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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- Rising grocery prices could change how and what we eat. 22News found out which items will soon cost you more at the supermarket.
Economists say you’ll be paying more for your groceries this year. And that might mean fewer hamburgers at your cookouts this summer.
Your monthly grocery budget may not be increasing, but the prices of some items you buy are. Higher grocery prices could encourage you to put back the potato chips just so you can buy milk. Some people are saving money by substituting foods, like choosing turkey instead of beef and eating higher priced items less often.
The price of produce varies depending on the season and the weather. The owner of Serio’s Market in Northampton told 22News the price of beef is going up because it costs more to raise the cattle. “Grain is always spiking in price. That’s always a big thing because that’s what they go to feed on. Sometimes it’s weather related. But it’s more on the grain prices.”
The price of beef increased more than 5% in February. You could be paying around $5 a pound for ground beef.
Some shoppers told 22News instead of putting items back on the shelf, they’ve learned to shop smarter. Carol Ostiguy said, “Everything seems to be going up. We just try to buy in season, buy local, buy at the farmer’s market..you can still get a good deal.”
Economists say higher food prices hit low-income households the hardest because they’re forced to spend more of their disposable income on food.
The USDA predicts that the overall prices of food on our dinner tables will rise by at least 2 percent this year.