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'Blindsided': Shoppers Have Sticker Shock At The Grocery Store As Prices Rise

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you buy groceries, you don't need government statistics to know what's going on.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Food prices for items like meat, poultry and eggs are the highest they've been since the energy crisis in the early 1970s.

Go to any grocery store, from a small neighborhood location to a chain, and you will find one thing in common: high food prices.

We are stuck with the sticker shock because the coronavirus has disrupted the food supply chain.

Eric Marotta of Penn Hills noticed the hike immediately.

"Meats, for sure, have been increased. Fish doesn't seem quite as bad because everybody, for some reason, is buying meat. Ground meat and steaks are evened harder to come by at times," Marotta said.

And when you do see meats, the prices may knock you off your feet.

A ribeye steak weighing in at just over 4 pounds has a sticker price of $53 at one of the bigger box stores.

Before the pandemic, it may have cost anywhere from $7 to $10 a pound.

When restaurants closed, people started eating at home and the demand for groceries shot up. Farmers didn't have the ability to quickly shift their food deliveries to stores.

On top of that, meatpacking plants began shutting down due to the coronavirus, pushing supply and demand and prices to a new level.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"That cost is passed on to the consumer. We can't absorb it," said Sara Mineo, owner of Shadyside Market.

Mineo and her family have been in the community for almost 70 years.

"A couple of people were blindsided by how expensive some things are like ground meat," Mineo said.

Helen Wilkins of Penn Hills says she beat the grocery store prices by going to a local meatpacking company.

"The same meat that I would pay the $15.99 in the store for, that could possibly have been $12.99 when I went, I was paying $8.99. And that was a big difference," Wilkins said.

There are things you could do, places you could shop and food you can buy to keep your grocery bill lower.

Experts say to shop around, buy private labels, buy frozen foods and avoid prepared foods.

KDKA reached out to several grocery store chains over the last couple of days about food prices but did not get a response.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:

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