No more steak. Ordering out less. Here's how inflation is squeezing American diets.

No more steak. Ordering out less. Here's how inflation is squeezing American diets.

Sep 22, 2022 2 mins, 14 secs

Trimming food bills: Canned goods can help you cut grocery costs amid inflation.

Consumers are paying 11% more for overall food items than they did a year ago, according to the monthly Consumer Price Index report, released Sept.

Americans can expect to continue paying more for almost all food items, according to the USDA's Food Prices Outlook for 2022, whether you cook meals at home, dine out or buy food elsewhere.

Paying more at the check-out: Food prices soar amid inflation.

Paula Adams, a 59-year-old systems analyst who lives in Cincinnati, said she notices how the cost of basic items at the grocery store such as sugar, milk and meat have gone up significantly in her area.

She said one result of inflation is that she orders out for food less often. .

“We have an expectation that things go up a couple of cents, but when some of the staple items increase by a dollar that makes you go, ‘Whoa.’ Those are things you need in your home,” she said.

He added that COVID-19 supply shortages and the war in Ukraine will eventually ebb, but issues like climate change will continue to drive up food costs in the long term.

Ortega said consumers should be flexible with the products they buy and look for store brand labels when shopping to cut costs.

Meal planning, making a list of must-have items and shopping around at different locations can also lower grocery expenses, Ortega said

Coping with food costs: More people are paying for groceries with buy now, pay later apps as inflation pinches

Cobello said items on middle shelves tend to be more expensive, and products like spices are cheaper in the international food aisle compared to their counterparts in the spice aisle. 

Flipp can help shoppers compare prices on stores’ weekly digital flyers, and rewards apps like Fetch Rewards, Ibotta and Checkout 51 can earn consumers points toward gift cards or cash back just for scanning their grocery receipt. 

The desperate situation many families are facing is evident in food banks across the country, according to Vince Hall, chief government relations officer for Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks

While inflation is squeezing all consumers, lower-income households are hit hardest because they spend a greater share of their income on basics like food

More: Local food banks, dealing with the pressures of inflation, see an increase in food demand

Lucy Rosario, 64, has been turning to Food Bank For New York City now that grocery prices are up

She said she focuses on not wasting food and finding ways to stretch meals for her family, like using one-and-a-half cups of rice when a recipe calls for two. 

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