ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Local shoppers are feeling the squeeze, as prices on some grocery items have doubled over the last year. 

Shoppers say prices on just about everything they see on Rockford-area shelves have gone up but things like soft drinks, meat, eggs, and snack foods are really putting big dents in wallets across the region.

“I just bought a chicken for $17,” said Sharon Khoury, of Rockford. “It was organic, but I usually spend about half that price.”

Khoury says she’s now paying $4 for a family size box of Oreo cookies. A year ago, she said they were around $2. She’s currently giving around $13 for a 24-pack of soda—about 54 cents per can. 

In 2019, the per-can cost for the same soft drink was about 34 cents.

Overall, Khoury says her weekly grocery bill is about $250 these days, about 25% more than she paid in 2021. And just when there seems to be an end in sight, Khoury’s hit with a reminder that the current period of inflation isn’t over. 

“Sometimes prices will go down one week but then they’ll shoot back up,” she said. 

Local shopper Marcia Jean says even after cutting back on the amount of meat and eggs she buys, she still spends about $200 a week at the store for just herself. Like Khoury, she’s now spending 20- to 25- percent more for groceries.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. 

The average price locally for a dozen large, Grade A eggs is about $3.22. Some stores advertise them for just under $2 but but they tend to sell out quickly.

“There’s a lot of stuff out of stock,” Khoury said.

Khoury said she’s cutting back on some items, but has chosen to just take the hit when it comes to meat and dairy.

“I am still buying it, because you need it,” she said. “You need the protein regardless of the prices.”

Grocers are feeling the pain, too. Joyce Krumm, who has a grocery section and a regular customer base at City Tobacco & More in downtown Rockford, said if she could avoid price increases, she would. However, because her wholesale orders have nearly doubled over the last several months, it’s just not possible.

“What used to be 99 cents is now $1.19,” Krumm said of her retail prices. 

Experts say this year’s inflationary increases have been caused by a variety of factors, including supply chain problems connected to the price of gas, packaging materials, and commodities like sugar and oats. 

According to a survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos, 74% of Americans are increasingly worried about soaring costs. When it comes to groceries, consumers are doing whatever they can to keep food on their tables, worrying about the consequences later. 

“People are using credit cards to stay ahead,” Jean said. 

Inflation saw an 8.5-percent decrease in July, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Food prices across the country shot up by 10.9%.