Whether you prefer organic milk or orange juice for breakfast; whether coffee or cola gets you caffeinated; whether it's beef or chicken that's for dinner, you're paying more for it this month than ever before. Our friends at AOL Money & Finance took a look at a group of groceries on many people's shopping list and compared the average U.S. prices in December 2006 to the prices in December 2007. What we weren't surprised about: all these prices are higher this year than last. What we were surprised about: some of the increases are truly monumental.

You can browse through our gallery to see the ones we thought would impact us the most, and what were the highest increases -- over 30% in two cases! But I was amazed at how universal the increases were. While lemons don't make up a big portion of my grocery budget, it's shocking to see that the prices are up 23.2%. And sweet peppers, a staple in many Tex-Mex and Cajun dishes, are up 15.7%. The aforementioned orange juice, part of that complete breakfast the cereal makers are always advertising? Up 13.3%.

There were other things that don't make my typical shopping list, but might be on yours -- lunch staples like American sliced cheese, up 8.3%; peanut butter, up 9.4%; and potato chips, up 7%. If you drink cola with your lunch, that's up, too, 12.4% year-over-year. That quintessential American dinner of sirloin steak with an iceberg lettuce salad? Up 3.1% and 6.0%, respectively.

Are prices higher in your grocery store? Where are you feeling it the most? Have you cut back, or changed your family's menus, due to the high cost of chicken, eggs, or milk? Is there anything you just can't live without, despite its soaring cost -- so you're giving up elsewhere? How are rising grocery prices affecting you?


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