Every time I go to the grocery store I think I'll only spend fifty bucks, and the next thing I know the total is flirting with $150 and it's not from lobster and caviar.  It's just average stuff!  What common things jack up the grocery bill the most?

USA Today says we'll pay an average of 19.1 percent more on grocery items when we go to the store now than we did 10 years ago.  It's not just one store that's raising prices.  Food is just more expensive across the board.

We can blame inflation and the rising cost of shipping and distribution and other things that aren't easy to wrap our heads around.  But what we really need to know is, what common things are we putting in our cart that will increase the final bill the most?  Once we realize the price of bacon has increased by more than 20 percent, we can decide if it's really worth it. It's more expensive now to feed our addictions.

The cost of tobacco products has increased by 88 percent in the past ten years.  Holy, um...smokes.  Maybe you don't buy cigarettes and that doesn't affect you.  We don't buy those products either.  But there are plenty of other things that will drive up the price of the final bill and we're probably not giving them a second thought.  Like these.

1.  Margarine.  The price of margarine has gone up by 50 percent since 2009, and that outpaces every other product in the grocery store, according to USA Today.  Even if you don't butter your bread, you might be buying margarine to bake cookies or make shrimp scampi and it's driving up the bill more than ever.

2.  Seafood.  That's up 42 percent.  I'm constantly scouring the "manager's special" section of the seafood department for salmon that's about to expire and is deeply discounted.  I'll accept the risk of getting sick if the Atlantic fillet is only going to cost eight bucks instead of fourteen.  Omega 3's are tasty.  And more expensive than ever.

3.  Beef.  That's up 42 percent too.  This is on the rise because of demand.  There are so many people having backyard barbecues and making meatloaf that popularity makes it more expensive.  And there are oodles of great Treasure Valley restaurants that serve steak and burgers and ribs, and that contributes to demand, which keeps prices up at the grocery store.

4.  Oranges.  The price of an orange is up 37 percent.  Orange growers in Florida have been hit by tree diseases and hurricanes that wiped out citrus crops.  The crops are recovering, but in the meantime oranges and orange juice are making our grocery bill higher than it used to be.

5.  Salt.  It's up 31 percent, and the gourmet salt market might have something to do with it.  Himalayan salt and sea salts are making us think of salt on a new level, and this might contribute to the price increase.  We're suddenly willing to pay more for a seasoning that used to be basic.

6.  Cupcakes, cake, and cookies.  These are up 27 percent.  Blame butter.  And salt.  Biscuits and rolls have also increased by 27 percent and we can blame simple ingredients for that spike.

7.  Canned veggies.  Cans of beans and corn and peas have increased by 25 percent, and USA Today says this is because of demand, mostly in the elderly population.  My grandma does love some canned French style green beans.  And that canned creamed corn.  She's paying a premium for it.

Other common items like canned fruits, rice, and bread are sending our grocery bills into the triple digits too, along with peanut butter and pasta.  So basically everything!  All of these things have increased in price by 20 percent or more over the past ten years and that leaves very few cheap eats.

The good news is, cheese is holding steady, and the price of a gallon of milk might have actually gone down a buck or two compared to five or six years ago.  We can survive on that, no problem.

Now back to work so we can afford the groceries.  And don't even get us started on the cost of toilet paper...

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