Which groceries are soaring in price? We did the math

Some grocery staples cost up to 40% more than they did last year, analysis shows

SAN ANTONIO – If you think your cart of groceries is costing more, you’re not wrong.

“I just paid $200 for this,” said Dee Heisler as she loaded her Walmart bags into her trunk. “Meats, meats hurt a lot.”

All major food categories are up, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The November Consumer Price Index for food at home rose 6.4%, the beefiest annual increase in 13 years.

The increase is caused by number of factors - labor shortages, transportation costs, the price of packaging and a jump in demand. In short, inflation has made its way to grocery aisles.

But what about grocery shopping in San Antonio? How much more are we paying here? To find out, we dug up receipts from December 2020 and then compared the prices on the same products this mid-December.

The check was for 50 foods for curbside pickup at the same North Side H-E-B, the region’s dominant grocer.

The same groceries that cost $202.37 last year, now cost about $20 more.

Here’s some of what we found:

A pound of ground sirloin is up more than four percent. Last year, a prime ribeye steak cost $16.47 per pound. This year, it’s up nearly 32% to $21.62 per pound.

It’s costing more to bring home the bacon, too. It’s up 11.5%.

Fresh Atlantic salmon is costing 20% more.

Depending on what you buy, food prices may be eating your lunch and breakfast, too.

A box of Raisin Bran Crunch is up more than four percent. And, a box of Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats costs 9.8% more than one year ago.

In the produce aisle, the head of iceberg lettuce is up 12.3% while a five-pound bag of mandarin oranges is up by 44%.

And, don’t forget the ice cream. A half-gallon carton is up 11.7%.

“Definitely, we’re getting less food for our money everywhere I go,” said shopper Janet Murray.

But hang on. Many of the groceries cost exactly the same as one year ago. And, those include many staples like milk, bread, eggs, orange juice, and coffee. HEB’s natural boneless, skinless chicken thighs still cost $3.08 per pound, the same as one year ago. Pork chops are the same price, too.

“While industry-wide issues continue to impact prices of certain items, HEB works hard to absorb cost increases so we can keep offering some of the lowest prices in the nation,” said HEB in a written statement.

Wherever you shop, prices are climbing, and economists expect a continuation into next year.

Finally, there’s one more reason to eat your peas. A bag of frozen peas actually dropped a few pennies in price.

Here’s the full breakdown of grocery prices:

ProductPrice - December 2020Price - December 2021Percent change
Ground sirloin4.93/lb5.14/lb4.3%
Totino’s party pack5.035.285%
Pink Lady apples1.90/lb1.95/lb2.6%
Red Gold crushed tomatoes 28 oz1.541.7312.3%
Sliced cheddar2.782.862.9%
Iceberg lettuce1.631.8312.3%
Quaker Old-fashioned oats3.383.719.8%
Large avocado1.291.8241%
Raisan Bran Crunch cereal3.753.914.3%
Coca Cola 20 cans7.408.6116.4%
Frozen OJ1.521.552%
Prime Ribeye16.47/lb21.62/lb31.7%
5 pound bag of mandarin oranges4.987.1944%
Amy’s Cheese Enchilada4.104.304.9%
Ice cream half gallon4.825.3811.7%
Lemons 2 lb bag3.073.4813.4%
Thomas English Muffins2.312.7619.5%
Thick bacon 12 oz4.615.1411.5%
Flour Tortillas 20 ct2.042.207.8%
Turkey lunchmeat 8 oz2.773.0811.2%
Red seedless grapes 3 lbs4.987.1944.4%
Best Maid pickle relish 12 oz1.571.623.2%
Salmon - 4 piece tray15.4518.5420%
Organic mini carrots 2 lb bag2.983.062.7%
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 34 oz8.139.4215.9%
Fresh raspberries 6 oz2.973.073.3%
Natural chicken thighs3.08/lb3.08/lb0%
Orowheat Bread3.073.070%
Fresh baby spinach 6 oz3.073.070%
Monteli pizza6.166.160%
HEB OJ 89 oz4.824.820%
Bush’s Pinto Beans1.421.420%
Texmati Rice7.197.190%
Russet potatoes.70/lb.70/lb0%
Pork Chops4.83/lb4.83/lb0%
Peet’s Coffee cups18.5218.520%
Two good yogurt5.715.710%
Nabisco Honey Maid grahams4.614.610%
Wheat Thins3.783.780%
Frozen corn1.011.010%
Fresh grade AA XL eggs2.822.820%
Boxed Stuffing 6 oz2.042.040%
Canned pears 16 oz1.391.390%
Hellman’s mayo 30 oz3.883.880%
Rotel tomatoes 10 oz1.011.010%
Canned pears 16 oz1.391.390%

About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.