Grocery Inflation Is Still Increasing

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Grocery Inflation Is Still Increasing
Consumers are still seeing an increase in grocery costs, despite a 0% increase in overall inflation for the month of July.

New numbers released this week by the government gave us a little good news on the inflation front.  

On a monthly basis, prices overall were unchanged from June to July. That's the first time that's happened in over two years. 

"I just want to say a number: zero," President Biden told reporters. "Today we received news that our economy had 0% inflation in the month of July." 

But the cost of food went up 1.1% in July.

And year on year, it went up about 13% over July of 2021. That's the largest 12-month increase since March of 1979. 

Annette Economides owns Moneysmartfamily.com, and gives tips on how families can save money. 

"If you just go into the grocery store mindlessly man, your grocery prices could have doubled with what's going on right now," said Economides.  

The ingredients to make a burger, for example, have increased. The government said beef was about 3.4% more expensive last month than it was in July of 2021. Cheese went up 12.5% year on year. And bakery products like buns went up 13.7%. 

Wash it down with a soda and that'll be 12.9% more or a beer up 4.6%.  

About the only thing that costs less on that burger would be tomatoes, which are about 1.4% cheaper now than a year ago. 

Gene Sperling Sr. is an adviser to President Biden.

"Food prices is probably, you know, the place where we didn't see as much progress as we would like," Sperling said.  

Several factors have contributed to rising prices: higher costs for fuel and labor; a deadly Avian Flu in the U.S.; a drought in Brazil, and the war in Ukraine. 

Consumers are seeing year-to year increases in milk (15.5%), breakfast cereal (16.4%) and potatoes (13.3%). 

You actually notice your bill now. 

For Michael Nelson in Cleveland, the rise in prices has him rethinking what he puts into his cart. 

"I'm more discriminating what I buy now, I don't buy the luxury items the desserts and so forth – cut back," Nelson said. 

There are ways to trim your grocery bills. 

Registered dietician Amy Patton says make more meatless meals. Use beans and lentils as protein instead. 

"Right now it's getting more expensive to eat but you can still find some inexpensive options," Patton said.   

Cut up produce because pre-cut fruits and vegetables are more expensive. 

"Maybe you're making a big stew or a big stir fry and you're using a recipe that calls for a cup of celery for example. Maybe you take that celery and you dice it up and you have the rest as a snack with hummus or peanut butter," Patton said. 

Lastly, stock up on staples that can be used for different meals.