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Price of basic food items soar while overall inflation dips

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

HIGHLAND — New inflation numbers released Wednesday sent stocks soaring.

The official numbers show year-over-year inflation at 8.5%, but for many basic items, that number is still far higher. Food is up more than 13%, but even that number doesn't tell the whole story, and Utah families are feeling it.

The Consumer Price Index released numbers showing eggs are up 47%, and things like fresh citrus fruit up 27%. Butter, packaged lunch meat, frozen meals up over 20%.

The prices have many Utah shoppers doing double takes when they check out.

Marc Nathanson and his wife have four kids that range in age from 5 to 15 years old. He said their grocery budget was pricey before inflation hit. Now, he's paying 30% to 40% more every time he goes grocery shopping.

"There was actually a time that I'd stop and I actually checked the receipt, like, did they make a mistake here because this doesn't look right," Nathanson said. "And then I started to see the pattern."

Scharman Grimmer has her college kids home for the summer. "We have a house of eight," Grimmer said. "The grocery bills have been astronomical."

"From groceries to gas, it's definitely impactful right now," she added.

We have a house of eight. The grocery bills have been astronomical.

–Scharman Grimmer

Marshall Meier owns Meiers Meats & Fine Foods. He opened his Highland store in 2013. Meier said this year has been tough.

"We are getting weekly price changes, so we have to raise our prices," the owner said.

In addition to the higher price of getting food, labor costs are up and supply chain issues are still prevalent. And Meier said he sees no end in sight. On top of that, he said a turkey shortage has already been announced for the Thanksgiving season due to a bird flu outbreak.

While Grimmer worries that once prices go up, they stay there indefinitely, she said she's still hopeful for the future.

"I think the next five, 10 years are going to be hard, but we feel really hopeful that things will even out."

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Debbie Worthen


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