Since 1980, the BLS has changed the method used to calculate the CPI-U inflation rate twice. Important consumer items like energy and food were omitted. The Alpha-CPI includes several items that 99% of Americans must purchase, many of which have increased as a percentage of overall expense since the BLS made the changes. Put simply, the official number does not accurately reflect what American's pay to survive. This chart will be updated with additional CPI components.