Food prices see biggest price increase since 1979

While some everyday services and goods are seeing their prices drop, this is not the case for grocery stores. The latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that food prices have risen 13.1% since last July.

Local families on the central coast are feeling the impact, becoming a battle between keeping food on the table and soaring food prices.

“What I’ve seen increases everything in meat and even in fruit and milk. It’s like going to some store and wasting about $80 and that’s not all you need, that’s half of what you need,” said Consuelo Esquivel, a resident of Paso Robles.

Staple foods such as eggs saw the biggest increase. Their cost increased by 4.3% in July and by 38% over the year.

“Milk is I think 6 1/2, $7 and it was $5.99 for us and we always get milk so that’s the biggest thing we’ve seen so far,” explained Julissa Andrade of San Luis Obispo.

Making that trip to the grocery store costs a lot more.

“You definitely need to set aside a little more money,” said Arroyo Grande resident Tina Abdulla.

“Right now I think we’ve spent around $116 compared to a few months ago or maybe around January at the start of the year, at Grocery Outlet we usually spend around $60 to $80, so an increase of $30 to $40,” Andrade said.

So what are people doing to save money?

Local residents have said it all, whether it’s using coupons, comparing prices at local stores, or sticking to buying the essentials.

“Basically what we get is the necessities. Things we don’t need like sugary drinks or sodas or stuff like that, we just don’t have them,” Esquivel said.

There are resources that offer food assistance, including the SLO Food Bank and the Salvation Army Pantry.

Luz W. German