No matter how you choose to budget for shopping, you can't do it well unless you know what items cost. Some goods have reliably variable prices, like seasonal produce, but even nonperishables can change from time to time. It's depressing, but it's worth keeping in mind, especially since we're in for some widespread changes come September.
A number of massive conglomerates, from Procter & Gamble to Coca-Cola and General Mills have announced that consumers should expect price increases across a wide range of products this fall. Many of Procter & Gamble's hikes will go toward menstrual products like tampons and pads, as well as paper products like diapers (thanks, pink tax!). Toilet paper may also get more expensive, though we shouldn't see the kinds of shortages that plagued us last spring.
Brands often try to cover these price hikes by introducing some minor new feature, like softness or freshness or texture. They're generally to cover shortfalls or breakdowns in the supply chain. Other than the pandemic, problems like (yes) the Suez Canal blockage and the freezing weather in Texas this February have messed up manufacturing and shipping schedules, while other issues like port congestion continue to complicate sales.
We don't have lists of which brands or products will see these price hikes, but executives promise they should remain within a narrow band, "in the range of mid-to-high single-digit percentages," according to Procter & Gamble. It's not ideal, at a time when Americans are still battling for minimum wage increases and better-paying jobs, but we know to prepare for it, at the very least.