Groceries or Luxury?

The price of groceries has increased and impacted people’s lives.

Valentina Almeyda, Staff Writer

Walking through the store, one might wonder whether the groceries are within the budget or if they are better off putting some items back. A carton of eggs? That will be $3.59, without tax. It is items like these that have experienced a spike in prices through the past year due to climate change, wars, and other issues. Sadly, the price of food is not the only price we have seen a change in. Housing, bills, and taxes are just some of the other things that have increased in price. Although inflation is affecting many needs around the world, food should be the last necessity we should have to worry about on our monthly bills.

Spending money on food is non-negotiable. Every month is a new grocery bill, which according to GoBankingRates is about “$438 per month for U.S. households.” As one can see, the price of groceries is more or equally as expensive as our monthly bills. On top of the groceries themselves, taxes are piled with them which leads to a higher bill. In Florida, the tax is 6 percent. Meaning, if a Floridian’s groceries were to be $438, they would end up paying around $464.28 with tax. This price shows that groceries have been turned into the latest luxury and groceries being the second biggest financial worry, after rent, is humanly wrong and should never be a worry for anyone whether they are financially stable or not.

Because of these prices, it is not easy to maintain when in a bad situation. Single parents for example struggle to keep a roof over their family’s heads. A high grocery bill is no help and makes keeping a healthy life a bigger struggle than it should be. Along with a roof, a plate of food is a basic but important need in life and though kids tend to get free meals provided to them during school hours, good and nutritious meals are harder to provide on a tight budget. Along with their kids, single parents tend to skip meals so their children have plenty of food on their plates. An article titled ‘What It’s Really Like When You Can’t Feed Your Family‘ by Virginia Sole-Smith talks about a family who struggles with providing enough food on the table, “The Bardwells are four of the more than 50 million Americans who worry about having enough to eat today, a number that has climbed nearly 40 percent since the start of the recession in 2007.¨ This issue leads parents to give away their food, nutrition, and overall health to their child, which would impact their lives and their kids’ lives as well.

A big issue created by inflation is how the cost of groceries has affected our nutritional intake. For instance, when looking through a store, the lowest-priced items tend to be the ones with the least nutritional value. With high prices, those are the items that shoppers are opting for so that they are able to provide food on the table but also provide themselves with a lower effect on their bank accounts. Due to this, severe impacts on population health and nutritional status have been seen as just some of the effects. For instance, according to the National Library of Medicine, those who change their diet pattern for economic reasons “may develop a range of nutritionally-related disorders and diseases, from so-called over-nutrition to or with under-nutrition even within the one household.”

Although many are struggling, food stamps have been a resolution found in many households. In the US, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal program that provides help for families who are eligible to receive these stamps, which allows families to expand their grocery budgets and buy a variety of foods. This aid gives families an opportunity to provide their families with food without having to worry so much about how their other bills will be paid.
Overall, the way inflation has affected the cost of food has made a huge impact on people’s lives and the way they worry about where they stand economically and how, if they are in a bad economic place, they are gonna be able to maintain themselves and others.