TAMPA, Fla. — Grocery prices seem to be staying at an extreme high, with the USDA latest report showing the average annual food at home prices were 5% higher in 2023 than in 2022.

What You Need To Know

  • Grocery prices are continuing to increase nationwide
  • In the Tampa Bay area, customers like Helen Rossfield are turning to locally-owned stores to get cheaper groceries

In the Tampa Bay area, shoppers are having to change up their routines and shopping lists to accommodate these prices.

According to the consumer price index, the price for food groups like cereal and bakery products increased from November to January of this year, while sugar and sweet products are expected to experience the highest price growth according to the USDA.

Helen Rossfield is always on the hunt for a good bargain, especially when it comes to the food she eats. 

She stopped by Smart Shopper Discount Grocery to get her shopping done.

“I can get my money’s worth because it’s sometimes a half or even 75 percent off, you know, it’s worth it,” she said.

With the recent loss of her husband’s job and the need to keep up with bills at home, Rossfield says grocery shopping shouldn’t be another costly bill.

“I can come in here and I can feed the two of us for a lot less money than what it would cost us to shop at any of the bigger stores,” she said.

The food at home consumer price index increased 0.7 percent from December 2023 to January 2024 and was 1.2 percent higher than January 2023, according to the USDA.

As prices continue to increase, Rossfield says grocery shopping should be something that brings people together, to help keep families fed. She says the local grocery store is a place she can always find what she needs for her family.

Smart Shopper Discount Grocery Owner Chris Hunt says the store can keep prices down because they purchase from the manufacturer.

According to Datasembly, the price of meat is taking an upward trend in price, along with eggs and milk following behind.