How inflation will affect your Christmas food shopping

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With inflation putting a dent in our wallets for so much of 2022, how many dollar signs will be on your Christmas dinner menu?

Bill Dunn is just one shopper forced to ask himself if something is worth putting in his cart every time he goes grocery shopping. Either he goes with the cheaper brand, or the sweet treat stays on the shelf.

“They increase so much, I have to really look and decide whether I can afford them or not,” Dunn said.

The prices keep going up, but as someone on a fixed income, Dunn’s grocery budget has to stay the same.

“I don’t buy near as much as I used to,” Dunn said.

This may mean giving up some of his favorites for the holidays.

Economist Victor Claar from Florida Gulf Coast University says your Christmas dinner is going to be more expensive than last year’s.

“The average cost of a holiday meal is more than it was before; it might cost you more than a buck more per person to put the same meal on the table that you were able to put on the table a year ago,” Claar said.

For 1 1/2 years, WINK news has tracked the same 10 grocery items at the same Walmart, Target and Publix. Where Christmas is concerned, you may want to hold off on the homemade eggnog this year; 18 eggs at Publix are almost $9, around $1.50 more than in November. Honey Nut Cheerios at Walmart now cost around 50 cents more, at around $3.50. A six-roll pack of Charmin ultra-soft toilet paper at Target, however, actually went down 30 cents to $7.99.

But Claar says to keep an eye out for deals when shopping for those holiday meal ingredients, as all of your Christmas recipe necessities may be on sale.

“Retailers love to put those things on sale heading into holiday week, because they want us to go there for that great deal on the ham or that great deal on the turkey, and then hang around to buy all the other groceries on our list for that week,” Claar said.

For now, though, shoppers like Bill Dunn will keep making difficult shopping choices, this week and the next.

“I gotta make do,” Dunn said.

Claar adds that you shouldn’t worry about supply chain shortages this year. Regardless of the price, you can find everything you need for your holiday dinners on the shelves.

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