The Real Reason Your Grocery Bill Keeps Climbing

It's not just your imagination that your grocery bill seems to be inching up ever higher while you don't seem to be getting more groceries in return. According to the most recently published report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sticker shock at the grocery store is a pattern that's only growing more pronounced. On April 13, 2021, the latest Consumer Price Index — which measures changes in consumer spending — showed that, even after a year of pandemic-related price hikes, grocery costs continued to rise in March 2021. The products that saw the biggest cost increases were fruits and vegetables (which rose by 2 percent since February) and meat, fish, poultry, and eggs (via NBC News).

In fact, March saw one of the highest increases in the CPI — which averages prices of things like food, gas, medical visits, and clothing — since 2012. According to ABC 6 Action News, these pricier grocery hauls can mean a family of four spends up to $500 more a year.

So is this the reason that your grocery bills seem to keep climbing higher? And if they are, why is this happening right now? 

Bills may be climbing, but not for all of your groceries

What's causing these dizzying receipts? The prices of gas, commodities, and manufacturing have been skyrocketing — and grouped with the effects of crop damage in the — customers are absorbing all of the costs, according to NBC News. With more people eating at home in the last year, issues with the supply chain force even larger companies, like General Mills and Hormel, to increase prices to keep up with the overheard (via ABC 6 Action News, Patch). 

Not to mention, price-conscious shoppers might also be missing out on their usual deals. Manufacturers are holding back on coupons and other promotions this year to increase profits, per NBC News. Places like Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco might be hurting the most — there have been reports of price jumps up to $1 on items like bacon, ground beef, and bread.

The good news is, according to the BLS, some grocery prices actually declined recently, including items like dairy products, nonalcoholic beverages, and cereal and bakery products. As for the #TLDR? While you've been spending more lately on produce, eggs, and at the butcher counter, you may be spending somewhat less for your milk, juice, and bagels.