More than a quarter of Americans admit to skipping meals due to skyrocketing grocery costs: Report

More than a quarter of Americans have resorted to skipping meals to avoid paying inflated grocery store prices, according to a new survey.

According to a study by Qualtrics on behalf of Intuit Credit Karma, 80% of Americans say they have felt a "notable increase" in grocery costs in recent years. More than a quarter of respondents said the increased cost has led them to occasionally skip meals, while about one-third said they spend more than 60% of their monthly income on mandatory expenses such as food, utilities and rent.

"Food insecurity is a major issue in this country as millions of Americans don’t have enough food to eat or don’t have access to healthy food," Courtney Alev, a consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma, said in a statement.

"Over these past few years, a rise in costs for food and household staples have put American households in precarious situations, especially low-earning households who have families to feed. While we’re seeing early signs of inflation relief for food, Americans are still facing rising costs for other necessities such as rent and gasoline, which could be counteracting their journey toward financial stability," she continued.

Grocery prices have risen 25% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. However, the cost of groceries dropped in April, the first decrease in a year.

Of the Americans surveyed in the Credit Karma poll, 44% reported feeling financially unstable. This feeling is strongest among households making less than $50,0000.

The rising cost of living is also a likely factor in the increasing number of Americans taking on debt (55%).

A large majority of consumers (80%) said they felt the most notable increases in expenses were for groceries, followed by gasoline, utilities, housing and dining out.

Meanwhile, 26% of respondents said they purchased unhealthy foods for themselves or their families because of pricing. About 21% of respondents said they felt ashamed because of their inability to afford groceries.

Qualtrics conducted the study online within the United States from May 7 to May 13, among 2,011 adults.