Massachusetts

‘It's Horrible': Food Prices Expected to Keep Rising This Year

The USDA is anticipating that the price of food will climb about 5% over last year, a rate not seen since the last economic downturn in 2008

NBC Universal, Inc.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a continued rise in food prices this year compared to last at a rate not seen since the last economic downturn in 2008.

Shopping for food has become more expensive for Fior Rendon of Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, causing her to be more careful about how she spends her money, especially after the U.S. government warned that prices on food are about to get worse.

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

"It's horrible," Rendon said.

She had been bouncing from market to market Thursday to find the best deals, and she's not alone.

"[I] meal prep a little bit different now, just due to the fact that I can't run to the store and get the same amount that I'm used to," said Decorsie James.

The USDA is anticipating the price of food to climb about 5% this year — about 3% to 4% if shopping for food at the store, and about 5.5% to 6.5% percent when eating out.

"I'm not eating out as much anymore," said Jamaica Plain resident Elizabeth Cleaveland. "I definitely stopped driving my car."

Cleaveland said she's now having to budget for food and make fewer trips to the market.

"I'm pretty strict about it now," she said. "I used to not care."

The most impacted items are meats, poultry and dairy, while vegetables will see the lowest increase at the register, according to the latest USDA forecast.

The agency pointed the war in Ukraine and the increase in interest rates as major factors that will make the market swing in 2022.

While many Americans are having to spend more for nearly every product and service, food is something Nathaniel Curtis won't pinch pennies for.

"There's a couple things in life where we're always going to be sorry if you cheap out: trash bags, toiler paper, gasoline and the food you eat," he said.

One way you can save money shopping for food is to plan your meals ahead — that way, you only buy what you need. Also, look for store brands, as they are usually cheaper. And search your phone for apps that will give you cash back at the grocery store.

Contact Us