We have all heard about the recession and, in recent years, felt the effects. But what about the inflation of food? I mean, seriously, have you tried to buy eggs lately?
This new kind of recession has slowly been taking its toll on not just people's wallets but also their grocery shelves. Prices for groceries are rising at an alarming rate, forcing those already struggling financially to make tough decisions about what to buy to stay within the budget. What’s worse is that these prices could remain where they are or continue to rise - creating an even more uncertain future for millions of those living in America.
So, why is there such a dramatic rise in food prices?
Several factors have contributed to the rising cost of groceries. For starters, global demand for food has been steadily increasing due to population growth and changing diets in developing countries. At the same time, agricultural production has been hampered by extreme weather and pests that can decimate crops (every time I turn around, there is an issue where fruit, vegetable, or meat is being recalled for one reason or another). As a result, supply hasn’t kept up with demand, leading to higher prices at the store.
Also contributing to increased food costs is the weakening value of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies worldwide. This means that when farmers sell their products overseas, they get less money than they used to because their currency isn’t as valuable. This leads them to raise their prices domestically to make up for their losses abroad.
For consumers, rising food prices mean having to spend more money than usual on groceries every month—or cutting back on certain items altogether if they don’t have enough money in their budget. This can be especially hard on low-income households who already struggle with affording basic necessities like food and rent each month. And I even see those on government assistance (i.e., food stamps) struggle to stretch the money they receive from the government.
Meanwhile, farmers are feeling the pinch since they have less control over how much money they get from selling their crops due to market forces that are out of their hands (like global demand or currency exchange rates). This makes it difficult for them to plan for future expenses or investments into new equipment or technologies that could help them increase production and become more profitable overall.
Shopping for food shouldn’t be an unaffordable burden; however, food is our new recession reality.
There are many ways to make the grocery store more budget-friendly, like making a list of essential items you need and comparing prices both in-store and online. With the accessible variety of discounts, coupons, and loyalty programs, shopping for food doesn’t have to be such a financial burden.
Some tips shoppers can use to get the most bang for their buck are taking advantage of in-store promotions, meal prepping meals for the week ahead, and avoiding impulse buys. It’s all about making smart decisions that maximize your wallet’s potential.
Dr. Pam Gurley is an accomplished author, CEO, podcaster, professor, professional speaker and businesswoman. Her ultimate objective: Work every day to change how Black women are perceived.
Listen to Dr. Pam as she is interviewed by Bob Gatty on the Lean to the Left Podcast, now streaming.