As inflation hits staple items like gas, food and other necessities, experts expect grocery prices to continue rising by summer.
Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking company, says grocery prices will rise at least an additional 6% this year.
Consumer watchdog, Jamie Court, weighed in on the issue.
"We've already had a 7% increase in the overall consumer price index and 14% for things like meat and eggs so another 6% is staggering. It's going to really hurt people and they're gonna have to make really tough choices between putting food on the table, paying rent, paying auto insurance, and paying gas bills. We need some relief and I don't see it coming any time soon, unfortunately," said Court.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, household grocery bills rose by 8.6% in the last year, which is the highest increase since the 1980s. The cost for all major food groups such as dairy, fruits, and vegetables rose at their fastest monthly pace in over one decade.
Gasoline prices are also up 38% within the last year.
"There are legitimate issues for the supply chain and illegitimate issues of companies just raising prices because they're going with the flow, and they don't need to raise prices but they're doing it to make more money and we need to sift through that and the government needs to sift through that. We need to separate what's legitimate from what is pure price gouging and both the California Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney General need to get on the stick and make sure people who are raising prices unreasonably know it's not OK and they need to feel the end of that stick," said Court.
The Russian invasion on Ukraine could also impact grocery prices the same way its impacting gas prices. Ukraine is an agricultural hub, mostly for Europe.
"When prices go up in a commodities market, people raise prices all across the board so it has to do both with the real geopolitical system and the opportunism in the speculative market to raise prices," said Court.
People like the Whitaker family are grappling with the high grocery prices. Their trip to a grocery store Thursday cost around $190.
"Prices are steadily going up. That trip was $190 and it wasn't a lot in the trunk to go with it. Every trip is $75, $125, $150 every time we blink. To eat out at one of these places is almost cheaper than the trip we just made to the grocery store and then you add the gas prices to go with it, it's just a constant crunch into the numbers to make it work," said Herman Whitaker.
Court recommends people shop at bulk stores like Costco to save money on groceries.
"You can go to people who purchase on the bulk market [such as] Costco, Smart and Final, Trader Joe's, they do a lot of purchasing meat and they have long term contracts so their prices are relatively stable for meat. If you go to a more boutique grocery store or local grocery store, their prices are gonna be through the roof because they're paying on a weekly or monthly basis," said Court.
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