Since I keep track of my food spending a little more intensely than most, I’m able to pick up on food pricing trends pretty quickly. What I have seen over the last few years is actually an overall decrease on basic items, which is not at all what I expected. I read an article on Npr today that confirmed what I was seeing.
“For 19 months straight, the U.S. government reported declines in the food consumer price index, which compares supermarket prices with what they were a year earlier.”
For me, I started noticing it with eggs first. I can almost always find them for under a $1, and then the cost of a gallon of milk dropped, too. That usually runs me about $2! And that’s pretty much what the article said. The biggest price drops were on beef, eggs and dairy. And then of course there’s always bananas. $0.39 a pound at Costco or $0.59 at the grocery store most days. Also, a loaf of decent bread will run me around $1 now, and it used to be double that a few years ago.
So what’s the cause behind the drop? A few things. Food producers could operate more cheaply because energy and transportation costs fell. There was also just a ton more food on the market, because as the dollar strengthened, American goods got more expensive and so China and a number of other countries stopped buying so much from the US. It’s a supply and demand thing, and the US suddenly had a large supply!
What have you seen in your neck of the woods? Any noticeable drop in prices? Have you seen an increase on some things and decrease on others?
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