While fears of runaway inflation have cooled in recent months, customers are still being subject to high prices across their everyday lives. Some say that their wages, once thought to be substantial, now barely pay the bills. Others simply note the high prices of previously budget options like fast food.
Naturally, this has become a major topic of discussion on the internet. One way that internet users are engaging in this conversation is by sharing their shopping lists from several years past and comparing them to the shopping lists of today, often finding that their new grocery receipts are markedly higher than their typical 2020 bill.
In a video with over 453,000 views, TikTok user Kay (@kaypal7) uses the Walmart app to see a 2020 shopping list. The total after tax came out to $161.18. After recreating the list to the best of her ability, the new post-tax total was $205.52—an increase of around 27.5%
This price increase significantly outpaces inflation. If the original price were to follow the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, the price would be just $189.30.
@kaypal7 #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen #inflation2022 #inflation2023 #politics #shrinkflation #poverty #finance #povertyfinance #teacher #workingclass #richmennorthofrichmond #makeotmakesense #poor #teachers #teacherlife ♬ original sound – Kay Pal
“That’s 44 extra dollars that I’m spending which, if you take into account that I go shopping once a week, that’s about $170 a month that I wasn’t spending before, which would have bought me an entire week’s worth of groceries back in 2020,” Kay says. “That’s a lot of money for a teacher. That’s a lot of money for a lot of people.”
To conclude her video, Kay says, “If you’ve been feeling like your money hasn’t been going as far and your dollar’s not stretching the way it used to, it’s not just you. It really is.”
This video sparked outrage amongst commenters, who were quick to share their own stories of high prices.
Some called out “shrinkflation,” the act of reducing the size of a package while maintaining or increasing the price.
“Plus packages are smaller too so it’s even worse,” wrote a user.
Others simply complained about increasing costs of living and the failure of employers to pay wages that keep up with these costs.
“We spend almost $300 a week on groceries and household items. it used to be half that,” explained a commenter. “It’s just nuts out here!!”
“And I only get paid $1 more than I did in 2020,” summarized another.
The Daily Dot reached out to Kay via Instagram direct message and Walmart via media relations contact form.