Grocery bills on the rise due to pandemic and other struggles

An average American family of four is spending an extra $500 over the course of the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 7:03 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2021 11:40 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The prices of grocery store items are on the rise across the country because of the pandemic, according to the federal government.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says on average a family of four is seeing a 3.5% increase in their bill. That’s an extra $500 Americans are spending on the essentials in a year.

In Eugene, shoppers say they have noticed small changes. One shopper said her bills have been cheaper, but she does look for the best deals.

“For me they’ve been cheaper and normal. When we want to buy plant-based items, we go to higher-end stores where it’s more expensive there, but if we want to buy generic canned foods or chips, we usually go to stores that have cheaper prices,” Natalie Collett said.

The federal government said the pandemic has put a strain on the supply chain leading to a rise in prices. A shortage in truck drivers and severe winter storms also contributed to the price hike. Analysts said prices will continue to go up, but to save money, buy in bulk when prices are right and look for items on sale.

Collett said she looks for those deals at the grocery store to keep her bill lower.

“Usually we look for things that are on sale. We don’t ever hunt for any specific brands usually -- that way we can kind of keep the prices down,” Collett said.

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