Shoppers paid more for basics in 2022 as inflation hit its highest level in more than four decades – but there were some bargains to be found on some historically expensive items.
The key ingredients needed to bake a cake were among a dozen products that grew the most since November 2021, according to Labor Department data.
Eggs and margarine jumped 50% during this period, while flour and baking mixes jumped nearly 25%. Overall, the cost of groceries rose 13.5% year over year as inflation hit its highest level since 1981.
Rising prices sapped family budgets by about $10,000 from a year earlier, with the consumer price index rising 9.1% in June from a year earlier before falling to 7.1% in November.
However, the prices of some luxury goods have actually fallen year on year. Chief among these are flat-screen TVs, which fell 17%. The cost of attending sporting events has also become cheaper, falling by 7.2% this year.
Yet there were few other places where shoppers could find savings. Owning and using a car has become much more expensive, with gasoline jumping 10%, the cost of repairing a car rising 15% and insurance rising 13%.
Traveling by plane was even worse. Fares are skyrocketing 36% as demand surged after lockdowns were lifted.
The end of pandemic restrictions also pushed restaurant dining prices up 9% while alcohol in bars jumped 7.1%.
There may be relief on the horizon. Recent data from the Commerce Department shows that the personal consumption expenditure price index – a measure of costs and services – fell to 5.5% in November from 6.1% in October.