SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Have you noticed that your grocery bill is a little higher than normal? That’s because prices on some key household items and food have been going up by about 3.5% over the 12 months.

For a family of four, that is around $500 a year.  The price increases are on everything from cereal to dairy to meats to eggs.  

General Mills, the maker of Cheerios, announced that it is raising prices to offset higher freight manufacturing. Hormel is raising prices on products like Jennie-O ground turkey because of higher grain costs. Even the cost of a jar of Jif peanut butter is higher than a year ago.

“We had a suspicion that prices were going to go up. But I don’t think we realized how bad it was going to be,” said Patrick Penfield, Professor of Supply Chain Practice at Syracuse University.

But, experts say there are ways to keep your shopping costs low. They say to stock up and watch for sales. They also say to take a look at prices at smaller stores.