Personal Finance

Are Grocery Prices About to Go Through the Roof?

A woman unpacking grocery bags in her home.

Image source: Getty Images

The cost of food could soar even more.

Key points

  • Grocery prices are already higher than usual thanks to inflation.
  • One investment banking giant thinks food costs will rise even more in the course of 2022.

Inflation has driven the cost of living up across the board, and many households are now struggling to keep up with basic expenses, like groceries. But it’s not just that food costs have been higher to start off 2022. If Goldman Sachs is correct, the pain could get even worse. The investment banking giant projects another 5% to 6% rise in food costs this year.

Why the increase?

There are several factors that could come together to drive grocery prices upward. For one thing, the supply chain issues that abounded in 2021 have eased up but not yet resolved themselves. An imbalance in supply and demand could easily lead up to an uptick in grocery prices.

Also, many businesses these days are starved for workers, and they’ve been raising wages to attract the labor they need. Some of those costs, as they relate to the food chain, will no doubt be passed along to consumers.

How to cope with rising food costs

If you’re having a hard time paying for groceries these days due to higher prices, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are some strategies you can employ to address the problem.

First, do your best to meal plan. That way, you can limit the amount of food you waste. And less waste equals less thrown-out money.

Also, be judicious about scoping out sales. Supermarkets routinely post their circulars online, so if there are specific items on your list, it pays to see where you might snag them at a discount.

Additionally, consider buying staple items in bulk, as this often results in savings. But be careful not to purchase things you may not consume by their expiration dates. If you’re taking a chance on an item you haven’t yet used, you probably shouldn’t purchase a large quantity of it, even if the price point is attractive.

Finally, use the right credit cards when you do your food shopping. Some credit cards offer extra cash back for supermarket purchases, and if none of your current ones do, look into applying for a new one. The more free cash you snag on everyday purchases like groceries, the more you can offset today’s higher costs.

Hang in there

It’s unfortunate that higher living costs are causing a lot of people a world of financial stress. And it’s also unfortunate that things might get worse before they improve.

If you’re having a hard time managing your grocery bills, do what you can to eke out savings until food prices start to come down. While you’re at it, take a look at all of your bills and see if it pays to cut back on certain ones until inflation settles down.

Groceries are an unavoidable expense, and they’re something you can’t easily cut back on. But you may be able to temporarily reduce other expenses and give yourself a little more wiggle room at the supermarket.

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