Egg-spensive grocery bill? Food inflation taking a bite out of your wallet

Buying food at the grocery store is getting more expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 'thrifty' budget estimates that a family of four will spend nearly $1,000 a month on groceries in this economy. As News4JAX reporter Brianna Andrews explains, simple kitchen staples are costing a pretty penny now.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Buying food at the grocery store is getting more expensive.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “thrifty” budget estimates that a family of four will spend $966.60 on groceries in this economy as simple kitchen staples now cost more than double.

It’s easy to see the change, just with the cost of eggs.

Egg prices are up nearly 60% from a year ago -- a rate not seen since 1973.

Right now, the average price for eggs is $4.33 per dozen, according to the food market data company Urner Barry.

Locally, we’re also seeing an increase.

Walmart’s eggs jumped almost $2 to $6.65 and eggs at Publix are more than $8.

Some farmers believe a bird flu outbreak is behind the higher prices.

“The main reason that egg prices are higher is because we had a nasty case of avian flu or bird flu in the states. And to reduce the likelihood of contagion and even more chickens catching it, we culled. That’s a really nice way to say we reduced the chicken population significantly,” said Dr. Victor Claar, an economist at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Regardless of the cause, it means your bill at the grocery store can add up fast.

New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a decline in month-to-month consumer prices for the first time since May 2020, but food inflation continues to outpace overall inflation, which means consumers will continue to spend extra money on food.

“In addition to shelter costs, food costs continue to rise, electricity, vehicle insurance, even household supplies -- the type of things that you’re buying on a regular basis,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Food prices can also be impacted by other factors like extreme weather, diseases impacting crops and livestock and supply chain complications.

It’s unclear when prices will start to decline.


About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.