'I have to stress about budget:' These grocery store products are more expensive amid the COVID-19 pandemic

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A new national study found 85 percent of people say they're shelling out more cash at the checkout line.

C+R Research surveyed thousands of Americans in August on how COVID-19 has affected their budget, shopping habits, and diets.

"I spent $180 today," said Tori Brock after her trip to a grocery store. The Raleigh resident said her bills are up $20 to $30 since the pandemic hit and it hasn't been easy cushioning the extra costs.

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"I live paycheck to paycheck so it's kind of like one of those things where I have to stress about budget," she said.

Brock said she pays way more for meat and it's leading her to shop differently when things do go on sale.

"I start buying in bulk and freezing it now because it's just a little bit easier," said Brock.

Other shoppers said they're paying more to add vegetables to at-home meals.

"I mostly do the frozen ones and they're up too. Frozen ones and fresh," said Raleigh resident Mary McBride.

These observations are being backed up by the C+R study that found:

  • Beef prices soared more than 10 percent
  • Poultry prices up 6 percent
  • Paper products increased nearly 9 percent
  • Cleaning products up 5 percent


More than 40 percent of people surveyed said they're simply eating less meat because of the prices and they're also cutting back in other areas.

The study found many people are buying fewer hair care products with some ditching deodorant.

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The vast majority of those surveyed were worried groceries will continue to become more expensive.

McBride understands the public is at the mercy of the market. She'll just have to grin and bear to keep cupboards stocked.

"If it's something I want, I'm going to buy it. I don't care how much it costs," said McBride.

People surveyed are hoping to see prices level out by next spring.
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