Higher prices at gas pumps, grocery stores may be here to stay

Consumer Reports editor: ‘I would guess that prices are not going to go down anytime in the near future’

Food prices up
Food prices up

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Have you noticed you’re paying more at the gas pump or grocery store? That’s because prices are up.

The coronavirus pandemic is just one reason why you’ll be spending more to feed your family, but there are certain foods that are going to cost you more than others. You might want to start budgeting because it looks like, for now, these prices are here to stay.

“Let’s face it, manufacturers and brands are thinking, ‘OK, the economy is getting better, maybe it’s a good time to raise prices,’” said Consumer Reports editor Tobie Stanger.

Stanger said the pandemic was one of the first reasons prices for grocery store items started to rise.

“Some of it is supply chain that we still haven’t ramped up to get things where we need to be,” Stanger said.

Texas storms, the blockage in the Suez Canal and now the cyber breach on a U.S. pipeline are all reasons gas prices and household items are getting more expensive.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, milk and dairy are up more than 1.5% over the past year. Today, a gallon of milk costs, on average, $3.58. Fruits and vegetables are up just over 3%, and meat, fish and eggs are up nearly 5.5%

When asked whether prices will go back to what they were pre-pandemic, Stanger said: “I can’t say exactly, but I would guess that prices are not going to go down anytime in the near future.”

If you’re looking to save costs, Consumer Reports recommends switching to store brands, which can cost 25% less than name brands, make a list before you go to the store so you don’t overbuy, and try couponing.

“In addition, there are various apps that -- Ibotta, I think is one -- there’s a bunch that will find you the deals,” Stanger said.

If you’re not into couponing, the app Basket will find an item you’re looking for and tell you where it’s being sold for the cheapest. Also, GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas.

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