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Why it's costing you more at the grocery store

Shipping, gas prices, and driver shortages are - in part - to blame for the increases.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Get ready for higher grocery bills for the rest of the year. 

A price spike on what you put in your cart was the biggest in almost a decade, according to the most recent consumer price index.

So what's causing the price hike? And what can you do save your hard earned cash?

The next time you grocery shop, you may want to pay attention to the prices.

Priscilla Alexander said she has noticed prices are up.

"I do most of shopping online or someone picks up for me, and I just started going into smaller stores with the pandemic," said Alexander.

Nationwide this past year, overall grocery prices have gone up 3.3% according to the federal government. Increases range from 1.6% for dairy and related products to 5.4% for meat and eggs. 

The price hikes are connected to supply chain issues, ranging from a shortage of truckers, to rising gas prices, to agricultural shortages.

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"There is a lot of moving parts that goes into the price of an item - whether it's raw materials, packaging, freight and transportation. And when there are fluctuations there, yes, it does get passed on," said Taylor James, Castle Retail VP.

James works for Castle Retail, the company which owns Cash Savers in Memphis and High Point Grocery. James said while some parts of the country are seeing prices spikes, and national chains may be raising prices, as an independent grocer - so far - his stores have not made drastic changes.

"Up to this point, it's been okay. But there is always a possibility that things can change," said James.

James said the pandemic has changed how business is done.

"We've had to be able to adapt very quickly and be able to handle weird situations that have occurred. All of a sudden, you can't get beans or rice, and you are like, 'okay, what are we going to do?'" said James.

To save money, experts said look at what you are spending now, then try and reduce your bill by 10 to 30%. Take an inventory of what you have before going to the store. Also, make a shopping list and stick to it.

Of course, sometimes that may be easier said than done. 

"It's Mothers Day weekend. So we are getting what we want," said Alexander.