While doing some personal shopping, I took inventory of basic items (universal brands if the store had them), some of which were “on sale.” I documented each item’s regular price. Then, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), I cross-referenced those prices with grocery costs during a comparable time in recent memory: the last midterms in 2018 under President Donald Trump — a year and a half into the presidency and during a time of strong political incentives to keep Americans happy.
I avoided produce, most of which the BLS doesn’t keep consistent records for and which has such a short shelf-life that prices vary widely. I did, however, check in on other essentials across a variety of categories: baking items such as flour and sugar, meat, eggs, cheese, and other staples such as bread and pasta. And let’s just say after running the numbers, an 8 percent increase would have been welcomed. The real hikes were insane. More