High Gas Prices Forcing Many Consumers To Cut Back At Grocery Store


Thursday, May 5th 2011, 1:03 am
By: News 9


Jon Jordan, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Unfortunately, the high gas prices aren't only hitting residents at the pump, it's also causing residents to pay more at the grocery store.

For Delma Maltby thanks to higher prices, there is no such thing as simple trip the grocery store.

"You have to be picky about what you buy. You know the name brands, sometimes you get to the point where you are buying a different brand just to save a few pennies here and there," Maltby said.

Maltby is like the majority of consumers who are finding it harder, and in some cases impossible to stay within her budget.

"I am buying less because, as you can tell, my list is only half the size literally then what I normally get," Maltby said.

But despite attempts by retailers like Crest Foods to try and absorb the higher fuel costs, according to the consumer price index, food prices in January jumped 1.8 percent since this time last year, which is the fastest pace since 2009.

And consumers are experiencing the price jump firsthand.

"Some things like coffee and meats have gone up extremely, probably more like 50 percent," Maltby said.

Retailers such as Crest Foods said they understand consumers' frustrations.

"One of the first places they cut back whenever things get expensive, they cut back at the store and what they buy," said Dale Brooks, Crest Foods Operations Manager.

While the high price of gas is easy to blame on higher food prices, it's not the only reason. Bad weather, including the drought in Oklahoma, has damaged a lot of farmers' crops.

Food and gas prices have gone up so much, lawmakers said they worry the higher prices could end up hurting the state's economic recovery.