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Lunch meat prices are on the rise in the heart of back-to-school season

As costs for just about everything continue to increase, parents are forced to make tough budgeting decisions

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Photo (c) Peter Dazeley - Getty Images
With back-to-school season in full swing, parents are gearing up for the fall term, which often involves a number of important purchases. While kids might love picking out new backpacks and notebooks, the recent surge in prices in just about every category may have many parents feeling stressed. 

Now, grocery shopping for school lunches might bring similar stressors. A new report from the Department of Labor on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that the price of lunch meat is on the rise. Compared to July 2021, the price of lunch meat has gone up nearly 20% as of July 2022. 

Everything from packaged turkey, ham, and cheese has seen price increases as much as 57% higher than what they were a year ago. The price of sliced ham has gone up the most, topping out at $8.55/lb, while turkey and cheese have each increased in price by nearly 20%.

What was once an affordable time-saver for kids’ lunches is now going to cost consumers that much more each week. 

Food prices continue to increase 

In addition to lunch meat, the Department of Labor report also found that the price of all foods at home has increased by over 13% since July 2021. In the last month, dairy products have increased by nearly 2%, though these prices are nearly 15% higher than they were a year ago.

Similarly, prices of fruits and vegetables were 0.5% higher in July than they were in June; however, these prices are over 9% higher from July 2021. 

The news comes on the heels of another recent ConsumerAffairs story, which highlighted the ways that rising grocery prices continue to affect consumers’ wallets. While certain items, like chicken wings and beef, have dropped in price, other items – like eggs and frozen dinners – continue to spike. 

While it’s hard for consumers to save money on grocery items they buy regularly, shopping at a membership club, like Costco or Sam’s Club, may be one solution. These stores offer consumers larger quantities for lower prices, which can be helpful as prices continue to increase. 

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