I never loved grocery shopping. It’s chock-full of pet peeves from people blocking aisles to the plastic bag ban to not enough cashiers. But the last couple of years there’s been an extra bitterness when I go.

The money that’s going to come out of my debit card. It has become soul-crushing.

I have four kids to feed and two of them have diet restrictions. One can’t have dairy and the other can’t have gluten. What an eye-opener it was to learn how much more gluten-free and dairy-free items cost.

supermarket perspective

If you’ve been thinking it’s just you, that you’re buying the wrong brands or not looking for deals, think again. A report came out from the website ConsumerAffairs that justifies your anger.

Nationwide since 2022 grocery prices have gone up 5.3%. But in those 15 months here in New Jersey they’ve increased 6.8%. This puts New Jersey at fifth place in the nation among states experiencing the highest grocery cost spikes.

That only leaves Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland and West Virginia worse off.

According to the report these are the top states that had the highest spikes in grocery prices.

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Pennsylvania: 8.2%

Vermont: 7%

Maryland: 7%

West Virginia: 6.9%

New Jersey: 6.8% (in bold)

Massachusetts: 6.6%

Connecticut: 6.4%

Florida: 6.4%

Montana: 6.4%

South Dakota: 6.4%

North Dakota: 6.4%

Iowa: 6.4%

Woman shopping for apples at a grocery store
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Or here’s another way of absorbing the sticker shock. According to livingcost.org the monthly cost of food for one individual in New Jersey is now $634 and for a family of four it’s $1,656. I felt that stat in my gut when I came across it because with feeding four kids and myself I’m easily paying over $400 every week.

It’s like the kind of thing you know it’s best not to stare at for too long. Unless you’re really willing and able to pack up and move out it's just another part of life in New Jersey that is obnoxiously too expensive.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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