If you've been to the store lately, you probably noticed a jump in your grocery bill. According to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices increased around 5.3% from October 2020 to October 2021.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a popular measure of price changes. It represents the price urban consumers pay for goods and services over time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gathers CPI information by collecting a sample of approximately a million prices per year.
Consumers saw the price of food, gas, and health care rise as the CPI soared 6.2% from October 2020. This represents the highest inflation surge in more than three decades.
Since the holiday season is upon us, many consumers are feeling the pinch of higher prices for holiday essentials. Grocery prices rose 5.4%. The Food-At-Home category of the CPI saw an increase in prices across all six major grocery store indexes.
The increase in grocery prices was primarily driven by meat products. The price of meat, fish, and eggs went up about 12% since last year. The price of beef increased 20.1%, while chicken climbed 9%.
Price isn't the only barrier for residents on the South Side of Chicago. Access to quality food is also a challenge. Many communities are stricken with food deserts, including Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing, and Roseland.
Since many residents may not have access to quality food in their community, many are forced to travel a sizable distance for groceries. With the increase in gas prices, this presents an additional financial burden for residents on Chicago's South Side.
What can be done to combat these costs? Here are a few tips to save more money this holiday season.
It's time to get credit for what you already do. Every time you scan your grocery receipt using FETCH Rewards, you earn points. Those points can be redeemed for your favorite gift cards, including Amazon.com, Instacart, Sam's Club, Walmart, Starbucks, and Whole Foods Market. You can also get discounts at your favorite restaurants like Boston Market and Chipotle.
If your household income falls within the range, you may be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The federal government administers the SNAP program.
Amazon allows SNAP recipients to purchase EBT-eligible items online. This includes groceries available on Amazon Fresh and Amazon.com. You can purchase the following items:
Fruits and vegetables
Meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products
Breads, cereals, canned vegetables, and pantry staples
Snacks, seeds, and non-alcoholic beverages
If you can't pay with SNAP, you can always use your Fetch Rewards points to grab your favorite ingredients for your holiday meals.
Since meat has become the biggest culprit of price increases, you can opt-in for nutritious alternatives to protect your budget.
If you want to rack up mega rewards during the holiday season, consider getting a credit card rewards card. When prices are going up, every penny counts. Your rewards points may be enough to cover your purchases.
For example, Capital One offers the "Purchase Eraser" as a rewards booster. If you have accumulated enough rewards dollars in your account, you can use the money to pay for your purchases.
Capital One Savor Rewards is offering a cash bonus of $200 when you spend $500 within 3 months of account opening. You can earn 3% cash rewards when you use your card for dining and select grocery stores. There is no annual fee. Before you apply, make sure you are aware of your credit status. This is a credit card for people with excellent credit.
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