Grocery costs up, but less than last year

Price check shows beef, peanut butter, tuna fish costs more

SAN ANTONIO - Bringing home the bacon and the rest of the groceries is costing a little more than last year, according to a price check of 32 common items.

Turns out, making a burger for dinner or a PB and J for lunch costs more. But that grilled cheese and cup of coffee costs less.

Prices were checked Oct. 23 at HEB and Walmart stores on the north side and compared to the prices one year ago on the same groceries.

At Walmart, a pound of ground chuck beef was $3.38, 17 percent more than last  year.

At HEB, a jar of Jif peanut butter cost 34 percent more.

"I buy a lot of tuna fish, and that's gone up quite a bit," said shopper Karen Godwin. "Even since last time, it's gone up like six cents a can."

She's right.

A can of Starkist tuna at both stores was $2.48, 14 percent higher than one year ago.

Among the other noticeably higher prices: a bag of Ore Ida Tater Tots was up 7 percent; a can of Campbell's Chicken and Noodle Soup was up 23 percent; and a pound of Gala apples was up 40 percent.

Many items cost the same as last year, like orange juice, Coca Cola and even cereal.

And some things even cost less. A big can of Folgers Colombian coffee was $10.48, down 40 cents from last  year. And dairy items like cheese and milk were less expensive. A gallon of milk was down 9 cents from last year.

All totalled and averaged between the stores, all 32 items that cost $76 two year ago and $85 last year were $87 this year.

While "foodflation" slowed last year, shoppers say even a $2 increase matters to their family budget.

"It does, it definitely does," said shopper Daniel Villanueva. "We try and shop sales and try to find deals."

Hang on to those coupons. The big Midwest drought that pushed prices slightly this year, is expected to show up after the first of the year by way of higher prices at the grocery checkout, according to the USDA.


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