The pinch at the grocery store is hurting Montanans.

You've probably seen the memes that show a giant pile of groceries for like fifty bucks from a few years ago, versus the small basket of items we can purchase for the same price today. It's crazy, and you're certainly not imagining it. According to a new report, Montanans spend a huge percentage of their income at the grocery store; 7th in the US.

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One blogger shared an interesting take on the situation.

A TikToker purchased the same items from late 2020 to January 2023. She bought about a basket of stuff at Walmart, including eggs, tortillas, a half-gallon of milk, dried beans, rice, a few vegetables, and a couple of bananas for $10.99 in 2020.  When she bought identical items in 2023, the bill was $15.10. Almost 50% more for the same basic groceries.

A Purdue study shows most Americans think food prices will continue to climb in 2024, with the USDA predicting a 1.2% increase in grocery store food prices. Montanans are feeling it, with the latest report from Trace One revealing some eye-opening statistics.

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photo: Michelle Wolfe
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Almost $250 a week for groceries?

For folks in the Treasure State, the average weekly grocery bill sits at $246, according to the report, around $1,000 per month! That amount represents a hefty 9.2% of Montanans' total consumer spending and the tally climbs substantially for households with more than four.

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It's not just Montana feeling the squeeze.

Across the country, families are grappling with steep food bills. Hawaii spends the highest percent of their income at the store, Mississippi is next, and Kansans are spending nearly 10 percent of checks on groceries too. In 37 states, weekly household grocery expenditures exceed $250 on average, leaving many Americans wondering how to make ends meet.

Are you cutting back on certain grocery items due to costs?

The Trace One report delves into the details, breaking down price increases for nearly 40 popular grocery items since March 2020. Some items have seen significant upticks, and the guessing game of "what's going to be outrageously priced this week?" seems unending.

How are you saving money on your food bills in Montana? What foods do you purchase a lot less often now, than you did four years ago? Leave a comment on social media, message on our app, or send me an email. Michael.foth@townsquaremedia.com

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