Checking the bill


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Egg prices are insane right now due to a devastating bird flu outbreak, but eggs are only the beginning. Many grocery items have skyrocketed in price, and shoppers everywhere have felt the painful effect of inflation on their wallets.

The cost of groceries has increased 11.3% over the last year, according to the latest inflation data from the Labor Department. But that number doesn't tell the whole story since it's the average of many different categories of food, including some that have even decreased (yes, really!) over the last year. By drilling down into the numbers, we've found which items are busting your family's budget.

Avid bakers are hurting the most. Besides eggs, which have gone up 70.1% over the last year, the cost of flour and prepared flour mixes like boxed cake mix has gone up 20.4%. Margarine has gone up 44.7%, so it might be a good time to switch to butter, which has gone up 26.3% — but hey, that's still less of an increase than margarine.

Sugar and sugar substitutes for your favorite cake or cookie recipe are also up by 13.5%, and even milk is up 11%. But if you think you could save money and satisfy your sweet tooth by purchasing frozen or pre-made baked goods, think again. Prepared cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are 16.3% higher in price than a year ago, and frozen bakery products like pies, tarts, and turnovers are up 18.3%. 

GalleryInflation Continues To Bust Household Budgets

Getting your recommended daily servings of vegetables is going to cost you too. Canned and frozen vegetables are up 16.9% and 18.6%, respectively, during last year. Overall, fresh vegetables are up less at 7.4%, but salad lovers are still feeling the effects of a recent lettuce shortage, that's pushed prices up 17.2% from a year ago. Plus, salad dressing is up 19%. Fresh fruits have fared better, increasing in price by only 3% overall, so choosing bananas and grapes for snacking instead of baby carrots may be a smart move.

Finally, the good news, at least if you're a carnivore: Beef and pork prices have fallen. Overall, beef is down 1.2% over the last year, with raw steaks like T-bones decreasing the most with a 3% drop, so get that grill fired up early. Pork ribs, steaks, and roasts are down 1.9%, but the price of bacon fell the most, with a 3.9% decrease. So skip those pancakes or veggie omelets for breakfast and break out the bacon instead — your doctor might not like it, but your wallet will.

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