Eastern Carolina stores and customers battle food prices amid steady inflation

Eastern Carolina stores and customers battle food prices amid steady inflation
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 11:41 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Customers were out on Friday hitting up local grocery stores, despite the continued increase in food prices.

Products such as meat, eggs, milk, bread, and vegetables have all become more expensive, which is impacting the way stores budget.

Piggly Wiggly store manager Donnie Summerlin says it’s difficult to help customers with lower prices when the store is forced to cut back as well.

“We do try to keep the lowest retails on the stuff that we possibly can, but with cost the way it is now it’s just tough to do,” Summerlin said. “You look at everything, it’s costing a lot more to live.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of groceries skyrocketed 13 percent in a year, the largest in almost four and a half decades.

As the demand continues, customers are trying to shop smarter.

“It definitely takes some planning, really budgeting because everything is high,” said customer, Tiffany West-Bridgers. “Food, gas, lights, and everything else.”

Several factors have a role in inflation, but the cost of gas may hold the most power of all.

Summerlin says fuel can make or break whether stores will receive retail.

“Gas is a controller of a lot of things in our industry because that’s the way we get our products is by 18-wheeler trucks or so forth,” Summerlin said. “I think once that price does start to level out to a reasonable price, I think you’ll start to see food prices drop.”

High prices are making customers have to put essential needs first and West-Bridgers says limiting fast food may help.

“Cook meals, the more you buy things in the bulk you can make it stretch a little longer,” West-Bridgers said. “As far as school goes, go ahead of time because it’s coming and it’s high.”

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