It’s not just the hoarders walking away with hefty grocery bills during the pandemic, which has officially thrown the U.S. economy into recession for the first time in over 10 years.
Prices have been shooting up across the board, making tough times even tougher, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Major staples like eggs, meat and produce are all more expensive, as the coronavirus continues to disrupt the global supply chain.
Some categories increased in price by more than 10% in just one month. That’s why it’s so important to hit the supermarket with a card that offers cash back on groceries, to help you save.
See the food items causing that extra sting at the register. These groceries had the stiffest price hikes in April, the government’s most recent numbers show.
If the quarantine has you cooking up a storm, be wary. You’ll want to avoid any recipe that calls for a lot of eggs.
Eggs crack the top spot on the list, with prices shooting up an exorbitant 16.1% in April compared to March.
If you’re baking, you can try substituting applesauce, ground flaxseed or mashed bananas — but if you love a good omelet, you’re out of luck. That is, unless you can find cheaper car insurance or some other way to economize.
2. Pork chops, roasts and ribs
Feel like pigging out? Your hankering for pork is going to cut into your savings like a freshly sharpened steak-knife.
Some pork products, like roasts and ribs, have increased by 10.1%. And if you’re craving chops, you might let out a high-pitched squeal the next time you’re at the butcher shop. The price of pork chops went up by 7.1% in one month.
There’s no data on whether pork rinds are more expensive, so snack to your heart’s content.
The humble chicken provides so many meal options. Nuggets, wings, full-on rotisserie — it’s amazing what you can get from just one bird.
Too bad the price increases will leave your wallet feeling peckish. Fresh whole chickens saw prices increase 7.1%, while chicken parts, like breasts and thighs, rose 5.2%.
As food prices rise, one way to save money is with free gift cards. You might earn them using a site that rewards you for taking surveys or watching videos.
4. Frozen fish and seafood
While fish and seafood prices have gone up 3.3% as an entire category, there’s been a 5.8% price increase for the frozen variety. Shelf-stable fish, like canned tuna and salmon flakes, has gone up 4%.
If you prefer your fish fresh, you’ll still be left reeling. Freshly caught fish and seafood have experienced a wicked 4.2% price increase.
Seafood lovers might want to wait for the next day the catch-of-the-day goes on sale.
5. Hot dogs
Fourth of July celebrations are just around the corner, and what’s more American than a freshly grilled hotdog on a Wonder Bread bun?
Just expect your all-American meal to cost you a few more George Washingtons at the grocery store. To be perfectly frank, hot dogs have seen a price increase of 5.7% .
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, which is a vital nutrient for keeping your immune system strong and healthy. But those sweet navels are going to beat your budget into a pulp, since orange prices are up 5.6%.
Citrus fruits are altogether more expensive, reaching a positively acidic 4.3% price increase.
If you’ve got a zest for fresh fruit, consider picking up tomatoes instead. (Yep, they’re a fruit.) They’re in season and are 1.4% cheaper.
7. Cookies, coffee cakes and doughnuts
These anxious times call for some serious comfort foods, but you might want to practice some moderation — and not for your waistline, but for your wallet.
You want a cookie? That’s going to cost you an extra 5.1%.
What about a fresh sweetroll, coffee cake or doughnut as a midafternoon snack? Calories don’t count in quarantine, but unfortunately price hikes do. Those delectable confections are going to cost you another 5%.
If you’re worrying about your dessert budget now, there’s an app that uses artificial intelligence to make savings suggestions.
8. Beef roast
This little piggy had roast beef, and this little piggy had none. Probably because roast beef has gone up in price by a meaty 5%.
If you’ve got beef with the prices, join the club. Roast beef is delicious, and is an easy meal to pop in the oven.
Here’s hoping that this delectable cut of meat scales back in price soon. Price hikes don’t mean as much if your money is earning consistent interest in your savings account, particularly if you have a high-yield savings account.
While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, expect to shell out a little more for your Granny Smiths and Pink Ladies: Apple prices have risen 4.9%.
If you’re a health nut on a budget, this probably isn’t something you want to sink your teeth into.
As previously mentioned, citrus also has risen in price, but there’s one fruit that’s exempt from the bunch: bananas. Bananas have experienced a negligible 0.2% price increase, which might be a little more a-peel-ing.
10. Ground beef
A triple-stacked burger on a toasted bun? That sounds completely irresistible for recession stress eating, until you realize your grocery bill has moved up by a couple of zeroes.
The price of ground beef has gone up 4.8%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.
Maybe we’ll try the salad instead?