Tracking grocery prices: What’s up, what’s down, and where you can save money

DEDHAM, Mass. — Inflation continues to cool off, and so do prices at the grocery store.

According to the Consumer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery food prices increased by 4.7 percent between June 2022 and June 2023, while inflation increased by 3 percent. The good news for shoppers is that the rate of increase appears to be slowing. In May, the BLS reported grocery prices rose 5.8 percent compared to the previous year.

“In the last six or seven months, we’ve seen a very nice reduction in the rate of inflation,” said Will Masters, an agricultural economics researcher at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “Grocery prices do track [with] overall inflation pretty well.”

Here are some of the prices that changed the most between June 2022 and June 2023, according to the BLS:

  • Eggs -7.9%
  • Bacon -10.1%
  • Pork - 3.8%
  • Hot dogs -3%
  • Milk -1.9%
  • Margarine +13.1%
  • Flour +12.1%
  • Bread +11.5%
  • Sugar +11.1%
  • Carbonated drinks +9.1%
  • Cereal +8.8%
  • Ice cream +5.3%
  • Ham +4.7%
  • Coffee +3.3%
  • Fruits and vegetables +3%

Masters said understanding “grocery store geography” can help shoppers find the best value. Prices for packaged, processed foods in the center of the store tend to be the most stubborn, Masters said.

“Where prices have not come down so much is the middle of the store,” Masters said. “That pricing power, that brand loyalty has allowed the middle-of-the-store prices to remain pretty sticky and high.”

West Roxbury mother Alexis Kiani said she’s been able to save money by avoiding the name brand products.

“Yeah, I’m buying store brand things. The [prices for] name brands [are] just ridiculous,” Kiani said.


The consumer advocacy group MASSPIRG says there are ways you can save on food costs:


Shop midweek instead of over the weekend. According to the savings app Ibotta, the weekend is the most expensive time to shop.

Check for an “ugly foods” section – MASSPIRG says damaged or oddly shaped items are often marked down by as much as 50 percent because they don’t meet the same aesthetic standards as their fellow fruits and vegetables, even though they taste just as good.

And compare prices at different stores. MASSPIRG recommends the Basket app for Apple and Google which allows you to compile a grocery list, then shows you how much it would cost at stores in your area.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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