A New Pandemic: Higher Prices
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11 Essential Things That Are Suddenly More Expensive Because of the Pandemic

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A New Pandemic: Higher Prices
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Price Hikes

The coronavirus pandemic has upended many aspects of everyday life, including the cost of consumer goods and services. While some grew cheaper amid the decreased demand caused by social distancing and stay-at-home orders, there are also many examples of routine items that became more expensive. From the simple act of grocery shopping to buying toiletries, here’s a look at costs that have increased amid the pandemic.

Meat Products
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Meat Products

The meat processing industry has been hard hit by the pandemic. With employees not working for safety reasons, there has been a reduction of meat processing capacity including plant closures and slowdowns. All of which will translate into higher prices for consumers. At least one new report predicts that meat supplies at retail grocery store chains may decrease by as much as 30 percent by Memorial Day, while prices for pork and beef will increase by as much as 20 percent over what they were last year.

Related: 17 Places to Order Steaks, Pork, and Other Meats Online

Eggs
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Eggs

In many places, the price of eggs also skyrocketed as the pandemic unfolded. McClatchy reported in April that the price of a box of 15 dozen eggs, which previously sold for anywhere from $20 to $24 had shot up to more than double that at about $55, a fact that has hit small cafes and restaurants that buy such products in bulk, particularly hard.

Rice
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Rice

Multiple news organizations, including CNBC, have reported that rice prices have surged to a seven-year high. This is largely because the coronavirus pandemic is restricting labor, including in the agricultural industry. As a result, many countries are stockpiling their supplies of this important staple. Between late March and early April, prices increased 12 percent.

Wheat
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Wheat

An important staple used in products such as pasta and bread, the cost of wheat has also climbed steadily upwards as a result of the pandemic. This, too, is due to contracting supply chains and intense demand, according to a report in The Hill, which describes the situation as a “perfect storm for high prices and scarcity.”

Alcoholic Beverages
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Alcoholic Beverages

The combination of consumers buying significant quantities of alcohol to see them through home isolation and many bars and restaurants shuttering for an extended period of time has significantly impacted the cost of wine or beer. Wine prices in particular increased about 0.9 percent, according to a report from Reuters in April. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s the biggest price increase for wine since 2014. The cost of beer meanwhile has risen about 2.4 percent, the most substantial price jump since 2008.

Grocery Shopping Itself
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Grocery Shopping Itself

In addition to the increased costs for specific food items, the mere act of grocery shopping has become costlier for those who don’t want to venture to the supermarket themselves amid a pandemic. Grocery delivery services include a variety of charges we weren’t paying when doing shopping ourselves. In order to buy groceries through Instacart, for example, you’ll pay delivery fees for each order, service fees, and a tip for your shopper. Shipt’s delivery fees vary based on the time you want the order delivered and how large the order is. In addition, delivery fees are steeper during busier times of the day. These fees start at $4. (Though Instacart Express members, who pay $10 per month for membership or $99 annually, get free delivery for orders that cost more than $35.) As if a delivery fee isn’t enough, there’s also a service fee, though it’s not clear from the Shipt website what specifically, this fee covers that the delivery fee doesn’t, but it’s an additional 5 percent tacked onto orders. And if you buy alcohol, there’s yet another additional service fee. Oh, and if you order particularly heavy items, plan to pay extra for that as well.

Related: These Grocery Stores Have Special Hours for Seniors and Other At-Risk Shoppers

Personal Hygiene Products
Amazon

Personal Hygiene Products

Daniella Flores, creator of the site I Like to Dabble, which is focused on money tips and side hustles, says she has noticed a significant uptick in the cost of several items during the pandemic, particularly shampoos. To confirm her suspicions, she did a little research on the site Keepa, which tracks Amazon prices, and found the cost of Pantene shampoo for example, jumped from about $8.35 in early March to $12.56 per bottle in late March and April.

Related: 14 Creative Alternatives for Household Products in Short Supply — and 4 to Skip

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
Amazon

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Cleaning products are another hot commodity amid the pandemic. And here, too, there’s been a not-surprising spike in prices. Flores specifically noticed an increase in the price of a 24-pack of Zwipes microfiber cleaning cloths. Prices for the cloths went from a low of $9.76 in early March to $13.50. As of early May, they remain at about $13.60 a pack.

Lysol Disinfectant
Walgreens

Lysol Disinfectant

Products that sanitize are also flying off the shelves and commanding a higher price. Los Angeles resident and founder of Los Angeles Real Estate Now, Chantay Bridges says she has personally witnessed a significant step up in the price of Lysol disinfectant. “Previously you could easily purchase a can for $3.99, now the average price is $8.99 and the can is a smaller size,” says Bridges. “There’s a limited supply and therefore those who have it, are charging even more.”

Plastic Gloves
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Plastic Gloves

Yet another product experiencing a sudden, intense spike in demand, plastic gloves are also much more expensive than they once were, says Bridges, who was shocked to see a box of 1,000 latex gloves selling for nearly $55 on Walmart’s website.

Delivery from Home Depot
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Delivery from Home Depot

Though Home Depot’s website brags about its free home delivery, since the pandemic erupted, you’ll need to spend at least $45 in order to even get delivery from the home goods giant. No more simply ordering a few bags of soil and getting it delivered for free.

Related: Can't Get It on Amazon? Where to Shop Instead