Soaring prices leave Virginians with sticker shock as holidays near

Posted at 11:28 PM, Nov 10, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. – Some shoppers lately are feeling the pain of sticker shock at the grocery store.

“I picked up some items and I looked at the prices and I was like, 'The prices is high.' I noticed that immediately," said Mikael Uhuru of Norfolk. “All the meat is going up. The steak’s going up; the chicken’s going up; the turkey’s going up. Everything's going up. The beef is going up. Everything's going up.”

The cost of food and other goods is rising as inflation hits its sharpest increase since 1990.

“That's the big question,” said Uhuru. “I would like to know why the price is so high? Somebody tell me.”

A report released Wednesday from the U.S. Labor Department said consumer prices jumped 6.2% last month compared to a year ago.

“We're still continuing to see the effects of COVID-19 on the economy now rippling through the supply chain, rippling through labor markets,” said Bob McNab, a professor of economics at Old Dominion University. “How's it manifesting? How's it coming about? It's coming about in terms of price increases."

McNab said global supply chain snags, worker shortages and higher demand are all impacting our grocery bill, creating a costly recipe for Thanksgiving dinner.

“We're just having difficulties getting goods from one part of the United States to another, and one part of the globe to another,” he said. “You're going to pay more for turkey.You're going to pay more for dressing. You're going to pay more to make the gravy. You're going to pay more to drive to Grandmother's house. It's just going to be a more expensive year than it was last year and more expensive than it was in 2019.”

Some grocery stores, such as Aldi, are claiming shoppers can buy their Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings for less than $30. News 3 put it to the test.

Among one of the biggest savings was the turkey. A Butterball turkey originally costs $1.39 per pound, which would have been $27.99 for a 20 lb. turkey. Aldi currently has them on sale for $.87 per pound, bringing the total cost down for a 20 lb. turkey to $17.95.

“I get milk and vegetables and some dried fruit and produce,” said Bruce Powers of Norfolk. “I have noticed that the prices have gone up a little bit, but that's why I come to Aldi.”

News 3 was checking the Thanksgiving staples off the list: Sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, dessert and more.

News 3 crunched the numbers, and what it came down to is the size of the turkey that you're buying. The 20 lb. turkey - with all the sides - totaled up to $34.61, so if you want to go with a smaller turkey, a person can likely have Thanksgiving dinner for less than $30 like Aldi claims.

Meantime, inflation is forcing single dad Uhuru to cut back on his spending just ahead of the holidays.

“Overall, like, the economy is like kind of crazy right about now. It's just looking nuts out here when you compare it to 10 months ago,” said Uhuru. “Christmas is coming up, the holidays and it's like, what are you going to do? How are people really going to eat? And if people want to travel, how are they going if they ain’t got no money to buy gas?”

The price of food is not the only thing increasing.

People will also be paying more to heat their homes this winter. Drivers are already paying more to fill their gas tanks. They’re paying the most at the pump in seven years as the cost of crude oil rises.

Economists predict prices will continue to rise over the next six months.

Related: Hampton Roads feels the pinch as supply chain issues resurface