Lately, every time I go grocery shopping, I leave feeling cheated. I find myself checking the receipt, positive that they over-charged me because there is no way I spent that much money for the small amount of groceries I got. Does anyone else do this?
So I started to research price increases in the last few years on various items and necessities. These are the things that blew me away the most:
I think that the reason I feel cheated when I go grocery shopping, is because the price of food has increased 75% since the year 2000. I remember shopping with my parents back then, and we would fill up a grocery cart for about $150. Nowadays, if you fill up your cart, it’s going to be at least $300, probably more. When I am shopping I also notice that the stores do things like put hot dogs on sale for really cheap, and then you go to buy buns and they are $5 a pack.
In the year 2000, the average gas price was $1.60 per gallon. The average gas price today in 2014 is $4.17 per gallon. Gas prices have increased 161%.
For those who smoke, do you remember when a pack of cigarettes was less than $4? Today, a pack of cigarettes can cost over $7. The federal taxes on cigarettes over the last 14 years have increased 197%.
We all know that we are required to have health insurance now, but isn’t it supposed to be affordable? Then please tell me why the average health insurance premium has increased by 131% since the year 2000.
Federal Minimum Wage
The ease answer to all these price increases is that the cost of living and the cost of doing business naturally increases every year right? Then let’s take a look at the percent of increase on the federal minimum wage, which should be as much as any one of the things I already mentioned. I found that the federal minimum wage has increased a mere 41% since the year 2000. That means if someone makes federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour and works a 40 hour week, they will make $232 after taxes. They need gas to get to work so they could possible get away with one full tank in a small car for $45, and if they smoke two packs of cigarettes in one week that’s another $14. Mandatory health insurance runs about $100 per week and that leaves $75 for food for the whole week, which won’t go far at the grocery store. But wait, that leaves nothing for rent, utilities, entertainment, savings. etc. No wonder there are so many people in this country who live in poverty.