17 Everyday Items Most Americans Can’t Afford Anymore

One of the recent things that has impacted Americans significantly is the escalating cost of inflation. This has made it increasingly difficult for many to afford day-to-day necessities, from food items to larger purchases. 17 things that are now proving too costly for Americans to obtain include:

Home Ownership

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Other larger purchases, such as home ownership, remain out of reach for many of those who once had a dream of buying a house. Financebuzz says middle-income families simply cannot afford to buy a home for themselves. The result has been that many residents are moving to the outskirts of towns or cities, where renting a house or apartment is cheaper.

Potato Chips

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Something as simple as potato chips is now twice the price in most stores. Most snack foods that were once affordable have now become a luxury item for many Americans.

Fresh Vegetables

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As much as we need to include a healthy diet in our daily food consumption, it may not be as easy to do now as it was before. A study in FeedingAmerica says many need help to afford items like fresh vegetables and other food items that have also seen a significant price increase.


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Surprisingly, even eggs are now a difficult food item to eat every day for many Americans. As one of the main protein sources that has been recommended by many nutritionists, eggs cost twice as much now as they used to post-COVID.

Health and Dental Care

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Appointments at dental care practices have lessened as well. Both health and dental care costs have risen, and many Americans either forego making appointments or delay them until they can somehow afford them.


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Meat items, such as beef and bacon, have also gone up in price. Some stores are now selling beef at a 20% markup and bacon at a markup of almost 40%. This has led to people eating it less and having fewer frequent guests over for dinner. These, too, have become luxury items.

Frozen Dinners

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Convenience has gone out the window now too. For many, frozen dinners have been their ‘go-to’ after a hard day’s work, but now they have to eat less of it as it gets more expensive and has risen by over 3.6% over the past year.

Ice Cream

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Ice cream prices have surged to over a 30% increase as well. Since 2016, fewer Americans have purchased ice cream. A CNN report mentions that they are eating this comfort food less and less over the years due to price increases everywhere.

Fresh Fruit

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Besides fresh vegetables, fresh fruits are also less affordable. An increase of 10% over the past year has reflected this, and consumers are buying fresh food items such as these far less now than they did before. Having a healthy diet has become an infrequent option.


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Even though over 40% of Americans subscribe to a high-carb diet, including eating bread as a staple food, data from the FreshNLean website shows how this is one of the items that has increased steeply in price. Anything that belongs to the world of baked goods is being bought much less nowadays.


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It may be a blessing in disguise that the price of soda has increased, mainly because it isn’t a healthy beverage, but still, when you want to reach for a cold soda on a warm day, you may have to reach for water instead. Most soft drinks have had a 55% hike in price.

Emergency Fund

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An overwhelming number of Americans cannot afford to save or put money aside to cover unexpected expenses, reflecting broader financial vulnerabilities​​. Having an emergency fund should be an essential part of any individual or family, and unfortunately, middle-class families with low-income jobs can’t resort to this as an option.


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The sweet indulgence of candy has seen a price rise of about 13.1%, impacting consumers’ ability to enjoy these treats​​. Everything from sugary treats to chocolates and everything in between is less affordable—a blessing and a curse. Birthday parties may look slightly different in the future.


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Something that we use every day, butter, as an essential eating, baking, and cooking ingredient, has increased in price by over 20%. Americans are now resorting to other cheaper substitutes if they can find them.

Basic Household Necessities

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Even basic personal and household amenities such as toiletries or cleaning products are less affordable now, which has led to a bigger issue of financial insecurity among low-income American households​​. This amounts to, according to the New York Post, a third of the population.

Four-Year College Degree

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An investment as important as acquiring a college degree may not be something everyone can afford anymore. The costs of higher education have escalated, making it difficult for many middle-class families to afford it, and if they do, they may be at risk of incurring debt.

Living Debt-Free

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The number of American populations with more debt now than ever before has risen significantly. Unfortunately, many people are now burdened by some form of debt or another because of price increases in borrowing rates and inflation. It has become difficult to live on your own income, pushing people to revert to taking out loans.

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