Egg Prices Are Finally Getting Cheaper, but Food Costs Are Still Up Over 10%

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  • Egg prices dropped 6.7% in February compared to January.
  • Grocery costs for the month were up 10.2% on an annual basis.
  • If higher costs are busting your budget, consider buying in bulk (when it makes sense to) and trying out discount grocers like Aldi.

It's only semi-positive news.

It's more than fair to say that life in general is a lot more expensive these days than it was a couple of years ago. And not surprisingly, many consumers have been forced to rack up credit card debt or dip into (and in some cases, deplete) their savings accounts just to keep up.

One area that's been exceptionally troubling is food costs. Those have downright soared over the past year, and as of February, grocery prices were still up 10.2% on an annual basis, according to the Consumer Price Index.

But at least the cost of one supermarket staple is dropping. Egg prices were down 6.7% in February compared to a month prior. That said, on an annual basis, egg prices are still up a whopping 55.4%. Ouch.

If you're struggling to afford your grocery bills, whether due to higher egg prices or higher prices overall, you should know that there are a few steps you can take to lower your costs. And that might spell a lot of relief at a time when inflation is still surging.

How to feed your family for less

Even though grocery prices are up, skimping on food is something you really don't want to do. And the good news is that with the right strategy, you can lower your spending even at a time when grocery prices are so exorbitant.

For one thing, try to buy groceries in bulk when doing so makes sense. This doesn't mean you have to go out and pay for a Costco membership. Rather, there's a good chance your local supermarket or big-box store carries certain grocery staples in bulk. 

If you see an item you use frequently available in bulk, crunch some numbers. If you stand to reap savings, consider buying that item -- even if it means paying a slightly higher credit card bill this month.

That said, you'll need to make sure any bulk item you buy is something you can use up before it goes bad. You may be better off buying things like cereals and grains in bulk, which tend to have a much longer shelf life than things like dairy products and eggs.

At the same time, spend a little time looking at products and prices at discount grocers like Aldi. You may find that if you're not picky about the brands you bring home, you might manage to reap some savings on food.

Finally, don't underestimate the importance of paying attention to sales. Stocking up when your go-to purchases are discounted could result in a lot of savings. 

When will food prices start to come down?

In February, annual inflation sat at 6% as a whole, so it may be a while until food costs start to drop. In fact, food prices were a big reason the Consumer Price Index rose in February compared to January. 

The hope is that as supply continues to catch up to demand, the price of all consumer goods, including groceries, will steadily drop. But it may be a while until we get there. So for now, your best bet is to do what you can to research sales, take advantage of discount grocery stores in your neighborhood, and buy in bulk when it's an item you use all the time and you're confident you can consume it before it goes bad.

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