Woman talking(l+r), Spam cans(c)

@circesporkroast/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘This is my final straw’: Customer says she no longer can afford her ‘struggle meal’ because of the new price of SPAM

‘I don’t understand what else to do.’


Rachel Kiley


It’s no secret that grocery prices in the United States have been going up at a rate that’s left many people across the country with sticker shock. And folks online have continued to draw attention to what that means, practically speaking, for just trying to survive.

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For Rosie (@circesporkroast on TikTok), the breaking point seemed to come when she discovered just how much her go-to “struggle meal” of SPAM and rice had gone up in cost.

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“For my entire adult life, SPAM and rice has been my go-to struggle meal because it’s cheap and it’s very filling,” she explains in a viral video. “And now, [SPAM] is $4.50 and this bag of the cheapest brand of rice at the grocery store is $9.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at-home food prices went up 5% last year, after going up 11.4% in 2022—hardly a small amount, especially when there seem to be very few foods that haven’t been affected by these large hikes.

Last summer, attention was drawn to Hormel Foods in particular for raising prices on products like SPAM, with CEO Jim Snee claiming “inflation-justified pricing actions.” The Minnesota StarTribune reported in June that the number of customers buying SPAM was dropping as a result—but stock prices were rising.

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In her video, Rosie put things in perspective by pointing out that a person making federal minimum wage—just $7.25 an hour—would have to work almost an entire hour just to buy a single can of SPAM. 

Even if we look at the median wage in the United States, which was $17.02 in 2021, that would barely cover both the SPAM and the bag of rice.

“I know that I’m hardly the first person to say that inflation has gotten completely out of control, but I think this might be the thing that like, fully pushes me over the edge into becoming the Joker,” Rosie says in the clip.

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Her viewers know all too well how bleak the situation is, with many sharing their own frustrations and struggles to survive with the way prices have skyrocketed—as well as the response from out-of-touch people who don’t understand just how far-reaching the effects of these price hikes are.

“‘If you’re broke just eat beans and rice’ ok but why have they gone up so much,” one commenter mocked.

Another pointed out that deodorant can cost up to $15 now, and a further user said she encountered a single bell pepper that cost a whopping $4.

“It’s $11 for a 12 pack of ramen some places now,” one wrote. “Like when was ramen a dollar each? They were 10¢ max.”

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@circesporkroast This is my final straw i stg. #latestagecapitalism #inflation #capitalism #corporategreed #corecore #corecoretiktok #strugglemeals ♬ original sound – Rosie 🏳️‍🌈

“Can I just say that I’ve been budgeting religiously since 2022. It’s cheaper for me to eat out than it is to buy groceries,” another viewer added, while someone who said they “learned how to save money from [their] Great Depression grandparents and their methods of just eating canned food” admitted that just isn’t working anymore.

“Grocery store prices are so genuinely unhinged i don’t understand what else to do except just starting to steal,” one user wrote.

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The Daily Dot has reached out to @circeporkroast via TikTok comment.

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