SUGAR LAND – Consumers in Greater Houston are feeling the burn of a rise in prices at the pump, restaurants, and grocery stores. The United States Department of Agriculture said prices are expected to continue to go up multiple percentage points in just this year.
“Every time you go and shop, [the] price of something has gone up by so much. It’s been crazy,” said shopper Sharon Kaur. “Those cartons of oil, that’s been insane! That’s tripled in price.”
The USDA has a Consumer Price Index or “CPI,” which is a measurement of the average change in cost of goods over time. The grocery store purchases CPI increased 1.2% from December 2021 to January 2022 and 7.4% higher than January of just last year.
The food-away-from-home (restaurant purchases) CPI increased 0.7% in Jan. 2022 and was 6.4% higher than Jan. 2021.
Local consumers said these are costs they have to eat. And, it’s not over.
In 2022, the USDA predicts grocery store prices will go up 2-3% and for restaurants 4-5%.
The Houston Food Bank’s president Brian Greene warned the existing need for food is becoming even greater, especially in underserved communities.
“Households are not making enough money [and] food becomes the flexible expense. So, that’s why you see food insecurity, and that’s why you see hunger,” Greene said.
With everything going on in the world, local consumers said they can only do what they can realistically do.
“Cut back where you can, maybe get generic products, drive less,” shopper Jim DeBolt said.
“Just deal with it. We don’t really have any other option, unfortunately,” Kaur added.
To save money, Kroger is giving shoppers these tips:
-Use a loyalty card and fuel rewards
-Explore and download your store’s options for digital couples- For Kroger use the app.
-Consider shopping the sales
-Consider buying the store brand
-Consider buying in bulk