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How can we combat rising food prices at the grocery store ahead of the holiday season?

Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 18:24:33-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data, suggesting inflation was a bit hotter than expected in September.

The data shows inflation jumped by 8.2% compared to a year earlier. To put this in perspective, a basket of goods that cost $100 a year ago now costs $108.20 today.

Food prices have been among the largest contributing categories to inflation in recent months.

At Critchfield Meats, business is busy as usual around lunchtime. Several businesses we spoke with all report that families have pretty much figured out how to cope with today's prices.

"Nothing's really stopping them, but prices have gone up," said Anthony Critchfield.

But what's coming down the road for the holidays might change that. For instance, the price of fresh turkeys is up $1 a pound over last year.

"We're probably going to have to cut back on cooked turkeys," said Critchfield. "And turkey breasts are hard to find and the prices on those are up."

Anthony Critchfield encourages people not to procrastinate no matter where they get their food for the holidays. Plan and place orders early, and some may have to rethink the menu.

"Now, beef prices have pretty much stayed the same, and we haven't really seen a flux in that this year," said Critchfield. "We got plenty of beef, beef tenderloin, and standing rib roasts."

Overall, everything has gone up at the grocery store.

The Food at Home Index is an indicator of grocery prices. It increased 0.7% just last month and 13% over the past year.

"Overall inflation is never a good thing... essentially, economists refer to it as a tax," said Ken Troske, Chair of Economics at the University of Kentucky.

Troske believes actions the Fed is taking will help in the long run, but there will be some pain to endure before we get there.

"Understanding what's coming down is always helpful for everybody," he said. "Understand this is probably what we're going to be dealing with for a while."

So, patience is going to be key in working through the next few months.