It’s time again for the Grocery Benchmark Report.
While prices either remained stable or dropped slightly this month I did notice a few interesting cost changes this month. The first was that Aldi changed their sugar to a 4lb bag. That makes the price look significantly less at the register (ie last month’s bag of sugar cost $2.75, this month’s bag of sugar cost $2.15–but the price per lb only dropped a penny). Milk, Butter and Eggs also had significant drops ($.10, $.40 and $.10 respectively). Living in farming country here in Upstate NY it occurs to me that those prices changes may be due to a natural uptick in production for the spring.
Of course the long term changes are what I’m most interested in-especially the beef prices. Those are predicted to rise up to 5% this year due to farmers selling off their herds in the drought last year and the high cost of the corn that is used to feed the cattle. Apparently the “better” cuts of meat show a more noticeable difference in price-but even the 80% lean ground beef at Aldi has gone up $.10 since I started recording prices, and $.30 since the beginning of 2012.
Here’s the full Grocery Benchmark Report for May
May Grocery Benchmark
So how does this “benchmark report” work?
Each month I record prices on a set basket of “staple” grocery items. I price all items at my local ALDI store to keep things simple.
The columns show the price when I first started recording (Aug 11), the price at the beginning of this year (Jan 12), the prices last month and the prices this month.
These price columns are followed by a “Change since Aug 11″ “Change, Year to Date” column and a “Change since last month” column.
Note: If a price is shown in green, it’s gotten cheaper. If it’s in red, it’s more expensive.
Remember-prices can vary wildly by region. My desire here is to help us all notice and take action on price TRENDS so we can make decisions about how best to manage our budget for our own households.
Wondering why I’m so concerned about rising food costs? Because the the price of food at home is projected to rise by 4 to 5 percent this year, and another 2 to 3 percent next year, according to the US Agriculture Department.