These 4 Grocery Store Items Have the Highest Markups

Plus, find out some alternatives you can try to combat these skyrocketing prices.

Everyone is feeling the sting of grocery store markups and food prices that continue to rise. Even if the price of an item stays the same, we’re likely faced with shrinkflation and getting less product.

However, some grocery store markups are more serious than others. Here are the grocery store items that top the list of biggest price hikes in the supermarket:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Store-made baked goods

Beef prices are up 16%, milk is up 17% and egg prices are up nearly 50%—and continuing to rise.

Let’s look at some alternatives to those four marked-up items.

What Should I Buy Instead of Beef?

Once upon a time, the answer would have been chicken. But chicken prices are also up a whopping 13%. Given the rising prices of protein, now might be a great time to consider starting a plant-based diet. There are plenty of ways to get plant-based proteins, such as lentils, quinoa, peas, peanut butter and tofu, among other vegan protein sources.

What Alternative Milks Should I Try?

Blurry unfocused background of goods in the supermarketKaren Poghosyan/Getty Images

With dairy prices rising, we are fortunate to live in a golden age of non-dairy nut- and plant-based milks. Oat milk, almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk are all legitimate replacements for dairy. You can also get your calcium from plenty of foods, such as almonds, leafy greens, salmon, citrus juice, tofu, chickpeas and more.

How Can I Replace Eggs?

With factors like the avian flu driving up the price of eggs, there are a number of egg substitutes to try. Beyond scrambled eggs for breakfast, eggs are used as a binding agent in baked goods and in recipes like meatloaf. Flax or chia seeds, made into a gooey mixture, can replace eggs as a binding agent, as can aquafaba, made from chickpea liquid. In a pinch, applesauce and tofu work in the same way.

Why Should I Avoid Store-Bought Baked Goods?

Freshly made cookies, cakes and muffins are priced about three times higher at the store than they’d cost you to whip up a batch by yourself, says Alexa von Tobel, founder of financial planning company LearnVest. “Take time to calculate the trade-off you’re making so you know if the convenience is really worth it,” she says. In a time crunch, they might be best, but if you can sacrifice an hour, the homemade version will be well worth it.


Jason Wilson
Jason Wilson is a Senior Writer at Reader’s Digest. He has covered travel, culture, food, and drinks for more than two decades, and is the author of three books on wine and spirits, including Godforsaken Grapes and Boozehound. He’s written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Travel + Leisure, and many other publications. He’s had a pizza, a breakfast sandwich, and a dessert named after him in three different countries.