Reserve's insistence that inflation is under control. Since it's easier to cut food costs than fuel expenses, rising grocery prices mean budget adjustments for many.
I was at Trader Joe's the other day, and noticed several fairly recent price increases, from frozen fish to children's multivitamins ($2.99 compare to $1.99 in the fall). I skipped the multivitamins this time, as we still have two bottles. The 100% cranberry juice I used to buy for $3.99 was $4.49; it stayed on the shelf. However, their natural creamy peanut butter is still $1.69, an excellent buy compared to the lowest price I can find elsewhere. I also stocked up on several spice blends holding steady at $1.99 a jar.
Rising grocery prices are most noticeable on grains (flour, bread, cereal) and dairy products (milk is at an all-time high and yogurt at TJ's had increased quite a bit.) As diesel prices rise, expect to see rising grocery prices across the board, in every aisle and on every shelf.
My Trader Joe's shopping trip hit home to me. Even as prices rise, our wages are flat. There is less money to spend on necessities and luxuries alike. More and more Americans are sitting up and taking notice, and becoming more careful with their spending.
How do you cope with rising grocery prices? Have you increased your grocery budget and cut back in other areas? Or are you becoming a more frugal shopper?