Yep, inflation is here. How do I know? Like any good wannabe economist, I’ve created my own inflation barometer. I call it “price increases of random stuff that Josh buys at Walmart.” I also have my own barometer that measures whether or not we’re in a recession. I call it “At 8am, are there an absurd number of cars in a drive-thru waiting for $4 coffee?” FYI…according to my barometer, we’re not currently in a recession.
Anyhow, you may recall that a little over a year ago I compared the prices at Walmart vs. the prices at United. Comparing this data with my most recent trip to Walmart, here’s what I found: an average price increase of 22% on name brand stuff and 16% on generic stuff. Ouch.
*prices per ounce or unit
*ignore the prices for fruit. I think the fluctuation is more due to them being “out of season” than inflation.
Bummer, huh? Interestingly, I noticed that some companies disguised price increases by lowering volume. Example: the Ritz crackers boxes that i used for this comparison went from containing 16 ounces to containing 15.1 ounces. My Goldfish cracker quantity decreased from 33.5 ounces to 30 ounces per box. That’s right, Nabisco and Pepperidge Farm, I’m on to you.
4 other points worth noting:
1.) More bad news: aside from Rayovac batteries and honey, the only items that held firm on their prices are items that I don’t buy-like Honey Nut Spins or Parent’s Choice diapers. To paraphrase a favorite quote of mine:
Let’s say I’m at a friend’s house; and, I ask for a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Let’s say that my friend says, “I’m out of Honey Nut Cheerios. Here, have some generic Honey Nut Spins instead.” Translation: “Hey Josh, I killed your mom. Here, try this generic lady instead.” Honey Nut Spins are not acceptable at any price.
2.) What’s up with the 88% increase on the cost of a 12 oz. box of generic crackers, Walmart? Was there some crackertastrophe that I wasn’t aware of?
3.) Just for fun, I ran some more numbers. In the highly unlikely scenario that food costs continue to increase at a rate of 22% per year, $500 worth of groceries today will cost you over $3,500 10 years from now.
4.) Inflation stinks.
Happy inflated shopping, America.