Tracking the Price of Groceries

Tracking the price of groceries and inflation in your state

Tracking the Price of Groceries: Average Cost Per Month 

Monthly budgets are important when it comes to tracking expenses and making sure you are planning correctly. While your monthly budget can be affected by many things, the cost of groceries is one of the most important things to track.  

If you are trying to find the best way to track changing grocery prices to better understand how your monthly budget could be affected, you are not alone. Most people agree that food prices have gone up in the past year, as you probably already know, just by looking at your grocery receipts or restaurant bills. 

For the most accurate information about grocery prices, visit this page on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. You can view the monthly average prices for different grocery and food categories. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has other useful information that tracks the cost of different types of meal plans to help you plan your average monthly grocery cost. 

How to Protect Yourself from Grocery Inflation 

The best way for you to start budgeting for your grocery purchases is to track the costs of things you purchase on a regular basis. You may notice that some prices stay pretty much the same while others continue to increase. Many things can affect the cost of food items. For example, an outbreak of salmonella at a large chicken processing plant could raise the price of all brands of eggs as demand increases due to limited supply.  Once you start paying attention, saving money at the grocery store will start to feel like a game that you’re finally winning. 

How Does Inflation Affect Me? 

The consumer price index (CPI) is the main measurement for inflation. CPI measures price changes of goods and services that people normally purchase. If inflation is low, then the cost of goods and living remains affordable for more people. But if inflation increases, like it did during the pandemic, then prices skyrocket and the economy, and your wallet, are negatively affected.  

Is Inflation Going Down? 

Even though inflation jumped up during the pandemic, things do seem to be improving. Stronger than expected growth in 2023 and rising consumer optimism all point to signs that better times may be headed our way. 

When Will Grocery Prices Decrease? 

Grocery prices and the cost of dining out are two costs that have increased over the past year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, grocery store and takeout food prices jumped in 2023 by 5.0% and 7.1% respectively.  Whether you cook at home or like to eat out, you more than likely have seen an increase in cost in 2023. It’s always good to look at how to save money on your grocery bill or when you dine out. Here are some simple and easy ways to help. 

6 Quick Ways to Trim Your Grocery Bill 

  1. Review weekly coupons. Most stores have weekly deals, which you can view online or collect when they come in the mail. These coupons can help you make your weekly grocery list. 
  2. Shop at multiple stores. Some stores have better deals on certain items, and some stores may not carry exactly what you need. You may be surprised at the difference in food prices between stores just a few miles apart. 
  3. Use member rewards. Look for deals exclusive to reward members at your store. This can be a great way to save on staple items and higher-priced items you typically don’t buy. 
  4. Buy generic brands. Don’t be afraid to purchase generic brands, especially staple goods. Many of these brands use the same ingredients and processes as the name brands and sell for less. 
  5. Always bring a list. The easiest thing you can do to save money at the grocery store is make a list before you go. Your list becomes the map that guides you and keeps you on track, so you don’t overspend. 
  6. Use grocery and coupon apps. We’ve all heard the saying “There’s an app for that.” Look for grocery-focused apps designed to help you quickly find deals and digitally “clip” coupons. 

*Bonus tip: Don’t go to the store when you’re hungry! Some studies show shopping on an empty stomach can lead to expensive and unhealthy decisions that risk putting you over your budget. 

Apply for a LendNation Loan Online 

Are you trying to lower your grocery expenses because you are tight on cash? If you’re experiencing a situation where you need quick cash that provides quick relief, apply for a LendNation loan right now. It only takes a few minutes to learn about your options. And once you’re approved, your cash can be applied to your debit card instantly. Don’t let short-term stress delay long-term financial success.