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Shoppers adjust to paying more at the grocery store

Consumers are changing their shopping and lifestyle habits to navigate the stress of higher costs.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Increased costs are eating away at people’s wallets, especially when stocking up the kitchen.

“We definitely had to cut back in a lot of ways," York resident Megan Sheely said when FOX43 caught up with her outside of the Grocery Outlet in Springettsbury Township, York County. "It’s a lot easier to come here and get the cheaper prices."

Record high inflation is making consumers more considerate of what they put in their cart, and the bill they're forking over.

“Overall our grocery bill is up 20 to 25 percent," York resident Bill Morgan said.

This is leading many to change their shopping habits. Sheely says she’s loyal to Grocery Outlet, but will change where she goes to help save money.

“I would definitely shop around to get the best price," Sheely said.

Market analytics show that average spending at discount chains has spiked since last fall, with variety of factors driving prices up.

“In specific sectors, the inflation has been quite different," Dr. Fariborz Ghadar from Penn State University's Smeal School of Business said. "In food, it's been over 10%.”

Dr. Ghadar says eggs are just one item that have noticeably gone up in price.  According to the federal reserve – the average price for one dozen eggs in June 2021 was a $1.64. Year-over-year the price rose to $2.70. On August 7, the cheapest dozen at the nearest grocery story to FOX43 at $3.19.

These little increases add up, leaving consumers more conscious about where they put their money 

 “We are being much more value based and much more cautious about what we buy," Dr. Ghadar said.

Among the factors driving up prices are supply chain issues, labor shortages, and increased operational costs such as fuel to transport goods.

Many are also making lifestyle changes to adjust, from passing up on a dinner date to staying home altogether.

“During the summer we take our son different places," York resident Pawan Madhogarhia said. "We’re not going as much.”

“The weekends are a little more boring for sure," Sheely said.

“We don’t eat out a lot. Maybe once a month, once every six weeks," Morgan said. "And we’re just really careful.”

Following a promising jobs report and and a decline in gas prices, Dr. Ghadar says he’s hopeful shoppers will soon find some relief in their cart.”

"I think the worst is behind us," Dr. Ghadar. "We're gradually going to see going down."

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